Page 89 - 2017-greengate-Gardensense-magazine
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at how much you can grow and over doing it will often leave you with way more than you could ever eat. So, plan carefully. Start small.
The very first thing you’ll need to do is find a location for your garden. Here are a couple of things to consider.
1. Plant in a sunny location. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they receive, the greater the harvest and the better the taste.
2. Plant in good soil. Plants’ roots penetrate soft soil easily, so you need nice loamy soil. Enriching your soil with compost provides needed nutrients. Proper drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top nor drains away too quickly.
3. Space your crops properly. For example, tomatoes need a lot of space and can overshadow shorter vegetables. Plants set too close together compete for sunlight, water, and nutrition and fail to mature. Pay attention to the spacing guidance on seed packets and plant tags.
4. Buy high-quality seeds. Seed packets are less expensive than individual plants. If seeds don’t germinate, your money and time are wasted. A few “extra” cents spent in spring for that year’s seeds will pay off in higher yields at harvest time.
Once you have idea where your vegetable garden will be its time to get it ready and to do so you’ll need to know how big you’re gong to make it. If you are making a raised bed then lumber sizes pretty much dictate what size you can have, but if you are building your bed directly in the soil then you can make it any size or shape you like but again keep its smaller than larger to start.
A good-size beginner vegetable garden is about 16x10 feet and features crops that are easy to grow. At this size, you can make your garden 11 rows wide, with each row 10 feet long. The rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.
Vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season are Beans, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Radishes, Rutabagas, Spinach and Turnips.
Now of course you can plant whatever you like, but we’re going to suggest a few that will do really well here in Calgary. Things like watermelons can actually be grown here, but it’s a lot more work and worth another article all together, so for the purposes of our beginners list these are common, productive plants. There is no need to plant all of these unless you want to, otherwise pick and choose from the list and plant and amazing vegetable garden this spring!
• Tomatoes—5 plants staked • Zucchini squash—4 plants • Potatoes—6 plants
• Cabbage
• Bush beans • Lettuce
• Beets
• Carrots
• Chard
• Radishes
• Strawberries
• Rhubarb
• Peas
• Turnips
• Onions
• Garlic
• Marigolds to discourage rabbits!

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