raised garden with plants

Vegetable Garden Beginner

Question: I’m planning on putting in a new 20 x 40 foot vegetable garden this spring. I’ve never gardened so don’t know very much about what I’m doing. I have nice large spot in my backyard with full sunlight, on a gentle slope. I’m planning on getting compost from the municipal compost site and tilling it in this spring. If the gardening goes well this year, I plan to put a raised bed garden on the same spot in a couple of years. Are there good books or websites you recommend? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. F.M.

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Cold Frames

Question: I’m so tired of winter and can’t wait to start gardening. I’ve thinking about buying a cold frame to grow lettuce this spring. Do you think it is worth purchasing and what can I grow in a cold frame? E.L.

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Seed Starting Indoors

Question: I plan to grow many of my vegetables from seed this year. I’d like to make my own potting soil. What do you suggest as a recipe for a seed starting mix? Should I buy specialty grow lights? S.R. Answer: Potting soils for seed starting must have good drainage to help prevent rotting and […]

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tomato plant

Heirloom vs. Hybrid

Question: This year I want to grow tomatoes from seed instead of buying whatever transplants I can find. Some of my gardening friends told me the best tasting tomatoes are heirloom varieties like Brandywine.  What are heirlooms? How are they different from other tomatoes? Do heirlooms taste better? B.N. Answer: Heirloom or open-pollinated plants are […]

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Fall Vegetable Planting

Question: Can I still plant vegetables in my garden? J.W. Answer: Mid-September is late for planting most vegetables but you might be able to successfully grow leafy greens and similar frost tolerant crops.  Choose varieties with a seed to harvest interval of 45 to 50 days or less. Some crops, like leaf lettuce, can be […]

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Harvest Potatoes / Powdery Mildew on Squash

Question: When are potatoes ready for harvest? D.P.

Answer: New or early potatoes can be dug seven to eight weeks after planting. The potatoes will be one to two inches in size. Potatoes are mature and full-sized when vines die, usually in late August or September. Dig and lift the potatoes out of the soil with a spading fork, taking care not to pierce the tubers.

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tomato blight

Tomato Wilt & Juglone

Question: My tomato plants are wilting and the problem seems to be getting worse. Do you think it is a root rot or a wilt disease? H.W.

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tomato plant

Spring Seeding Dates

Question: I’m so tired of winter. Is it too early to start seeds? I’d like to watch something growing so I know spring will come.  L.H. Answer: Seed starting is a great way to get a little bit of spring in February.  I don’t know what type of seed you have but your can calculate […]

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vegetables in a garden

Organic Vegetable Gardening

Question: I want grow my vegetables organically.  I thought organic meant I shouldn’t spray for bugs on the vegetables but I’ve seen ads in catalogs for organic bug killers. I’m confused. Please help me understand organic. B.G. Answer: Organic continues to be one of the most misunderstood terms in gardening and food production. Many people […]

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