Easy Gardening Tips for Beginners

Read our seven organic gardening tips for your family's home garden.

| March/April 1970

  • Gardening Fundamentals
    You can grow a great garden for less work than expected. Just follow these seven fundamentals.
    Photo by Fotolia/Springfield Gallery
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    Frost dates for western states vary according to elevation as well as latitude. Accurate dates can be attained by writing your State College of Agriculture or Weather Bureau.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Protect your garden from pests.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Identify your garden pests by inspecting their damage.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Cardboard or stiff paper wrapped around plants protects them from cutworms. Slit tar paper (about 4 inches square) protects against maggots
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Plant at upper left improperly set out. Soil should have been pressed tightly about roots. Use dibble as shown. Wheel and hoe attachments also make planting easier.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Table demonstrating what crops require or suffer from liming.
    Photo by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 002-031-01c
    You can grow a great garden for less work than expected. Just follow these seven fundamentals.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • Gardening Fundamentals
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  • 002-030-01a
  • 002-030-01b
  • 002-030-01c
  • 002-029-01a
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Even before the victory garden boom there were so many books, articles and pamphlets on gardening that garden writers seemed to be having quite a time trying to be original. For example, I have in front of me a cute article in one of the "garden and home" magazines explaining how you can have cucumbers climb a fence, use carrots for borders, and make a tepee for the children by planting pole beans.

Well, maybe garden articles like that appeal to some folks, but what we wanted at our place was somebody to tell us how to raise a lot of vegetables with as little work as possible.

We weren't interested in gardening as a hobby. We wanted to make it pay and believed we could. We knew that out of every dollar's worth of vegetables my wife bought at the store 60 cents went for marketing and handling.

Our first garden was small, about 30 by 40 feet. We simply dug up the ground, mixed in a little all-purpose commercial fertilizer, bought some seeds at the corner drug store and needless to say our garden was pretty much a flop. Some vegetables grew fairly well, but most didn't. And the insects got more out of it than we did.



We were discouraged. Like many city people we thought a garden was "duck soup." But we've found out that our garden is our most exacting and complex project. Producing eggs, or chickens, or milk, or honey, or pork requires less knowledge than having a good garden. The one especially attractive point about a garden is that even though it is complicated and considerable work, it does not have to be tended every day or twice a day as do livestock. At any rate I wanted to say, don't let your gardening difficulties discourage you from considering livestock projects, it's easier to produce a dozen eggs than a bunch of carrots.

Before we planted our second garden we made up our minds to find out how to do it. I guess maybe we studied a hundred books and pamphlets. Or rather, after reading the first dozen, we skimmed through the rest. We found ourselves reading and rereading the same basic facts.





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