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Tips for a Vegetable Gardening At Home Get Ready Now

Updated on August 24, 2017

Spring Gardening Tips-Ready for vegetable gardening

Tips for a Vegetable Gardening A Vegetable garden in the deep south is a bit different in my region but vegetable gardening is the same.. Where I live we have 2, yes 2 planting seasons. We plant spring gardens with all those wonderful veggies we all love. Then in the fall we have the opportunity once again to plant another crop a real bonus.

Many people freeze or can their vegetable gardening crops to eat during the winter. I have friend who has a special shed her husband built her to store these precious veggies. You can see this in the picture above. It is truly amazing to see what Mother Nature will give you if you just give her a chance. A few seed a little time and you can avoid the grocery shopping details a good part of the winter months.

In the photo above you are seeing the shed that my friends husband built for her canned veggies. She has veggies for the entire winter. Look at how beautifully made this shed is, since it rarely get below the 60 degree mark here, it makes it possible to store these canned good outside. She has been growing tomatoes since early March and will replant again in June.

What to Plant

Broccoli sprinkled down with salt and ready for pickling.

Each year people try to decide what to plant in their vegetable garden. Before you decide it's important to decide what types of vegetables grow well in your part of the country. The second consideration is to determine what you need, what your family likes and how you are going to store your crop after it ripens.

Seedling

Starting your plants from seed can be less expensive as well as give you a greater variety of choices. Most nursery carry popular plants for your area and it may be difficult to find certain varieties. I have discovered that e-bay has many seller that specialize in seed from some very hard to get plants.

If you are going to start you plants indoors it doesn't have to be a fancy process. If you happened to read one of my other lenses you probably saw my seedlings started in yogurt containers. I also start some in Styrofoam cup which can be recycled to take up space in your large planters. If you live in a cooler climate they can also be recycled using them to cover small plants during freeze warning that happen after planting is done.

Green Beans & Greens Ready for the Pickin"

Green Beans  & Greens Ready for the Pickin"
Green Beans & Greens Ready for the Pickin"

Can Your Crops

Stocking Up for the Winter

Stocking Up for the Winter
Stocking Up for the Winter

Homemade Salsa

Check out you old recipe books and find a good salsa. Salsa can be canned just make sure to follow the directions carefully when preparing it. My mother once misread her recipe and we were forced to eat salsa that had a cup of cinnamon instead just a teaspoon. Not a good year for us kids, we used to put big portions on our plate so we could have the one that was made properly.

As a vegetarian I eat salsa every chance I get. I love it on nacho chips, burritos, and it serves a good condiment on many different foods. Sometimes I add a little to chili or soup for that extra little burst of flavor. My husband also says, " it makes his mouth happy!"

Salsa is an excellent way to use all the hot pepper, onions, tomatoes and fruits and vegetable you don't need to can. I know that sometimes when you get a bumper crop of tomatoes, it is difficult to give them away. So don't let them go to waste make salsa.

Fresh Hot Pepper

Fresh Hot Pepper
Fresh Hot Pepper

Canned Hot Pepper Jelly Great on Cream Cheese as Dip

Canned  Hot Pepper Jelly Great on Cream Cheese as Dip
Canned Hot Pepper Jelly Great on Cream Cheese as Dip

Cook It Up and Eat It Fresh

Cookin' with Greens

Starting a vegetable garden

In the south anything green is fair game to be cooked and eaten. Greens are no different, the two main types of greens usually chosen are Collard Greens and Turnip Greens. These are fairly easy to cook, but you need to know a few of the "tricks".

To make true southern style greens you will need the following:

a few ham hocks

a few rashers of bacon

lots of greens

black pepper

Since cooking greens has been passed down through the generation there usually isn't a recipe written down on paper in most peoples homes. It is done by just knowing what you are doing. So let me tell you the way we do it. First, get your green and wash them well and wash them again and again. There is nothing worse than biting down on a bit of dirt or grit. Second, don't spare the cholesterol or course unless your vegetarian like me. I'll tell you how to fix that problem in a while.

The COOKIN'

1. In a skillet cook the ham hocks and bacon until the bacon is crispy and crumble easily. Crumble the bacon and keep the grease. Put this aside.

2. For easy no fail cooking fill a large electric CROCK POT with water and the greens. Cook on low about 7 hours. Greens are tough and the slow cooking make them tender.

3. When the green are cooked through, drain any excess water and save it as it contains lot of vitamins and mineral it can be added to stock and many other foods.

4. Pour the drained greens into a bowl and mix in the ham hocks, crumbled bacon, and lot of black pepper.

Vegetarian Method

Instead of the ham hocks and bacon and grease, substitute crumble veggie bacon, veggie ham, and olive oil. Cook, drain your greens and mix just like the southern recipe.

Start a Garden

Lovin' Those Greens

Do you love cooked greens?

A Garden for My Elderly Neighbor

This is what his little garden looks like this year.

This is a little garden I plant and tend every year for my elderly neighbor. I put it on the side of my house between our two houses. This way he has the opportunity not only to pick the fresh vegetables I grow, but he can also enjoy watching and waiting for them to ripen. He gets a real kick out of it.

I usually put some zucchini, pepper, tomatoes, garlic, onion, dill, spearmint, and anything else I have extra. I know he has good fresh veggies all summer and it's worth it to see his smile when he makes his harvests. I sure hope someone does this for me when I get that old,

It's not a large garden and it doesn't require a lot of tending. If you have a neighbor like I do that can't plant a garden for themselves. Be a good neighbor and give him the gift of a garden.

UPDATE Here we are after 5 weeks of growth. We sure have a great climate.

UPDATE  Here we are after 5 weeks of growth.  We sure have a great climate.
UPDATE Here we are after 5 weeks of growth. We sure have a great climate.

Planting a Garden 9 Weeks Ago - Planting Tomatoes

Who would have thought that just 9 weeks ago this area of my garden was just an empty space. I have to warn you about planting tomatoes again you may end up with more than you planned. It's time to start harvesting today. I think that I will be bagging some of these up and taking them to the food pantry in town. Since Katrina there are many people here that ate still struggling with the effects of hunger and employment. The food shelter is always looking for donations, so once I pick my tomatoes, I will keep some, give some away, and take the rest to the pantry.

I also have quite a few green peppers and it looks like there will be a bumper crop of zucchini this year. This garden is pretty self-sufficient during the summer on the coast we are blessed with a nightly rain, making watering the vegetable garden unnecessary.

The squash, eggplant, pickles and other vegetable are still growing and will most likely be ready in a few more weeks. I always try to pick as many of the tomatoes as possible every time I harvest since it promotes more growth on the tomato plants.

"Taters"

Sometimes we get the men folk to clean the fresh potatoes to get them ready for canning or storing. The haze you see in the photo is the extreme humidity we experience during the summer. It's something you get use to after a few summers down in Mississippi.

Potatoes are a root vegetable, most of us use them in our daily cooking. Canned potatoes are a good choice for a quick mean, they are already cooked since they are canned. Another way to preserve potatoes is to wrap them with newspaper and store them in a cool dark place. Unfortunately, here on the coast we don't have the luxury of root cellars or basement. We have a flooding problem that prevents us from digging too far. Many of our home are on piling or stilts, far above the flood level.

No Room to Plant. Try Raised Garden Boxes

No Room to Plant. Try Raised Garden Boxes
No Room to Plant. Try Raised Garden Boxes

An Abundance ot Veggie can Be Grown in Raised Garden Boxes.

An Abundance ot Veggie can Be Grown in Raised Garden Boxes.
An Abundance ot Veggie can Be Grown in Raised Garden Boxes.

Here we go again! June 20, 2013 canning season

Here we go again!  June 20, 2013 canning season
Here we go again! June 20, 2013 canning season

This is my 55 gallon homemade rain barrel, the rain runs down the roof and into the barrel

This is my 55 gallon homemade rain barrel, the rain runs down the roof and into the barrel
This is my 55 gallon homemade rain barrel, the rain runs down the roof and into the barrel

Flowering Spring Shrubs

Spring Bougainvillea

Spring Bougainvillea
Spring Bougainvillea

Spring Orange Blossoms

Spring Orange Blossoms
Spring Orange Blossoms

Recycled fence turned into a garden sign

Recycled fence turned into a garden sign
Recycled fence turned into a garden sign

What will you be planting in your vegetable garden this spring?

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    • Jim Houston profile image

      Jim Houston 3 years ago from Wilmer, Alabama

      Kentucky Wonder Beans, 4 Varieties of tomatoes, Bell peppers, Yellow squash, Sweet banana peppers, Okra and Corn. Man I'm tired already.

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes and lettuce.

    • profile image

      Colin323 3 years ago

      We only get one crack at growing in Britain, and then that depends on a warmish summer (which doesn't always happen) so I'm getting the ground ready now to make the most of the year ahead. Runner beans, salad crops, garlic, and carrots are my priority this year

    • profile image

      ElaineK 4 years ago

      never thought of buying seeds from ebay. Love this lens and your rain barrel.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Not indoors, but hopefully in the future. Liked your southern garden cooking and growing tips.

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      great lens great information thanks for sharing these tips on gardening

    • GimperBee LM profile image

      GimperBee LM 4 years ago

      We do not have squirrels, but we do have possums. They absolutely love tender greens and ripe fruits! We cannot get rid of possums as they are protected. We plant pumpkins. On average the possums take about 5% of our pumpkins.

    • VineetBhandari profile image

      VineetBhandari 4 years ago

      wow, great lens with great tips. thank you for visiting my lenses & squidlike too

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 4 years ago

      We, too, have two seasons of planting. Heat and high humidity put a damper on raising typical veggie crops in the summer. I've embraced some of the more tropical vegetables such as malanga, name, and some of the more exotic types of spinach and now grow them during our hot Florida summers along with our staples of peppers and okra. This gives me a "third" season, which is normally our dormant time, to garden!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We have so many squirrels that I just don't bother with veggies. Just flowers.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We have so many squirrels that I just don't bother with veggies. Just flowers.

    • shana273 profile image

      shana273 4 years ago

      My backyard is "difficult" to put it nicely. I want to try the raised beds for planting.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 4 years ago from Northern California

      Very inspirationa. Finally got our garden in the past couple of weeks. Mostly tomatoes and lots of different herbs. I found a few heirloom plants at one of the local stores that we'll try this year.

    • profile image

      marsha32 4 years ago

      We have a little bit of a lot of things planted this year. We have "harvested" lettuce and spinach to far, as it grows back so quickly. A couple of the spinach plants have gone to seed.

      I won't bore you, but I do have a lens about this years garden. I'm going to head there now and add some more photos.

      I've been working in the garden today putting hay around.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Lovely to share your garden and that one for your neighbour. We have two planting seasons where I live in the ACT in Australia. Summer fruits were always bottled by me but now I don't do it as the kids have all left home. Winter crops include broccoli, silver beet, cabbage, snow peas, broad beans, cauliflower and brussel sprouts for the real enthusiast. These things are ready at the end of winter and into spring. Great lens and thanks for the info on where you live.

    • yarfodg profile image

      yarfodg 4 years ago

      Wonderful informative & valuable lens... I got some nice tips from you - Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      the-gadgeteer 4 years ago

      Great ideas. I wish I had more time and energy for some of this. We have a pretty small patch and expanded just a little bit this year. We found yam leaves to be really easy to grow. No plans for canning though.

    • LluviaDeArte profile image

      LluviaDeArte 4 years ago

      I think this is one of the most beautiful lens I have ever seen. It is rich in pictures, ideas and kindness. I was looking for good lots of seeds to plant here in my Yucatan Jungle home with my little five year old. Those deals you point out on ebay are the best- I found what I needed thanks to you! gracias looking forward to the bounty!

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 4 years ago

      I like your homemade rain barrel, it really is Eco-friendly approach for gardening

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens. I eat greens 3-4 times a week. The darker the better. Thanks!

    • Dabdab profile image

      Dabdab 4 years ago

      We've already got more rhubarb that we know what to do with - every year I make it into tons of jam that I can sell or give as presents.

    • profile image

      Faithlife 4 years ago

      I have some plants in--and even started some seeds. It is always so exciting ot seem them pop up out of the rich dark soil! Thank you for sharing! (Faith)

    • Ash2013 profile image

      Ash2013 4 years ago

      I'm thinking of a few herbs and salads in pots, no garden as such...

    • Ash2013 profile image

      Ash2013 4 years ago

      I'm thinking of a few herbs and salads in pots, no garden as such...

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      I have a vegetable garden, I grow tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, salads and a lot of fresh herbs.

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Very good tips! Thanks for sharing!

    • Fridayonmymind LM profile image

      Fridayonmymind LM 4 years ago

      Wow, the shed for the canned vegetables was mighty impressive as were the veggies of course.I live in a warm dry climate with very sandy soil so need to add lots of organic material to the soil to grow vegetables.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      Love your ideas here.

    • profile image

      angelatvs 4 years ago

      Cucumbers, Squash, Pumpkins, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Green Peppers, A variety of Hot Peppers, Green Onions, and Herbs

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      I always try and get tomatoes, strawberries, zuchini and beans on the go, it's nice to come home and pick dinner fresh from the garden.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I don't miss the heat from growing up in the south but I do miss the prime vegetable growing seasons. Wonderful article! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm wondering if that cinnamon salsa would have been better with some sugar added but I'm guessing that after your experience that you're not about to give it a try. Your neighbors husband created a beautiful storage space for all those canning jars. Congratulations on your purple star and Gardening Club feature!

    • profile image

      MaryMitchell 4 years ago

      Great ideas here - you are obviously a keen gardener. I only do things in a small way, but enjoy doing it (and eating the results!).

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      You have many great ideas here and some tasty images! Your garden is lovely! Thanks for sharing all of this great information.

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      You have many great ideas here and some tasty images! Your garden is lovely! Thanks for sharing all of this great information.

    • profile image

      poutine 4 years ago

      I will be planting yellow and green beans and a few tomato plants.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      I really like your idea for a modern rain barrel. That makes a lot of good sense.

    • Carol Houle profile image

      Carol Houle 4 years ago from Montreal

      Very nice lens. I usually plant tomatoes, broad beans and hot peppers.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Cucumbers - Great lens congrats on your purple star! Nice photos too.

    • profile image

      webscribbler 4 years ago

      Wrap the potatoes in newspaper? Does that keep them from sprouting?

      Also, what's your secret to growing so many beautiful red spuds?