Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Gardening is a very relaxing activity that can be done by people of all ages. The feeling of achievement when you see your plants grow from small beginnings to a full grown plant that may even give you some blooming flowers or bear fruit for you to enjoy.

Edible plants are one of the more popular choices for beginners because of their relative fast growth and also because you get to show off the fruits of your labor to friends and family.

As kids most of us did the little bean or corn kernel sprout in a jar, and for some plants that's as easy as it gets to get your own vegetable garden growing: place seeds in dirt, water regularly and wait for them to grow.

Beans are one of the easiest plants to grow to harvest. They are readily available and you can plant a lot of them to make sure at least one of many gets to the end of the season.

To grow beans, place them in the ground about 6 inches deep, water and cover them; doing it in that order is so that the beans will have moisture around them as soon as they are in the ground, otherwise they could remain semi dry or moist only from the top.

Beans don't need much maintenance but some varieties will grow long vines so you may want to let them climb something for them to get full sun ( and also so they won't take over your garden space ).

For dry beans, let the pod dry before harvesting. For peas and green beans, harvest as soon as the pod is fully formed and before it starts getting fibrous ( you will be able to tell from experience, everyone has a different idea of what fibrous is ).

For most other plants like tomato, cucumber, squash and lettuces, it's pretty much the same procedure. Some people will tell you to use this and that fertilizer, do this and that before and after planting and stuff like that; unless you planting area has some special circumstances, chances are your plants will make it through, and if not, you need to "dig" a little deeper for specialized information.

Keep in mind that some plants do better in warmer or colder weathers, so make sure to check your seed package for the correct time of the year to plant them.

Tomatoes and cucumbers do better in warmer climates, so late spring/early summer is a good time to sow them, potatoes can be started all year round ( if the ground is not frozen or waterlogged ).

For a good choice of starter plants, try beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and garlic.

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