A Vegetable Garden Planting Guide

A detailed garden plan guide for vegetable gardening beginners and old-timers alike.


| March/April 1975



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Once again our national leaders (and our own common sense) are urging us to grow as much of our own food as possible.


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Shades of World War II and the victory garden! Once again our national leaders (and our own common sense) are urging us to grow as much of our own food as possible. Which makes this a good time for a serious look at the available garden space — and some serious thought about how to use it effectively.

The smallness of your plot — if it is small — needn't deter you. (In fact — if you haven't gardened before — the limitation may be a blessing. Beginners are inclined to bite off more than they can chew.) Tiny backyard patches have been known to produce amazing harvests under close cultivation. This poster mentions just a few of the ways to stretch your land's growing power without drugging or exhausting the soil. There are many more... and all depend on careful planning.

Vegetable Garden Planting Guide

Effective gardening, in fact, begins on paper ... with some thoughtful hours spent in harmonizing your needs and likings, your plot's potential, and the requirements of various crops.

At this stage it's important to keep a firm grip on reality. No matter how delicious the big watermelon on the seed packet looks, it won't grow for you unless you can count on at least 4 frost-free months. And it's surprisingly easy to get carried away by visions of 40 pound Hubbards and forget that nobody in your family really likes squash that much.

Try for a range of crops that provides as many essential nutrients as possible. (Any good handbook on the subject will tell you the food values of various fruits and vegetables.) If you keep small stock — or plan to — you can raise part of their rations too... even if it's only a few plant of comfrey for rabbits or chickens.

Also think ahead to the coming winter and plant with an eye to your storage facilities. A freezer is a blessing, of course, but it's best not to depend on that alone. And if you're without electricity, you'll want to plant crops that may be canned, dried, or stashed in a root cellar.





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