With temperatures warming up steadily, its time to start laying out and planting this years vegetable garden. Here are a few tips to remember when planning and planting:
- Select a site that receives at least 8 to 10 hours of sunlight a day. Select a location that is conveniently located near the house and a water supply.
- Always buy good quality seed from a reputable company. When buying plants, purchase fresh, stocky plants that are free of diseases and insects.
- Apply fertilizer according to the soil test results. Most vegetables need initial fertilizer at planting time, and again after they have begun to mature.
- Information on cultivars, planting dates and spacing is given in the planting chart.
- Cultivate or hoe the garden as often as needed to control weeds and grasses. Do not cultivate or hoe too deeply, or root injury will result. Cultivating too often will also result in the soil drying out excessively.
- A mulch of straw, leaves, compost or pine straw will help conserve moisture, control weeds and reduce cultivation. Apply enough mulch to have 2 to 4 inches after settling.
- Water the garden as often as needed to maintain a uniform moisture supply. In the absence of rain, a good soaking once a week will probably be adequate for heavier soils. Light, sandy soils might require an application more frequently. Water early in the morning so foliage will dry off quickly, which helps prevent diseases. Use soaker hoses or irrigation tape if possible to prevent foliage from getting wet and help prevent disease.
Information taken from Vegetable Gardening in Georgia (C 963) .