A good location for your garden is essential for success. A poor site can produce low yields, or can make it difficult to grow in at all. Choose a location with deep, medium-textured, well-drained, nearly level soil. Steep inclines tend to erode, however a slight incline is desirable to prevent cooler weather from forming frost on your tender garden plants. Remember Great Gardens require 6+ hours of sunlight per day. A shaded garden will produce less, and grow at a slower rate or not at all. Keep in mind that trees and large shrubs can shade your garden, and steal important nutrients from your tender garden plants. A location near the house makes it easier to check on, or harvest your tender garden plants, and water is readily available.
When it comes down to what to put in your garden, it is mostly personal preference. Decide what you and your family like the best, and would eat or put up. If you cook with tomatoes and enjoy them raw in a salad, you might want to have more tomato plants than something you may only eat occasionally. Plan ahead, once you have a plan, a list, and possibly a little sketch you are ready to come to Needham’s and buy your tender garden plants.
The recommended planting dates for each different vegetable vary. There are variations to the heat or cold tolerance of each vegetable. Plant within the recommended planting interval for each vegetable to ensure that your tender garden plants will have the maximum chance of growing and maturing properly.
On average our last frost in Middle Tennessee is April 15th. This is not a set-in stone date. There is a chance of frost after this date, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on the long-term forecast. As always, use your best judgment and experience to time planting, or stop into Needham’s for some timing advice.