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Vegetable site tips

The site of a vegetable garden will greatly determine its success. The amount of sunshine a garden plot gets throughout the day, the soil type and other factors play a role in a garden's productivity.

Fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes, squash and peppers, require a full day of sunlight. Root vegetables, like carrots and beets, can get by with a half a day of sun; and leafy vegetables, like lettuce, tolerate the most shade.vegetable garden

To determine the amount of sun available for growing a vegetable garden, stake the edges of shadows once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. This will reveal the areas that receive full sun for six hours or longer.

Also consider the soil content of a garden site. If the soil is shallow or very heavy, root systems may not develop very well. Avoid planting near tree roots because vegetables can't compete with the root systems of established trees and shrubs. Make sure that the soil drains well. Standing water after storms will stunt the growth of vegetables, and storm runoff may need to be diverted from the garden.

While good air movement around a garden is important, avoid planting a garden in windy areas where wind can dry out or break plants. Planting a garden near a windbreak, fence or shrubs can protect vegetable gardens. Choose a spot close to a water supply for convenience. Plant a vegetable garden where it can be visited frequently to monitor plant pests.

Many people plant vegetables among flowers and other plants, rather than in an area devoted exclusively to vegetables, because vegetable plants can also be attractive.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

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Updated Friday, February 28, 2014