Follow these guidelines to grow a great vegetable garden

Lauren Bonar Swezey and Jim McCausland

At planting time, every vegetable and flower seedling gets asprinkling of controlled-release fertilizer. To maintain soilfertility, Kono digs in vast quantities of compost each year,supplemented with cow manure every third year.

Exposure. Some vegetables (tomatoes and peppers, forinstance) need six to eight hours of midday sun for best productionand flavor. Slightly shadier areas can be reserved for plants likearugula, beets, kale, and lettuce that grow well with a little lesslight.

Air circulation. To reduce the possibility of diseases,provide plenty of air circulation.

Soil. Most vegetables prefer well-drained soil enriched withplenty of organic compost. If your garden soil is heavy and poorlydrained, plant in raised beds.

Irrigation. All crops need water to get established, butsome need more than others as they mature. Plant tomatoes in anarea where you can cut back on water as the fruit starts to ripen.Greens, on the other hand, need constantly moist soil.

Fertilizer. Use fish emulsion alone or in combination with akelp-type fertilizer such as Maxicrop. Corn plants, which are heavyfeeders, benefit from a side-dressing of dry organic fertilizerduring the season.

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