Growing Vegetables

General Tips on Vegetable Growing

Seed Germination

Many gardeners germinate larger seeds (e.g., squash, pumpkin) in damp newspaper. A few sheets of newspaper are soaked in water for a minute and then hung over a support for about 15 minutes or until the water stops dripping. The seeds are then lined up in a row on the newspaper, wrapped, and the damp mass is placed in a plastic bag. The bag is tied off or sealed and placed in a warm (not hot!), shaded location (the floor beneath a running refrigerator is an example). Depending on the species, germination should occur within 2 to several days.

Tiny seeds (e.g., carrots, lettuce) may be mixed with clean sand before sowing to bring about a more even distribution of the seed in the rows.


Roots should be disturbed as little as possible when seedlings or larger plants are transplanted. Even a few seconds' exposure to air will kill root hairs and smaller roots. They should be shaded (e.g., with newspaper) from the sun and transplanted late in the day or on a cool, cloudy day if at all possible. To minimize the effects of transplanting, immediately water the seedlings or plants in their new location with a dilute solution of vitamin B/hormone preparation (e.g., Superthrive).

Bulb or Other Plants with Food-Storage Organs

All plants with food-storage organs (e.g., beets, carrots, onions) develop much better in soil that is free of lumps and rocks. If possible, the areas where these plants are to be grown should be dug to a minimum depth of 30 centimeters (12

House Plants and Home Gardening

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