Garden & Landscape Tips

Leaf lettuce
Leaf lettuce is even easier to grow than head lettuce.
George Weigel

If you have space and are thinking of starting a vegetable garden, this is your sign to go for it! Vegetable gardens are not only a great hobby, but you get tangible benefits that include healthy vegetables! When researching what you’d like to grow, keep in mind that some crops are a bit easier than others. If you’re new to gardening, start with these six:

Leaf lettuce

Unlike head lettuces that take longer to grow, leaf lettuces grow to harvestable size in a few weeks. That means less time for anything to go wrong. And you can keep cutting new leaves until the heat starts turning them bitter. Leaf lettuces come in several colors and leaf forms and seldom run into bug or disease issues. Just fence them if bunnies are lurking.

Onions
Plant small onion "sets", left, and you'll eventually end up with fist-sized bulbs, right.
George Weigel

Onions

This is one of the few crops that animal pests generally let alone. In fact, anything in the onion family is good in that regard – leeks, shallots, garlic, and chives as well as the more familiar yellow, white, or red onion bulbs.

Plant onions from little baby bulbs called “sets” in early spring (or fall in southern climates), and they mature in about three months with very little care.

Squash

Almost all squash plants – including the uber-producing zucchini – are fast to grow, prolific in production, and easy to grow with almost no input from the gardener.

The main things that can go wrong with squash are when vine borers burrow into the base of the stems, and when powdery mildew shows which can damage the leaves. But both of these usually don’t happen until after you’ve already picked a decent harvest.

Peppers

Give pepper plants good soil, a dose or two of fertilizer, and enough water to keep from going bone-dry, and they’ll reward you with a generous number of peppers until frost.

These don’t run into nearly the disease problems of tomatoes, and even animals usually bypass them – especially hot varieties.

Beans
Beans are both quick to grow and are prolific producers.
George Weigel

Bush green beans

This crop gives good payback for the number of beans you’ll pick per plant. Beans start easily from seed directly planted in the garden, and they’re fast to deliver mature beans.

Other than groundhogs and occasional attacks by bean beetles, green beans are one of the most bullet-proof of warm-weather veggies.  

Carrots

Loose soil is the secret here. If you have naturally loose soil instead of clay, just direct-seed carrots in spring and/or early fall, and you’ll usually have good luck without much pampering.

If you’re not blessed with good soil, loosen it a foot deep and work in a generous amount of compost before planting. Either way, thin your planting to one carrot every four to six inches and fence if you have rabbits in the area.

Once you get those veggies growing, you won’t want to waste your precious time weeding!  Let Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer do the trick - it can be used around all edible plants and prevents label-listed weeds for up to six weeks when used as directed.

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