Home & Garden

Secrets to your best vegetable garden ever!

A home vegetable garden is fun and rewarding, and March is the perfect time to start. Whether you intend to have a small or a large vegetable garden, or want to integrate vegetables into your existing home landscape, good planning now will translate into big success at harvest time.

First, think about your garden area. Choose a good site — one that is easily accessible, receives at least six to eight hours of full sun each day and has a nearby water source. It will help if your vegetable garden is in a level area that has well-drained soil. Or, if your soil is poor, you may want to think about building raised beds.

You’ll want to know a little about your climate zone and the difference between cool season and warm season crops. It also helps to be aware of the approximate first and last frost dates in your area, which you can find online: ttp://ucanr.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29030.pdf.

Soil preparation is very important, so address that before planting anything. Once you have amended your soil, you will plant seeds or transplants, so your vegetable garden planning should include some thought about the vegetables you like and the quantities you will use. Some knowledge about the types of fertilizer available will also be required in order to obtain a good crop yield. Lastly, select disease-resistant varieties of vegetables that are well-adapted to your local growing conditions.

If all this seems daunting, the UC Master Gardeners are here to help! You can obtain information on starting and maintaining your home vegetable garden online. There is comprehensive, researchbased information and how-to videos from the University of California at the California Garden Web: http://ucanr.edu/sites/gardenweb/Vegetables.

The UC Master Gardeners want you to have your best vegetable garden ever, so we’re sharing the secrets to vegetable garden success and some of the basics of edible landscaping at our Advice to Grow By workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo.


Contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners: at 781-5939 from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday and Thursday; at 473-7190 from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Arroyo Grande; and at 434-4105 from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Templeton. Visit the UCCE Master Gardeners website at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo or email mgsanluisobispo@ucdavis.edu  .