How do I begin? - Knowledgebase Question

Brooklyn, Ne
Question by mejia_y
July 21, 2009
I have a section that I would like to dedicate to garden, which includes flowers & vegetables. I've tried and It was a failure. For example I tried a sweet pepper and no success. What do you recommend that I do? Insects and worms destroyed my plants & vegetables.

Answer from NGA
July 21, 2009


The first step in successful gardening is to assess the site you've dedicated to growing things. For veggies and flowers it should be in full sunshine. If it receives shade part of the day you can still grow veggies and flowers, but you'll have to choose those which will tolerate some shade during the day. The next step is amending the soil so that eventually you'll have rich garden loam, which will help your plants thrive. The third and final step is providing enough water and fertilizer so your plants will remain healthy.

You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add organic matter. Start now by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the bed. You can use compost, aged manure, shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your flowers or veggies and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular flower and vegetable garden. Enjoy!

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