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Growing a vegetable garden is a wonderful addition to any home, full of many delicious benefits. A garden can seem rather difficult at times, but there are some practical skills that will help you grow a garden full of wonderful and tasty vegetables. It is always best to know about the plants you are growing and what their needs are before you begin to grow a garden.

When it comes to growing a successful and plentiful garden one important key is sunlight. Unfortunaly this is one of the most needed elements, but also one of the elements we have the least control over. The first thing to consider when planning a garden is how much light the area gets. Vegetables need about 6 hours if sunlight, on average. Plants like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and eggplant need full sunlight. Plants like lettuce, peas, carrots, kale, and swiss chard can tolerate more shade. These are good options for spots of the garden that are shaded. If the garden is in full shade consider container gardening for plants that need full sun.

The soil for your garden is also important. Soil is where the plants get their nutrients.

For plants to thrive they need nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients as well. Most of these are naturally present in the soil, however adding compost or other organic matter will also give your soil added nutrients. Vegetables can grow in poor soil, but they may not create the produce you were hoping for. It is better to provide extra nutrients to create a fertile soil to allow an abundant harvest. To grow a healthy garden, plants need water. Ideally, plants need 1-2 inches of water each week. This is even more important from June through August. The roots of the plants need water sp they can grow deep and strong, so they can gather nutrients. Make sure the plants are not overly saturated with water, as this can suffocate the plant. Make sure you know the soil conditions as well the needs of your plants. Be sure to tune into the weather frequently so you know when you need to water, and when you should not water. Your garden should be watered twice a week, give the plants ½ the needed water at each watering.

Watering your plants successfully really depends on your plants. Plants like lettuces, peas and radishes enjoy being watered through spraying them from the top. Plants like tomatoes, squash, and carrots cannot be watered from overhead as this can harm them, as the water can cause fungus on the leaves. Plants like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower should not be watered overhead because there leaves are so big they may not allow water to get to the roots. It is best to water your plants in the morning, before 11am, or in the evening after 4pm, so the hot sun will not burn your plants.

When it comes to seed germination the air and soil temperature are important. Make sure you know the requirements of the seeds you are planting, as some need cooler temperatures, while others need warmer temperatures to germinate. Plants like peas, lettuce, and radishes need cooler temperature, where as tomatoes, squash, and corn need warmer temperatures. You can help to provide this through heating pads cold frames, or covers.

These helpful hints should give you an abundant and successful garden!