How to really start the Kitchen Garden

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HOW TO REALLY START THE GARDEN

First of all, draw a plan
(to a scale) of the ground at your disposal. Make allowances
for paths, borders, etc. It’s fascinatingly interesting
after you get started. Next, take inventory of your
likes and dislikes in vegetables. Put down on paper
every vegetable you wish to grow. Then go back to your
plan and mark out a definite space or number of rows
for the different vegetables. Select early, midseason
and late sorts of these vegetables, which you like best.
This will give you a constant supply of them. When garden
operations start, be sure to follow your plan. A disregard
of your carefully planned program may easily spoil results.
I can not lay too much emphasis upon this point, since
most gardens fail to yield satisfactory crops for lack
of adherence to the original plan.

Study the peculiar characteristics
of certain vegetables and utilize them to best advantage.
Some vegetables thrive even in partially shaded positions,
while others require lots of sunshine for best results.
Some of the finest lettuce I ever saw was grown between
rows of early peas. The two-foot tall pea vines, rows
running east and west would shelter Wayahead, Black
Seeded Simpson, etc., which form perfect heads.

Though the pea rows were
standing only 2 1/2 feet apart, the lettuce did splendidly
since peas root deeply while lettuce is a shallow, rooting
plant. Keeping the lettuce row free from weeds gives
additional cultivation to the pea. vines, which will,
under such conditions, stand considerable dryweather
and still bear heavy crops.

A good many vegetables are
of exceedingly slow growth during the seedling stage
of development. Take advantage of this by utilizing
space between such rows for quick-growing crops. For
example, sow beet seed by middle of April and set young
lettuce plants between the rows. By the time the beet
tops develop, the lettuce will be used.

A distance of 20 inches between
the rows is ample for most vegetables in a carefully
managed home garden. Tall peas, tomatoes and corn should
be allowed at least 2 to 2 1/2 feet and should be staked
for best results. The proper thinning out of all, kinds
of vegetables is advisable. Do not permit root crops
to crowd each other in the row. Thin out radishes, beets,
onions, turnips, etc., to stand about from 2 to 4 inches
apart in the row, according to variety. Beans will yield
more and better pods if plants stand 4 to 6 inches apart
in the row.

Where space is rather
limited; the French method of intensive cultivation
may be employed. Here is how it is practiced:

Combine a packet of spinach
seed and carrot seed, mixing seeds thoroughly. Make
your row uniformly half an inch deep and sow this mixture
in the row. Cover, and soon the quick-growing spinach
seed will break the crust, making it easier for the
weak carrot seedlings to see the light of day. In four
weeks, the spinach may be “thinned” to make room for
the slowly developing carrots. In six weeks the spinach
-will be all used up, and the carrots will find room
to develop. If an early carrot, such as Early Scarlet
Horn, is selected, this will be ready for the table
use by July 15th, when the last may be pulled to make
room for endive, celery, late cabbage or any other fall
crop.

This method may be employed
with quite a number of vegetables. Care should be taken
in experimenting along these lines, that kinds are combined
having seed of about the same coarseness, but possessing
different characteristics as to growth. Lettuce and
radishes go well together, so do radishes and parsley;
the last named being a exceedingly slow grower. The
French gardeners plant extra early radishes, midseason
lettuce and turnips` in, the same row, at one operation.
This gives about as ideal a succession as can be worked
out.

As to the actual location
of the different rows and crops, here is a good rule
to, follow:

If the land runs east
and west the taller plantings should be on the north,
so that the light will not be shut off from the lower
growing vegetables. Corn grows so much taller than anything
else cultivated that it should, if possible, be placed
in the. rear. In front of it the few hills of early
potatoes which it is possible to grow on a city lot
may be planted, as they are the least ornamental of
vegetables.

Cabbage and cauliflowers
grow of corresponding height, and may be planted side
by side and given the same treatment. Tomatoes may follow
the potatoes, and so on in the order of height until
the front of the garden is reached, and such ornamental
vegetables as remain may be placed.

 


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