The Q&A Archives: Vegetable Garden

Question: Hello Cathy! My name is Wyatt, 13, and i live in a small town called Safford, AZ. We recently bought a house atop a hill and my vegetables will not grow in the ground. Any advice?

Answer: It sounds as though your soil will barely support life! If you're serious about vegetable gardening you'll have to do some serious rehabilitation of your soil! Vegetable plant roots will grow 8"-12" deep in good soil, and the deeper the better. Strong root systems provide the plants with support, plus give them access to necessary water and nutrients. Start by amending your garden bed with organic matter such as aged-compost, leaf mold or peat moss. Spread 4-5 inches over the garden plot and dig it in as deeply as possible to loosen the soil and make it easier for the roots to penetrate. Then plant, water well, and harvest your bumper crop of veggies. If your soil is impossible to work, how about gardening in raised beds? These can be formal beds with wood or concrete sides, or simply mounds of soil with no sides. You can purchase topsoil to fill the structures and amend it with organic matter as explained above. If you can't bring in topsoil and your soil is impossible to work, consider raising vegetables in containers on a sunny deck or patio. As long as the containers are 12" - 18" deep, have good drainage, and are filled with good potting soil, you'll be able to grow almost any vegetable you'd like. Best wishes with your garden!

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