Top 10 Vegetable Gardening Tips

Vegetable Gardening Tips: BrownThumbMama.com

I love vegetable gardening, and as always, some years are better than others (to wit: my ongoing trials with growing potatoes). Here are my top 10 vegetable gardening tips for new and experienced gardeners.

      1. Have you ever gotten out to the garden with all your tools, seed packets, and whatnot, only to realize you have no way to measure how far apart different plants or rows should be? Save yourself a trip back to the house (and the muddy carpets that will inevitably follow). Use some old paint and mark feet and inches on a hoe or spade handle so you always have a ruler handy.
      2. Some plants love to be planted together, and others will just about ruin each other (e.g., don’t plant beans near onions). Check out Carrots Love Tomatoes for the scoop on companion planting.
      3. When you prune your roses or prickly berry bushes, bring a pair of BBQ tongs with you. Use the tongs to hold the cane with one hand while you prune with the other. Safe and painless!
      4. Not every bug you see in the garden is bad. In fact, the ugly ones are usually the best! Learn more about the bugs you want in your garden.
      5. Save time and space in your backyard by putting worms in your compost bin. The compost will process quicker and the worms will love it (especially if you’re like me and the compost never gets hot enough to hurt ‘em). You won’t end up with pure worm castings, but your compost will be pretty doggone great.
      6. This tip comes from Farmer Fred Hoffman, a Lifetime Master Gardener and host of the KFBK Garden Show on Sunday mornings. (Can I tell you how geeked I was when I saw an email from THE Farmer Fred in my inbox? Wowzers!)
        Need to upright a small plant in a hurry? Use cuttings from tree prunings as small stakes. Cuttings from fruit tree prunings work best, I have found, simply because they provide consistently straight wood. Cut them about 12 inches long, about the thickness of a pencil. These are especially handy when young, quick growing cherry tomato plants get too big for their greenhouse britches.
      7. If you’re one of those lawn fertilizing people (learn why I don’t use fertilizer), the grass probably goes crazy in the summer. Help prevent grass clipping buildup on the underside of your mower by coating the underside with car wax.
      8. If you have lots of weeding or planting to do, wear thin medical gloves instead of regular gardening gloves. You’ll have better control without the bulky fabric of gardening gloves, and your hands will stay clean.
      9. Do you have old fingernail polish that should have never touched your fingers in the first place? Check the dark recesses of your bathroom cabinets for those obnoxious 80s neon pinks and 90s blue polishes…you know they’re in there. Now that you’ve found them, paint the handles of your gardening tools with an assortment of these unique colors so you can spot the tools when you leave them in the dirt.
      10. Save your toilet paper tubes, cut them in half, and sink them into the ground before planting your seeds. The tubes become a little protective “fort” to keep the cutworms away.

Vegetable Gardening Tips: BrownThumbMama.com

What else can you think of? Share your gardening tips in the comments!

 

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Comments

  1. CTY says

    I apply and thick layer of skin moisturizer (coconut oil) to my hands before putting on disposable gloves to get an almost spa treatment while gardening.
    I have a rule that helps with weeds. For each item I harvest, I pull one weed.
    How many & what type of worms should I use?

  2. says

    Don’t the toilet paper roll sleeves mentioned above, cause the plants to become root bound? I have found that the supposedly disintegrating containers that seedlings come in never really disintegrate and they do prevent the roots from spreading.

    • says

      The tp rolls are fine because they are bottomless. If ever I buy plants in the peat pots I always tear the bottom off when transplanted to enable the roots to grow deeper. The sides of the pots (& tp roll) forces the roots to grow downward instead of sideways; this makes for a stronger, more wind resistant plant.

  3. rfnancy says

    I was noticing a lot of chewed up leaves on my strawberries. I put down some of Orhos Slug Killer Pellets and out came the cutworms for a nibble, no more problems but I swear by this stuff. And sprinkle it around my Veggies before and after planting. Prepare yourself the next morning after using it the first time..

  4. Stephen says

    If you are having a problem with slugs and snails there is a great way to get them before they get your plants. We use tuna cans but the bottoms of paper cups cut off an inch tall will do. Set them in the soil with the top level with the dirt and pour them half full of beer. The next morning they will be full of the slugs if you have any there. Just dump them out and refill for the next day. Its pure organic pest control at its finest.

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