Eight tips to get your home garden growing

By Andy Mills

Springtime in Kentucky is a great time to get outside and enjoy the home garden. Every aspiring gardener should do a few things to have a successful season. 1. Plan your garden on paper before you begin. Think about the things you want to grow and when they will be ready to harvest. Draw it out on paper so you can get a visual of what the garden might look like at planting and harvesting times. 2. Select a good gardening site. You need to plan for a site that is in full sun, relatively level, well-drained, close to a water source and dries quickly from morning dew. 3. Prepare the soil. You may need to get a soil test and then add fertilizer as recommended. 4. Plan only as large a garden as you can easily maintain. Beginning gardeners often overplant and then fail because they can’t keep up with the required tasks. You have to manage weeds and pests and apply water so your plants will be ready to harvest on time. 5. Grow vegetables that will produce the maximum amount of food in your available space. 6. Plant during the correct season for the crop you want to grow. 7. Choose varieties recommended for Kentucky. 8. Harvest vegetables at their proper stage of maturity. Consider how you will store them if you won’t use them right away. Consult the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Home Vegetable Gardening publication ID-128, available online at http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf. For more information or questions, contact the Meade County Extension Office at 422-4958. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

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