Home Gardening Pdf – A well-kept and fruitful garden is a delight. It can provide you and your family with a variety of nutritious and healthy vegetables to enjoy fresh or preserved for later use. Gardening can also be a rewarding hobby, a 4-H member project, and a way to improve your fitness. While it’s true that we can buy quality fresh, frozen or canned vegetables from supermarkets, many of us turn to gardening to supplement our store-bought foods.

The location of your garden site is very important. Where possible, place the garden in full sun, near the house, on good soil and near a water source.

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Most vegetables need full sun to grow and thrive. Plant leafy plants such as broccoli, cabbage and spinach in areas likely to receive partial shade. Do not plant any vegetable in full shade. Tall hedges, hedges and trees not only create too much shade, but they also compete with the garden for moisture and nutrients.

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Locate the garden near your house so that you can observe it regularly. Being close to your garden will help you notice insect, disease and weed problems and allow you to take the necessary control measures before they cause serious damage. A convenient location will also allow you to spend short periods of free time tending to garden chores or harvesting fruit.

When researching a garden site keep in mind that the exact soil type is less important than factors such as high fertility, good internal drainage, ease of tillage, good moisture holding capacity and a deep topsoil. Try to avoid areas infested with johnsongrass, nutsedge, and other troublesome weeds; areas with rock ledges; and areas underlain by hardpan or hard shale. Soils can be amended with organic matter to improve the area.

You will only get moderate results if you try to grow a garden without watering it as needed. Mulches and organic matter will improve soil moisture holding capacity and reduce evaporation losses; however, they will not guarantee an adequate supply of moisture at all times. If possible, place the garden near a good water supply so that it can be watered as often as needed.

Although you want to select vegetables that provide a good supply of vitamins and minerals, be sure to plant vegetables that your family likes. The size of your garden and the suitability of certain types of vegetables in your area will limit the crops you choose. Remember that planting tall growing crops like corn or melons in a small garden will reduce the number of other vegetables you can plant.

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If you plan to can or freeze excess produce, be sure to choose varieties that process well. For more information on canning or freezing vegetables, contact your county office by calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

Over the winter, make a map of the garden you want to grow. Gather seed catalogs and variety recommendations, then put the garden plan on paper. Include the types of vegetables you will plant, the distances between rows and between plants, the amount of fertilizer to use, and the time of planting.

Plant perennial crops such as asparagus, strawberries, or other berries to one side so they don’t interfere with each season’s garden preparations. Plant fall crops on the north side so they don’t shade other plants.

Arrange the rows according to the planting dates of the different crops, so that only a narrow strip needs to be prepared for the first plants. The rest of the garden can be prepared as needed. Try arranging the rows in an east/west orientation to capture the most sunlight.

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Keep all of your garden space fully occupied throughout the growing season. In some parts of Georgia it is possible to grow vegetables in all months of the year. Intercropping (planting another type of vegetable between rows of an earlier type) makes better use of the available space. Plant late crops (those that are normally transplanted after danger of frost has passed) between the rows of early peas, lettuce, spinach, etc.

Successive plantings of seasonal crops can be done so that these vegetables are available throughout the growing season.

Make a list of garden chores to do each month; With a garden map and a garden calendar, it will be easier for you to complete the various jobs on time. See University of Georgia Cooperative Circular 943, “Vegetable Garden Calendar,” for more information.

Make new plantings in July, August and September to enjoy fresh vegetables well into the fall months. Fall vegetables are generally of very high quality. If you provide water when needed, use pesticides correctly, and fertilize according to label recommendations, you will be rewarded with tender vegetables in a season when few enjoy such deliciousness.

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The equipment you will need largely depends on the size of your garden. If you have a small garden of a few hundred square feet, a hoe, iron rake, garden fork, round nose shovel and pesticide applicator may suffice. In larger gardens you may need additional tools such as a wheeled cultivator, garden tractor or tiller. Make sure all your equipment, especially sprayers and spreaders, is reliable and in good working order.

You will also need several stakes and a string or rope to mark off the rows. For irrigation, you need a garden hose and a sprinkler, or even better, a drip hose or soaker hoses, which are more efficient.

For each vegetable you plant, record the name of each variety, seed source, lot number (if available), planting date, and harvest date. Also write down your culture assessment. Keep records of all chemicals used, fertilizer analyzes and anything of personal interest to you. All of these notes will help you plan next year’s garden a little more effectively.

Many varieties of vegetables are available and new and better varieties are constantly being developed. Choosing the right strain for your individual situation can be confusing. Gardeners are encouraged to stick to proven recommended varieties for major plantings. Try new varieties on a small scale to determine their value. They may or may not prove superior to older varieties. Things to consider when selecting a strain include:

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Some varieties do well in North or South Georgia, but not both. Others can be successful in both areas. The microclimate (“climate” of the immediate neighborhood of the plant) can also affect the success of a particular variety.

The number of days from planting to maturity can vary greatly from variety to variety. Successive plantings of the same variety, or several varieties, with different maturity dates can be planted at the same time to extend the harvest season.

Some varieties are determinate, meaning they only produce one crop for harvest. Other varieties are indeterminate, which means they can continue to produce for a while if the plants are properly cared for and the fruits are harvested as they ripen.

The varieties differ greatly in flavor, texture, keeping ability, and suitability for canning and freezing. The intended end use may influence the variety you choose.

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Resistance to leaf and soil-borne diseases as well as nematodes is available in some varieties. Resistance is an important consideration when these problems are known or when appropriate preventive measures cannot be taken. An up-to-date list of recommended varieties is available from your county office (see also UGA Cooperative Circular 963, “Vegetable Gardening in Georgia”).

Buy seeds for your garden from a reputable dealer. Like other commodities, seed quality can vary between seed houses. Make sure the type, variety, germination percentage and test date are listed on each package. Cheap or inexpensive seeds can be a definite liability as they can lead to garden failure due to poor germination, unclean seeds or mixed varieties.

The best seed companies generally offer good quality treated seed and label them as to the treatment given.

Do not save your own seeds unless they are of a desired variety that is no longer available. Do not save seeds of hybrid plants.

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Note: Buy certified plants for your garden. Always examine the roots for the presence of small knots or galls, which indicate root-knot nematodes. Discard all infected, weak or damaged plants.

Plan your garden for the winter months and place your seed order early so there is no delay in getting the seeds you want. Often the newer and more popular strains sell out completely and you may have to settle for alternative choices.

Growing your own plants helps ensure healthy, disease-free plants of the variety you want when you need them, but getting a good stand of delicate plants from seed is often difficult. You can increase earliness, save space, and lengthen the growing season of many crops by planting plants instead of sowing the seed directly in the garden. Seeds sown indoors in boxes, fire pits or cold frames will produce very good plants early in the season. If the seeds are sown in a small container, the seedlings can be transplanted into peat pots, plant strips or other suitable containers and grown there until they are transplanted into the garden. Tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, early cabbage,

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