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Vegetable gardening can be anything from a hobby with a few tomato plants in pots on a patio, to a full-scale backyard garden grown for economic reasons. Either way, it's always a treat to have homegrown, fresh produce picked straight from the vine! With the troubled economic conditions in the world today, there is an increased interest in sustainable living, with many people growing their own vegetables. Interest in organic gardening is also on the rise. Vegetables grown in your own backyard uses little, if any, fuel for shipping and maintenance. Plus, the vegetable gardener knows exactly what they are eating. Almost any type of vegetable is possible to grow in your own garden, depending on the space and time you have. Just a few of the common vegetables that you can easily grow in your own garden include tomatoes, squash, green beans, onions, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, kale, corn, carrots and peas. Herbs are also easy and fun to grow, and a good addition to the backyard vegetable garden, as well.

Most vegetables can be grown in pots on a patio, or a small plot of land. Even a sunny windowsill set with pots of herbs is an “indoor” garden. A good way to begin is with a little research. Find out what growing “zone” you live in, and see what plants will do well in your area. What you grow will also depend on how much sun or shade you have (although most vegetables will require at least 8 hours of direct sunshine per day.) Certain gardening tools will be needed, such as a shovel, hoe, rake and garden hose. You can help keep weeds down by spreading a 1-2 inch layer of mulch around your vegetable plants. If you want to plant vegetables that vine, such as cucumbers, melons or squash, but don’t have the room, you can train them to climb a fence or vertical trellis. Other tips for a healthy, abundant vegetable garden is to water your garden early in the morning. This no only helps conserve moisture loss but helps avoid powdery mildew and other fungal diseases. Also, don’t forget earthworms! Earthworms are very beneficial for vegetable gardens. They increase air space in the soil and leave behind worm castings, so encourage earthworms in your vegetable garden.


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