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Backyard Bounty: Tips for Creating a Thriving Veggie Garden in Your Own Backyard

March 24, 2023

Mountaineer News

Farm Life Fridays

Are you an Upshur County resident looking to start a vegetable garden? You're in luck – the best time to plant a vegetable garden in West Virginia is right around the corner! Best of all, you don't need a rural address to have a green thumb and a backyard full of delicious veggies!

With the arrival of spring, West Virginia's climate is perfect for growing a variety of vegetables. As the days get longer and the temperatures begin to warm up, it's the ideal time to start preparing your plot for the upcoming growing season.

Here are some of the best vegetables to plant in our area:

Tomatoes: One of the most popular vegetables to grow in West Virginia, tomatoes thrive in the warm summer months. They require full sun and regular watering, but the payoff is worth it – there's nothing quite like the taste of a homegrown tomato.

Beans: Beans are a versatile and easy-to-grow vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. They prefer warm soil and full sun, but can also tolerate some shade. They're also great for companion planting, as they can help improve the soil and deter pests.

Peppers: Whether you prefer sweet or spicy, peppers are a great addition to any garden. They require full sun and well-drained soil, but can also be grown in containers if you don't have a lot of space.

Squash: Squash is a fast-growing vegetable that thrives in warm weather. They require full sun and regular watering but are relatively low-maintenance otherwise. Plus, they're great for roasting, grilling, or using in soups and stews.

Lettuce: If you're looking for a cool-weather crop, lettuce is a great choice. It can be grown early in the season and prefers partial shade to full sun. Plus, it's easy to grow and comes in a variety of colors and textures.

So when is the best time to plant your West Virginia vegetable garden?

Generally, you'll want to wait until after the last frost date, which is typically around mid-April. However, you can start some crops, such as lettuce and peas, earlier in the season.

If you haven't started thinking about gardening and preparing your plot for the upcoming growing season, don't worry - there's still time to get everything ready. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Clear the Plot: Before you can start planting, you need to clear the plot of any weeds, debris, or old plants that may be left over from the previous season. This will help ensure that your plants have the best chance of thriving.

Test the Soil: Testing your soil is a critical step in ensuring that your plants will have the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. You can either purchase a soil testing kit from your local gardening center or have your soil tested professionally.

Amend the Soil: Once you've tested your soil, you may find that it's lacking in certain nutrients. To fix this, you'll need to amend the soil by adding organic matter, such as compost, manure, or leaf mold. This will help improve the soil structure and fertility.

Choose Your Plants: Now it's time to choose which plants you want to grow. Consider the climate and growing conditions in your area, as well as your personal preferences and any dietary restrictions you may have. Don't forget to think about the amount of space you have available and how much sunlight your plot receives.

Plant and Maintain: Finally, it's time to plant your chosen crops and maintain them throughout the growing season. Make sure to follow the instructions on the seed packets or plant labels, and water and fertilize regularly. Don't forget to keep an eye out for pests and diseases and take action as needed.

Creating a thriving and delicious vegetable garden in your own backyard is easier than you might think! By following the tips outlined above and choosing some of the vegetables mentioned, you can have a bountiful harvest in no time.

With the perfect climate and growing conditions we enjoy here in West Virginia, there's no reason not to start your own vegetable garden this season. Happy planting!

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