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Top 10 Rules for Growing a Kitchen Garden

By: Marie Hofer

Growing fruits and vegetables isn't rocket science, but it does involve science. Here are easy tips to help ensure your success in growing food in the garden.

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Find the Sun

Most vegetables want six hours of direct sun a day — and more if they can get it. Exceptions include lettuce and radishes, which can get by with less.

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Start Small

If you're beginning your first garden, help yourself avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed with weeding and general maintenance. You can grow a surprising amount of food in a bed just 10-foot square.

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Photo: Julie Forney

Build Up Your Soil

The foundation of a healthy, productive garden is a rich, well-draining, crumbly soil that has good tilth. Liberally add organic matter such as finished compost, bagged humus and straw.

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Photo: Image courtesy of W. Altee Burpee & Co.

Time Your Crops

Soil temperatures matter as much as air temperature when you're planting. Even peas, which are spring crops that are resistant to light frost once they're growing, won't germinate when the soil is below 39 degrees.

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