• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables
 

101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables

on

  • 302 views

101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables; by Tee Riddle

101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables; by Tee Riddle

Statistics

Views

Total Views
302
Views on SlideShare
302
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
9
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables Document Transcript

    • 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables Tee Riddle www.veggiegardener.com
    • Table of Contents Foreword .................................................................................................3 Chapter One ............................................................................................4 Tips for Starting Vegetable Seeds ............................................................4 Chapter Two ...........................................................................................8 Tips for Starting a Vegetable Garden .......................................................8 Chapter Three .......................................................................................11 Tips for Planting and Sowing Vegetables ...............................................11 Chapter Four .........................................................................................14 Tips on Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden ..........................................14 Chapter Five ..........................................................................................18 Tips for Controlling Pests ......................................................................18 Chapter Six ...........................................................................................22 Tips for Disease Management ................................................................22 Chapter Seven .......................................................................................25 Tips on Composting ..............................................................................25 Resources .............................................................................................27 ~2~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Foreword Welcome to 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables! My name is Tee Riddle and I am the vegetable gardener that created Veggie Gardener. I decided to share 101 of my best vegetable gardening tips and tricks to you in this e-book. These tips were gathered during the past twelve years as I grew my own vegetables. Many of the tips and tricks contained in this e-book were passed down from my grandparents down to me, and I am excited to be able to pass them along to you. If you ever have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me any time at teeriddle@veggiegardener.com. I hope you enjoy reading and sharing 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables as much as I did writing it. Please feel free to share any new tips you learn from this e-book with family and friends. ~3~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter One Tips for Starting Vegetable Seeds Starting your own seeds is a great way to begin your vegetable garden. Starting the seeds indoors several weeks before the last frost date gives you a head start on the growing season. This is very important for regions that have short growing seasons. It is widely known that growing your own fresh vegetables is far cheaper in the long run than purchasing produce at the supermarket. By starting vegetable seeds yourself, you can extend those savings even further compared to the costs of purchasing transplants. While starting your own vegetable seeds is fairly simple and inexpensive there are a few tricks of the trade. I have gathered some of the best tricks I use when starting vegetable seeds indoors or outside. ~4~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter One Tips for Starting Vegetable Seeds  When using containers, or seed trays, from the previous season always properly clean and disinfect them before use. Use a solution of two parts vinegar to one part water. Rinse the containers off thoroughly and set outside to air dry. This will help prevent the spread of some diseases such as blight.  Use a high quality, organic seed starting mix when starting seeds. A mix of sifted top soil, compost and perlite can also be used.  Seeds can typically be started indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Make sure to carefully read the directions given on the seed packet of your particular vegetable.  Use high quality organic and heirloom seeds for your vegetables and herbs. Buying seeds that are deemed organic is crucial to ensure no chemicals were used on the seeds or the parent plant. There are several good sources for heirloom and organic seeds such as Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Seeds of Change, and Territorial Seed Co.  Make sure to label your sowed seeds with the name of the plant, the variety and the date sowed. This is a must if starting a lot of seeds at one time to avoid confusion. Putting the date on the label of when the seeds were started will help you keep track of what is supposed to be germinating and when it is supposed to germinate. ~5~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter One Tips for Starting Vegetable Seeds  If using small pots or containers to start your seeds make sure you have drain holes in the bottom to allow good drainage.  Most seeds need temperatures between 60 to 70°F in order to properly germinate. If it is difficult to keep these temperatures, use a seed starter heat mat to maintain proper temperatures.  If the seed has a hard shell or coating gently sand one side of the seeds with a fingernail file or fine sandpaper. This will encourage faster germination times and increase germination rates. Soaking seeds in warm water will help aid germination as well.  Lightly tamp seeds so they make good contact with soil. Lightly tamping the seeds once sowed can help speed up germination by making sure the seed is coming in good contact to the seed starting mix. You can use your finger or a plastic spoon to lightly tamp the seeds after they are sown. Do not tamp too hard, just a light pat or two will suffice.  Place seed trays near a south facing window for the best light. You can use grow lights if a well-lit window is not available. Try to keep grow lights about 12 inches above the seeds. Move the lights up as the seedlings grow to maintain a 12 inch distance.  Rotate the seed tray a quarter of a turn throughout the day. This will prevent the seedlings from leaning to one side following the sunlight and will help encourage stronger stems. ~6~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter One Tips for Starting Vegetable Seeds  It is best to water seedlings from underneath. You can accomplish this by sitting seedling trays in a shallow container of water and let the water seep up through the starter mix. This will encourage the roots to grow deeper and develop a much stronger root system.  When starting seeds indoors, use a small fan (set at low speed) to improve air flow once the seedlings reach about two inches tall. This can decrease chances of disease and encourage the development of stronger stems.  Give seedlings nutrients once they have established their true leaves. Lightly mist plants with a compost tea or diluted fish emulsion spray.  About a week before planting outdoors harden your seedlings off. Set the seedlings outside for a couple hours each day, gradually increasing the time over the course of the week. This will prepare the seedlings for the great outdoors and helps to prevent shock.  When seedlings reach about two inches tall, gently pat them with the palm of your hand a couple times a day. This will encourage stronger stems and bushier growth.  Gently remove seedlings from seed trays to prevent damaging the roots. You can use a small plastic fork or spoon to remove the seedling from the tray cell. Slide the plastic spoon down one side of the tray cell and gently pop the seedlings (start mix and all) out of the cell ~7~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Two Tips for Starting a Vegetable Garden Starting a new vegetable garden can be a fun and exciting time. The promise of delicious fresh vegetables can dance around your mind like a vivid summer dream. Beginning a vegetable garden properly is essential to growing a productive garden. As with most things, a vegetable garden needs to begin with a solid foundation. Once the foundation is established, the rest of the vegetable garden can be built upon it. Here are a few tips for starting your vegetable garden with a solid foundation that will enable you to grow a prosperous and abundant vegetable garden. ~8~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Two Tips for Starting Vegetable Garden  Choose a location for your vegetable garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. Any less than that and your vegetables will probably not grow and produce to their full potential.  Avoid locating your vegetable garden near any trees or large shrubs. Not only will trees and large shrubs steal away valuable sunlight from your vegetables, but they can steal water and nutrients in the soil.  Place your vegetable garden near a high traffic area in your yard, or near the home. This will make the vegetable garden more accessible and easier to maintain.  Also, try to locate your vegetable garden near a watering source, such as a spigot or well. This will make watering so much easier and convenient.  Make sure the proposed vegetable garden area has good drainage. One way to easily check drainage is to observe the area during after just after a rain storm. If there is excessive puddling, you may need to take extra steps to improve the drainage in the area.  Check to see what type of soil you have. Grab a handful of soil in the garden area and give it a squeeze. If the soil clumps up easily and is difficult to separate, you have a high content of clay. If the soil falls apart easily, you may have a high content of sand. The ideal soil will clump together easily when squeezed, but also crumbles apart easily.  Perform a soil test on your garden area before planting. A soil test kit can be purchased to give you important information on your soil. Most home soil test kits provide information on nutrient levels and soil pH. For a more thorough analysis, take soil samples and send it to your local cooperative extension for complete testing. ~9~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Two Tips for Starting Vegetable Garden  A sure sign of healthy soil is the presence of earthworms. Use a spade to dig out a clump of soil in the garden area. If you find three or more earthworms in that one clump, chances are you have healthy soil that contains some organic matter.  To maximize production and garden space always create a good garden plan before beginning your garden. This will help you to determine how much space you need, develop proper plant spacing, and is a great way to organize your vegetable garden for companion and succession plantings. A garden plan is like a blueprint to garden success.  If you are new to vegetable gardening, start out small. Begin with planting just a couple vegetables. Vegetable gardening can seem daunting enough to someone new to it. By starting out with just a couple easy-to-grow plants you can build confidence and experience without feeling overwhelmed. Add a couple new vegetables to your garden each year.  If you have limited garden space select only the vegetables you and your family enjoy eating the most. There’s no sense in growing vegetables that you do not enjoy eating.  Add organic matter, such as compost, to the vegetable garden soil to help boost beneficial microorganisms and improve soil drainage.  If planting in rows, orientate the rows north and south. This will ensure all the plants in the row receive enough sunlight, and will help prevent taller plants from shading the smaller plants.  If your soil is in very poor health use raised beds for planting your vegetable garden. You can add good top soil, compost, and other organic materials to create a vegetable garden that’s ready to plant very quickly. ~ 10 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Three Tips for Planting and Sowing Vegetables Planting and sowing the vegetable garden is a fun and exciting time. You have spent time and a lot of hard work planning and getting your garden space ready for this crucial point. Although planting and sowing is probably one of the most exciting periods of growing a garden it is also one of the most important. Here are a few tips for planting and sowing your favorite vegetables. ~ 11 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Three Tips for Planting and Sowing Vegetables  Soak pole bean and bush bean seeds overnight in warm water to help speed up the germination process.  When planting seed potatoes make sure to plant them with the “eyes” facing up.  Cut large pieces of seed potatoes until smaller pieces. Make sure to leave at least one “eye” on each piece. Leaving two eyes is even better to ensure the seed potatoes will sprout. You can effectively double the amount of seed potatoes you have by cutting them into smaller chunks.  When planting onion bulbs, or sets, just push the bottom of the bulb into the soil. Do not cover them all the way up with soil.  Many vegetables perform better when sown directly in the vegetable garden. Okra, pole beans, bush beans, corn, lettuces, all root crops and most greens should be direct-sowed.  When transplanting tomatoes, peppers, or eggplant dig the hole two feet deep and twice as wide as the pot the tomato plant is in. Fill the bottom of the hole with a mixture of compost and top soil. Water well with compost tea once planted.  Plant tomato deep allowing just the top one-third of the plant to be above the soil line. The tiny hairs on the tomato stem will grow into roots. Planting tomatoes deep in this manner will cause the plant to develop a larger, stronger root system.  Avoid disturbing the roots of cucurbits (such as cucumbers, squash, and watermelons) if transplanting to the vegetable garden. If possible use peat pots when starting these from seed, and plant the entire peat pot. Be sure to carefully remove the very bottom of the peat pot before planting. The peat pot is biodegradable and will decompose. ~ 12 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Three Tips for Planting and Sowing Vegetables  Add a handful of compost in each hole when setting out transplants in the vegetable garden. The compost will give the plant a nice boost of nutrients.  Easily create seed tapes using toilet paper or paper towels for planting very tiny seeds, such as lettuce or carrots. The seed tapes are easier to handle and reduces the need for thinning out seedlings once they have germinated.  Use a pinch of sand when sowing carrot seeds. The sand will help you distribute and handle the tiny seeds more efficiently.  You can lessen the plant spacing recommendations for most vegetables when planting in a raised bed.  Many vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers and spinach, just to name a few, can be successfully grown in containers.  Use a very deep container (at least 12 inches deep) for root crops such as carrots, turnips and beets.  When sowing seeds directly in the garden, use a very light covering of straw over the area. This can help retain moisture and keep pesky birds from digging up your seeds.  Garden peas and potatoes can be planted on or near St. Patrick’s Day in most hardiness zones. They can take a light frost, but if temperatures are expected to get below 25°F, you may need to protect them using row covers. ~ 13 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Four Tips on Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden Once you have the vegetable garden started periodically maintaining it is crucial to keep those vegetables happy and thriving. Garden maintenance does not have to be a chore if you perform a little maintenance each day. It is better to spend a few minutes each day than to let them pile up and end up turning into a few hours of work. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your vegetable garden upkeep a breeze! ~ 14 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Four Tips for Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden  Use a three to four inch layer of mulch in your garden to help suppress weeds and retain moisture. Hay straw is typically the best mulch to use for a vegetable garden.  Use soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system for watering your vegetables. These work better than overhead watering because they supply water to the vegetables where it is needed most – at the roots.  A watering bottle can be used for watering some plants. Use a washed out 2-liter soda bottle with the bottom cut out. Drill or puncture several holes in the cap. Bury two-thirds of the soda bottle upside in the soil next to the plant. Fill the bottle with water or compost tea. The bottle contents will slowly seep from the holes in the cap, watering the plant.  Use a rain barrel to collect rain water from the roof of your house. Just place the rain barrel underneath a downspout from the gutter and you can have as much as 60 to 80 gallons of free, fresh water for your vegetable plants!  It is best to water your vegetables in the morning. Watering in the evening can promote fungal diseases such as powdery mildew.  Use supports such as trellises, teepees, stakes, or arbors for climbing vines. This is essential for growing pole beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. Growing these vegetables vertical will help increase production and prevent disease.  Use old pantyhose or an old t-shirt torn into strips to tie tomato plants or eggplants to stakes. ~ 15 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Four Tips for Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden  Use companion planting to help save space in the vegetable garden. The Three Sister’s Garden is a perfect example of companion planting. Grow one corn stalk, one pole bean, and one summer squash plant all on the same hill. The corn stalk gives the pole bean something to grow up, the pole bean helps supply nitrogen to the soil for the corn, and the summer squash helps shade the pole beans and helps to suppress weeds.  When fertilizing plants with a granular organic fertilizer, avoid allowing the fertilizer touching the stem or leaves of the plant. The fertilizer could burn or damage the delicate plant tissue.  Use a quick release, soluble organic fertilizer, such as fish emulsion, on leafy vegetables like lettuce or greens.  When harvesting most vegetables from a plant or vine, it is better to pick the vegetables using a pair of garden shears (or kitchen scissors) rather than pulling it from the plant. Pulling the vegetable can cause damage to the plant or vegetable.  When planting potatoes in a raised bed or in rows, hill soil up around the plants once they reach a height of about six inches. Hill soil around the plants again when they grow another six to eight inches tall. Hilling the soil up around the plants will increase crop yields.  Once plants have become established and grown to a height between six to eight inches tall (depending on the particular vegetable) it is a good time to give them a side-dressing of organic compost. Just sprinkle a two to three inch layer of compost around the base of the plant.  Starting the vegetable garden with fertile soil will reduce the need for adding fertilizers. This can save a bunch of time throughout the growing season. ~ 16 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Four Tips for Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden  Sowing a cover crop towards the end of the growing season can reduce weeds, improve the soil, and reduce soil erosion. Red Clover, Alfalfa and Winter Rye Grass all make very good cover crops.  Harvest most vegetables early and often. The regular harvesting will promote more production. You can increase production by as much as 50% with okra, pole and bush beans, garden peas and squash by harvesting them while still young and tender. ~ 17 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Five Tips for Controlling Pests Pests can be a huge problem in the vegetable garden, and attempting to control them can have you pulling your hair out. There are some practices you can use in the vegetable garden to help prevent and control those pesky critters from ruining your harvest. Here are some of my favorite tips for controlling pests in the vegetable garden using organic and natural methods. ~ 18 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Five Tips for Controlling Pests  Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids. Ladybug larvae can eat as many as fifty aphids per day. Plant flowers and herbs as a border around your vegetable garden that attract ladybugs if you are having problems with aphids.  A pepper and garlic spray works well to deter many insect pests. Just use 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, one crushed clove of garlic, three teaspoons of Tabasco sauce and one drop of dish washing detergent. Mix the ingredients well in a cup of water. Pour the solution in a hoseend sprayer and apply to your vegetables. Apply the solution once per week and after rainfall.  Use a beer trap to capture snail and slugs in your vegetable garden. Use a shallow saucer and fill it with stale beer. Slugs and snails are attracted to the bee and will crawl in and drown. Make sure the saucer is low enough so the slugs and snails can crawl in.  Small copper tubing can be placed around vegetable plants to ward off slugs. The copper reacts to the slug’s “slime” causing it to burn the slug. They will not cross the copper.  Remove any items from your garden area that snails, slugs, or other pests may use as a hiding place.  Use bird netting around vegetables and berries to help prevent them from birds and sometimes squirrels.  Place a garden fence around your vegetables garden to help keep out deer and rabbits. If you have issues with rabbits in your vegetable garden, make sure to bury the fence at least six inches deep in the soil. This will prevent the rabbits from being able to burrow underneath. ~ 19 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Five Tips for Controlling Pests  A motion-activated water sprinkler can be used to deter deer from your vegetable garden. The motion-activated sprinkler will spray water when it detects motion. So if a deer comes near the sprinkler it will spray water in the direction of the deer, scaring it off.  One of the best deterrents for keeping deer and rabbits out of your vegetable garden is having a dog or cat in your yard.  Use beetle traps to capture cucumber and Japanese beetles. They are attracted to the bright yellow color. Once the beetles enter they trap they are caught on the sticky residue inside the trap.  Use milky spore or parasitic nematodes to eliminate grub worms in your vegetable garden and lawn. Grub worms are the larvae of Japanese beetles. So eliminating the grub worms will help reduce the Japanese beetles.  Eliminating the grub worms in your lawn will also help reduce the presence of moles. Moles will seek out and devour grub worms – their favorite meal.  Use an ultrasonic repeller to repel pests such as moles, voles, deer and rabbits in your vegetable garden.  Rabbits and moles can also be trapped and released in a different area using a humane trap such as a Hav-a-Hart Trap.  Plant brightly colored flowers in bunches near your vegetable garden. They can attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, praying mantis and parasitic wasps.  Plant radishes around squash to deter squash bugs. Squash bugs hate the smell of radishes. ~ 20 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Five Tips for Controlling Pests  Planting marigolds around your vegetable garden can help to deter many pest insects such as squash bugs, cucumber beetles and leaffooted bugs.  The best way to protect squash against squash vine borers is to use row covers. The down side to using row covers is the squash may need to be hand pollinated because the bees will not have access to the male and female flowers.  Use old toilet paper rolls cut in half as a collar around seedlings to protect them from cutworms. This prevents the cutworm from reaching the stem of the plant and damaging or destroying it.  Use a screen over top of raised beds to keep squirrels and birds out when plants are young. Chicken wire from Lowe’s or Home Depot works great. ~ 21 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Six Tips for Disease Management Like pests, plant diseases can wreck an otherwise beautiful vegetable garden and lower or destroy crop production. Many diseases are very difficult to treat unless preventive measures are taken. It is much better to be proactive with disease prevention than to be reactive after a plant has begun showing symptoms of a disease. Prevention is half the battle with most plant diseases. Here are my tips for helping to prevent, control and treat many plant diseases you may encounter in the vegetable garden. ~ 22 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Six Tips on Disease Management  Remove any organic materials (limbs, dead plants, mulch and new seedlings) that may be left over from the previous season from the vegetable garden. These plant materials can harbor disease from the previous year, allowing them to become active in this year’s crop.  Disinfect all tools used in the vegetable garden when you are finished using them for the day. Some fungal and bacteria can stay on tools and then be accidentally transferred to other plants. Using vinegar or a light bleach solution on tools can help prevent the spread of plant diseases.  Soil solarization can help to kill soil-borne diseases such as blight. Once the season comes to an end in late fall cover the garden area with thick black plastic. The black plastic will inhibit light, which kills many bacteria. It will also inhibit the growth of new weeds.  Avoid overhead watering close to dusk. The water will not have time to fully dry on plant leaves. Leaving the plants damp at night can promote the growth of powdery mildew on many plants such as squash or cucumbers.  Leave proper spacing between plants to increase air flow and reduce the risk of developing mildews on many plants.  If powdery mildew becomes an issue, use a solution of ½ cup of baking soda and three cups of milk, with a drop of dish washing detergent. Put the solution in a hose-end sprayer and treat infected leaves. Repeat the process once a week until mildew is gone.  Make sure your soil has good drainage and avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.  Consistently water tomatoes, squash and cucumbers to prevent blossom end rot. ~ 23 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Six Tips on Disease Management  If you find blossoms suddenly falling off tomato plants, it is typically caused by sudden fluctuations in temperature. Use floating row covers to help increase night time temperatures if there is a drastic difference between night time and day time temperatures in your area.  The leaves on tomatoes will sometimes curl up when the plant is under stress from lack of water or very high temperatures. It is typically nothing to worry about, but if it becomes extreme the plant may be more or less watering. You can also provide the plant some shade during the hottest parts of the day. ~ 24 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Seven Tips on Composting Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of garbage ends up in the landfill, while supplying your garden with the best nutrients money can’t buy. Building your own compost pile or purchasing a composter is very easy if you follow a few simple tips. Here are a few of those tips to help you start composting in no time. ~ 25 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Seven Tips on Composting  Place equal part of brown and green materials in your compost pile. Brown materials are items such as limbs, sawdust, newspaper and dried leaves. Green materials are items such as grass, raw vegetable peels, and other plant matter.  Build your compost in a location that receives at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day. This will help to build essential heat needed for decomposition of the materials.  Never place meat or dairy products in a compost pile.  If placing leftover salads in a compost pile, try to remove as much of the remaining salad dressing as possible. The oils contained in most salad dressings are not good for the compost pile.  Turn the compost pile periodically to aerate the pile. Inducing fresh air into the middle of the pile will help to speed up the decomposition process.  Keep the compost pile moist by spraying it with water periodically. You don’t want to create a soggy compost pile, but adding a good spray of water helps improve decomposition.  Never place pet or human feces in a compost pile.  Used coffee grounds, used tea leaves, human and pet hair, real wine corks, newspapers, real cotton balls, and vacuum cleaner “fluff” can all be placed in a compost pile. ~ 26 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011
    • Resources Here is a short list of some very valuable online resources I use for my vegetable garden. GrowVeg.com – I use GrowVeg for all my vegetable garden planning. It is a wonderful online garden planner that is packed with useful features. To get your vegetable garden started off right I highly recommend GrowVeg. Gardener’s Supply Company - I admit it - I just love Gardener’s Supply. They have a great selection of everything you need to start and maintain a fantastic vegetable garden. It’s always my place to go when I need something for my garden. W. Atlee Burpee - Burpee is arguably the most well-known name is quality vegetable and herb seeds. They offer thousands of different varieties and great prices when ordering through their online catalog. I highly recommended Burpee seeds. Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company – Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company is a leading provider of high quality, organic seeds. If you need seeds for your vegetable garden then you should check out Gurney’s. Click here to receive a special $20 off any purchase of $40 or more! Gardens Alive! – Gardens Alive is a seller of premium organic fertilizers, organic seeds and organic pest and disease controls. They offer the best gardening products you can find on the ~ 27 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegardener.com Copyright © 2011
    • Chapter Seven Tips on Composting internet. I buy all of my pest controls and disease controls from Garden Alive! Click here to receive a special $20 off any purchase of $40 or more! ~ 28 ~ 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables www.veggiegarder.com Copyright © 2011