Vegetable Gardening

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  1. Hillside Garden
  2. Squirrels and Rabbits
  3. Non-Yielding Vegetable Plants
  4. Frost Concerns
  5. Keeping Fresh Picked Vegetables Fresh
  6. Purple Color In Vegetables, Precautions
  7. Ant Insecticide in Soil
Asked by Anonymous on January 5, 2011
Hillside Garden

I have my vegetable garden on a hillside, which I water every 3 to 4 days, giving all plants roughly the same. It is trellised, so I don’t get a huge amount of runoff; but for some unknown reason, the plants at the top of the hill seem to perform poorly. Can you give me a reason for this?

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

There are three possible causes. The first would be while there is not too much run-off, the water is still running some down the hill. The top of the hill may not be getting penetration of the water into the soil before the water continues down the hill. Another possibility is that the water is leeching the nutrients in the beds higher on the hill and moving them to the lower beds. The third possibility is that the top of the hill gets a harsher light than the bottom and this dries the soil at the top out more quickly.

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Asked by Anonymous on May 3, 2011
Squirrels and Rabbits

How do I keep squirrels and rabbits from eating my veggies when a fence or net is not an option?

Asked by Anonymous on May 7, 2011
Non-Yielding Vegetable Plants

Plants look healthy, lots of blooms, but very little fruit.

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

It could have been weather, but typically when you have an across the board crop failure like that, some element is missing from the soil. I would strongly recommend taking a soil sample to the local extension service and having them test it. A severe micro nutrient deficiency (of which it could be many and only a soil test will tell) could cause this to happen. It could also be too much nitrogen in the soil or a lack of pollinators in the area.

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Asked by Anonymous on May 9, 2011
Frost Concerns

I am new to gardening. I live in Minnesota and started a vegetable garden, potentially a little early. My question is this, is frost the only temperature related threat to plants or can low temperatures like mid 30’s be just as damaging if precautions are not taken?

Asked by Anonymous on May 20, 2011
Keeping Fresh Picked Vegetables Fresh

What is the best way to keep fresh-picked vegetables fresh? I’m fairly new to this, and have been disappointed at how quickly my ripe veggies go soft or turn colors after I have harvested them. How do those store bought ones hold their freshness so long?

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

This really depends on the vegetable, as some have should be used rather quickly while others can be frozen. The normal way to freeze vegetables from the garden is to chop them up and blanch them, spread them out on a cookie sheet and then freeze them. Once they are frozen, you can put them in storage bags and keep them in the freezer until you use them. For many others, like cucumbers, you can store them for a week or so in the refrigerator but if kept too long, they will no longer be any good. If you find yourself with an abundance of veggies, you can always give them away to family, friends, and neighbors.

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Asked by Anonymous on May 24, 2011
Purple Color in Vegetables, Precautions

I have a purple color in my vegetables. Is this safe?

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

This depends. What type of vegetables are you seeing this in? Some varieties are naturally purple. If this is not the case for you, then it's possible that the purplish hue is an indication of some type of nutrient deficiency, but the food itself should still be ok to eat. This resource will help determine if your vegetables have a nutrient deficiency: http://www.destinysurvival.com/simplegardening/deficiency_symptoms.pdf

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Asked by Anonymous on June 1, 2011
Ant Insecticide in Soil

Because of a pavement ant nest, the little brown/red ones, I sprayed ant insecticide into the soil of a small garden where we plant vegetables. I did not saturate the soil, using just a small amount of the spray can. Is it ok to now use this soil to plant vegetables?

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

This really depends on the type of chemical pest control used. Some types remain in the soil longer than others. Residual types usually evaporate after so long, making them safer. Read the directions and warnings on the label of any chemical product you buy. The manufacturer should provide detailed instructions on how to apply and when it will be safe to grow plants in that area again. If you cannot find any answers, put off gardening in that area for at least a year and try another location. You could also consider growing veggies in containers instead.

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