Time to Plant Your Vegetable Garden


I liked this shot of a local resident planting her first vegetable garden. So what are the tips to a successful vegetable garden? Last year mine yielded a half of a tomato… I think sunlight is the most important, right? With out super solid sun you are doomed. Are there any vegetables that can grow in the shade?

20 Comment

  • 1) Don’t plant right next to a sidewalk unless you plan to stand guard all night and day. At least not in Petworth (boo hoo hoo, yes, neighborhood does matter all you anti-snobs… ;)).

    2) Try to make them rat, squirrel and bird proof – yeah, even harder to do.

    But do do it. Nothing like eating your own tomatoes, even if they are just half ones.

  • are you sure that’s a VEGETABLE garden? all i see are mellons.

    bada-boom. thank you, thank you! i’ll be here all week!

  • Sun, water, soil… sun, water, soil… sun, water, soil…

    Soil is often overlooked. Looking at the photo here I’d say the gardener has added a bit ‘o organic matter, but not nearly enough. The clay-rich soils here basically need to be completely replaced with a mixture of top soil, leaf mulch, and potting soil.

  • She’s going to lose whatever she plants in that garden (that actually grows) unfortunately. I’ve got a plot in a gated community garden and we still lose stuff all the time…sadly, more often than not I suspect its other gardeners stealing stuff than people who might actually need it.

  • This garden plot is actually right across the street from my house, so Ive watched it go in, and will look forward to watching it come up. As for the soil, ambitiously the ladies actually dug down a bit and filled with some decent-looking soil. They’ve put quite a bit of effort into it, and I hope they are rewarded. We have a small patch of herbs in pots in the back yard, but were always skeptical of eating anything out of the soil around here. But because they replaced/added I bet they make out ok! I hope they wash everythign well though, they are on a bus route, and I know how much soot is on the front of my house! Bets of luck ladies!

  • oh ya, stay classy Poo poo!

  • Veggie gardens need at least 6 hours of sun each day (ie, “full sun”) and the water requirements vary by the plant. Tomatoes need consistent watering (straight to the roots), but my hot peppers have done really well with less water. I don’t have any fencing or barrier, and haven’t had rats eat anything. Tomatoes and other veggies will also need to be fed and you can even pick up organic fertilizers at most stores with a garden section. And watch for insects/disease!

    If you really want to get your garden geek on, you can have your soil tested, which will let you know what to add to the soil and to make sure you aren’t growing edibles in lead-laden soil. I used the service offered by the University of Massachusetts, but there are a lot of other extension services and universities offering soil testing.

  • mmm, melons

  • lots of water but not during peak sunlight hours or you will burn them. πŸ™

  • Nasty outdoor cockroaches (The big shiny ones only out in full darkness) are eating every plant in my yard – help! Anyone have advice?
    Last year, by completely removing the clay and replacing it with bought garden soil I grew a lot of cucumbers and a few eggplants. Lettuce=failure. Basil did great. Lots of cat poop, though, so this year, no food crops.

  • Dear Sirs and Madams,

    I can only hope that you will join with us in condemning Monsignor Poo-Poo for his atrocious and thoroughly unsavory comments regarding Ms. Greenthumb (above). Were I not one of the foremost proponents of free speech, I would urge the Prince himself to excommunicate ‘Johnny Poo’ (as his repugnant associates and toadies are wont to term him) into the fetid dregs of the blogosphere.

    Take your misogyny, Sir Poo, and vanish hence; seek the fraternity of likeminded micreants, hide your face – or attendant ‘avatar,’ as the case may be – and bury it in the sands of infamy. (My personal recommendation would be either the barren plains of the DCist or the ragged politicizing of CityDesk.)

    Sputum & condolences,

    (Men of Letters)

  • Great effort! Let us know if you find any veg which will grow in the shade!

  • Shade vegetables? Well, there’s always coffee… PoP could become the Juan Valdez of Petworth.

  • Marlboro Pl….um, I think if you heard him say it out loud, especially with the self-effacing “ill be here all week,” you’d find poo’s comment more of a cheesey cheap shot, directed not so much at Ms. Greenthumb, but rather an opportunistic joke that had no malice or real purpose other than to be a little corny (or was it cheesey? hmmm, corn and cheese…..droooooool).

    lighten up francis.

  • haha, is it bad if I enjoyed both poo poo’s and Marlboro’s comments πŸ™‚

  • No vegetable will grow in full shade. The following crops will produce with three to six hours of sun per day.

    1. Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, cress, and radicchio
    2. Broccoli
    3. Cauliflower
    4. Peas
    5. Beets
    6. Brussels Sprouts
    7. Radishes
    8. Swiss Chard
    9. Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale
    10. Beans

    From In the Garden Online

  • hehehe… i liked marlboro’s comments way better than my lame joke!

  • First, I mention again the helpful blog & listserv DC Urban Gardners for those of you into such hobbies. They’ll often be able to help you with almost any question (like the cockroaches one).

    Second, though the same Urban Gardners might cringe to hear me say this, gardening isn’t always a strict science with soil ph levels and 6.5 hours of sun, etc. I made a garden in my former backyard on 11th St, right next to the Bohemian Caverns parking lot (and spent the first month sifting cig butts and baby shoes out of the dirt). The garden snob at the store on 14th refused to sell me top soil because I had “too much clay to ever grow anything in it.” I planted anyway and spent all summer eating fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, and tons of herbs, and enjoyed flowers galore. The tomatoes were in sun all day, laying against a hot metal shed, and didn’t fry up. In other words, you never know what’ll work until you just plant it, water it, and see what happens.

  • I lived in Petworth last summer… had a great garden, unfortunately, it was a bit akin to opening up the free food buffet. No, no the people… the RATS. they would take one bite out of every tomato & cucumber, and then leave it!

    to add insult to injury, the soil in dc is abysmal. all my peppers and tomatoes got fungus.

    you’re better off planting in pots

  • All I see are balls! waaah i’m so funny! not! therefore i’m funny!


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