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The Basics of Growing Vegetables:
  • Choose a sunny site. Vegetables need sun at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day.
  • Choose a spot that drains well. Vegetables demand good drainage.
  • Improve the soil. Add organic soil amendments each time you plant to improve the soil texture. Start a compost pile or buy a prepared planting mix to work into the top 8 inches of soil.
  • Know what to plant when. It is important to know the difference between vegetables that need cool weather and those that need heat so you can plant at the proper time. See our list of Cool Season and Warm Season vegetables. Seed packets generally state the proper time to plant. The timing for locally purchased transplants usually takes care of itself as the plants will only be available in season.
  • Look locally. The success of many varieties differs from region to region because of local soils, weather conditions, insects and diseases. If you are not sure, look for All America Selections award winners or other such superlatives that have been tested in many regions of the country.
  • Plant at the proper depth. It’s easy to set transplants too deeply. If you do, stems may rot. Use your trowel to make a hole just deep enough so that the top of a transplant’s root ball is level with the surface of the ground. Tomatoes are an exception. They may be planted deeply and will sprout roots along the stem, but remove the lower leaves first.
  • Fertilize hybrid vegetables regularly. Hybrids are bred to perform their best with proper nutrition.
  • Water vegetables regularly. Vegetables need plenty of water to develop proper size and flavor. The time that they generally need the most moisture is when the fruit is growing fast.
  • Mulch after planting. Use an organic product such as compost. A layer 2 inches deep reduces weeds, conserves moisture, and adds precious organic matter, or gardener’s "black gold" to the soil as it decomposes. Avoid piling mulch next to the stems.

To Help Prevent Pest Problems:

  • Use Bayer Advanced Garden® PowerForce™ Multi-Insect Killer for control and continued protection. Bayer Advanced Garden® PowerForce™ Multi-Insect Killer will kill pests on contact and continue to protect plants for up to 15 days after spraying. This continued protection is a big advantage when fighting aphids and other damaging insects that multiply rapidly.
  • Don’t delay planting. Many pests migrate into gardens as temperatures rise in spring and summer. Set seeds or transplants as soon as the local calendar allows.
  • Rotate crops. Insects that spend part of their life cycle in the soil can build up to damaging proportions underground if you grow the same vegetables in the same place year after year. Crop rotation helps reduce pests such as Colorado potato beetles and many other insects that spend time underground.
  • Plant varieties known to be resistant to pests. Some varieties are less likely to be damaged by caterpillars or other pests.



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