Class 1: Vegetable Short Course
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Planning for Success
Successful vegetable gardening begins with planning – where will you locate your garden? Will you grow in beds, containers or some other system? How will you meet your crops water and nutrients needs? How will you attract pollinators and ensure their safety? This class will explore the basic needs of vegetable crops, the decisions you should make before planting, as well as soil preparation techniques to support healthy plant growth.
Vegetable gardening references from NC State Extension:
- Vegetable Gardening: A beginner’s guide
- Rainwater Harvesting Guide for Homeowners
- Learn more about planting for pollinators
Growing vegetables in raised beds and containers:
- Building raised beds, Missouri Extension
- Garden use of treated lumber, Penn State Extension
- Growing vegetables in containers, Texas Extension
- Container Garden Planting Calender, NC State Extension
Improving your soil
- Extension Gardener Handbook, soils and nutrients chapter
- Modifying soil around your home for plant growth, NC Extension publication
- Advice from Durham County Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers
- Overview of soil sampling – why, how and when
- Soil Sampling for Home Lawns and Gardens – pictorial guide from NCDA&CS
- Gardener’s Guide to Soil Testing – NC Extension publication
- Soil sample boxes and forms are available from any county Extension center. Download sample forms
- Soil test reports are posted online. Search for your results
- Soil Acidity and Liming, in-depth fact sheet from NC Extension
- Does your lawn or garden need lime? I wrote this article while in Pender County but much of the information applies to the Piedmont
Learn more about composting and cover crops
- Extension Gardener Handbook, composting chapter
- Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost and Grass Clippings
- Chatham County sells mulch in spring (great for paths between raised beds) and compost bins year-round. Learn more
- This article I wrote a few years ago discusses the benefits of different types of cover crops
- Learn more about composting and cover crops from this presentation I developed while in Pender County
- N.C. State Extension Composting website
- Leaves are a great (and free) source of organic matter. Visit this webpage from Texas Extension for tips on using and recycling leaves
- This composting factsheet from Clemson Extension has a good problem solving guide
- NCCE Vermicomposting webpage (composting with worms!)
- Clemson Extension also has a good factsheet on vermicomposting
For an in-depth understanding of soils take Soils 101, a self-paced online course offered by N.C. Cooperative Extension and NCSU’s Soil Science Department. Cost of the course, which covers nine modules, is $30. Learn more and register online
Use Extension Search to find research based information from Cooperative Extension systems across the U.S.