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Venerated Vegetables; Vitalizing Vegetables

by Laura Horwitz, All About Lawns Columnist

Without taking too much space away from a luscious lawn or fragrant flowers, you can have your very own vegetable garden. After all, what better way to guarantee fresh veggies than by growing them yourself?
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Vegetable Garden: The Set-Up

Most people prefer to plant vegetable garden beds, especially those that are raised 8-12 inches for improved drainage. Keep each bed small enough that you can harvest the plants and pull out weeds without stepping on soil to avoid damaging it. Plant vegetables that mature at different times to maximize space.

You may also want to consider the aesthetics of your home garden and mix flowers in with the vegetables in a potager style. If you choose a potager garden, look at using vegetables that can be trained upwards, such as staked tomatoes, to save space. And remember that leafy vegetables often come in a variety of colors that blend well. Some vegetables, like sweet peas, kale, and ruby chard, can be quite beautiful.

Two final steps remain in planning your garden. Some vegetable combinations inhibit the growth of others. Potatoes, for example, inhibit the growth of squash, so do some research before selecting plants. And last but not least consider the location. You want a space that gets plenty of sunlight.  

Vegetable Garden: The Planting

Start preparing the soil and planting with these simple steps:
  • Break up compact soil to improve drainage
  • Remove rocks and weeds
  • Plan for consistent watering, such as with a soaker hose

If you want to keep your vegetable garden for years, then keep crop rotation in mind to preserve micronutrients and prevent disease. The best method is to rotate vegetables each year on a four-year plan, so you may want to prepare for this in advance with multiple vegetable beds.

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About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.

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