Welcome to Veggie Gardener!

Veggie Gardener is a website dedicated to all things concerning growing vegetables in a home garden. Everything from how to start seeds to harvesting tips, and everything in between.

TeeRiddleMy name is Tee Riddle and I am the creator of Veggie Gardener.

I live in Hampton, Virginia and have been growing vegetables for several years.

I began growing my own tomatoes when I was about 14 years old and have been expanding my vegetable garden ever since.

I now have a 1,600 sq ft vegetable garden and primarily grow tomatoes, okra, squash, potatoes, onion, cucumbers and many more vegetables and herbs. It isn’t a huge garden, but I try to make the most of it by using intensive and companion planting when possible.

I love trying new vegetables and my latest experiment was growing kohlrabi for the first time.

It was fantastic! I had a great time growing them and an even better time cooking them during a few meals.

Why have a website/blog about vegetable gardening?


It is my hope to share my gardening experiences with you and other vegetable gardeners, or someone that has an interest in starting a vegetable garden of their own.

Hopefully, you will find the information here useful for your vegetable gardening, and maybe pick up a tip or two here and there.

I also hope that you will share your tips and tricks with me as well. Feel free to leave your questions, tips, or suggestions in the comments section of any post on the site. There is always a good tip or method to learn out there.

If you have never grown a vegetable garden, there is no better time than now to start one. The current economic conditions have made growing your own vegetables a very cost-effective practice, so if you haven’t started yet I hope you decide to.

There’s nothing better than tending a garden, and then savoring the fruits of your labor come harvest!

Don’t forget to download my free e-book, 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables.

You can download it on the Subscribe page, where there is more detailed information about the e-book.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Just click one of the icons on the left to be directed to each site.

I would be honored to connect with you there, and look forward to chatting with you!

Thanks so much for visiting Veggie Gardener, and have a great day.

Happy Gardening!


  1. Hi, Tee!
    I belonged to your FB Veggie Gardener page last year, but, for security reasons, dumped all my specialty pages and “likes”.
    Now that another growing season is fast approaching, I’m back to see what information you have to offer this year. I’ve already found a great item about vertical gardening–somethi8ng I intend to try this year (got an old swing set frame which I’ll use to support pole beans and some crops in hanging baskets!).
    I look forward to visiting your site this year, especially now, while the ground is cold and covered with snow…just waiting for Spring, and the return of the green, growing things.

    • Tammy Roberson says:

      I will be planting 2- 12x5ft vegetable raised gardens this year for the first time. My Father built them for us and my 2-girls will be helping we just moved to zone 5. I was married this month and moved so we are all so happy but my ? is I need help with what to plant in these huge beds?? Like what would go together. My beds are on each side of another 3×5 flower raised bed. We love lots of veggies and some are vines so im not sure what to do?? We love strawberries and zucchini. I love to eat pumpkin blossums but im sure no room. We are a family of 4 so any suggestions would be great!!

  2. Oh–I’m especially interested in heirloom vegetables; hope you’ll have lots of info about them!

    • Interestingly I came across this term heirloom vegetables, seems it applies to all those veggies that younger folk do not eat , and the real originals before the doctored hybrids, whilst some of these are great I hate the irradiated veggies, as they look good in the shop, have all the good bugs killed off and the fruit does not ripen when harvested. I have not found swedes in south africa for example and have to go directly to the seed suppliers for the older type of english veggie seeds that we like, ie greanfeast garden peas not grown here in johannesburg, only in the cape. I found some and have been eating and freezing them for 6 weeks, what a joy to pick delicious sweet green peas grown in our small garden. Came here in 1969 and still learning John Burton

  3. Mr. Riddle, last summer I had a hard time growing cantelope in my garden. I only had 2 and the rest never grew to full size. My cucumbers grew very well, and my tomatoes, I had to give away I had so many only from 4 plants. I love cantelopes. I planted 8 plants 2 ft. apart in mulch soil and watered often esp. in very hot weather. Can you help me on this. I want to grow them this summer again. Any help you can give me would be greatlly appreciated. Thank you very much. I like your web site. It is very helpful. Cathy Bacon

    • Hi Cathy – thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit about your garden. I’m glad to hear that your tomatoes did really well last year. I hope you have the same good fortune this year as well.

      I hate to hear that you are having issues growing cantaloupe. I’m going to be writing on cantaloupe and other fruits soon.

      In the mean time can you tell me what type of cantaloupe you are growing, where you live, and how you are growing them (directly in the ground, raised bed, etc)? That info will help greatly with developing a plan on better cantaloupes! :)

      • Tee just found your site today. I live in Wenatchee Washington, between Seattle & Spokane in the Apple Valley & I love to garden. I have a very limited garden space and I am into organic gardening. I look forward to browsing your site more in the future, am out tilling up the yard and adding organic stuff to my garden today.

    • We grew up in Knox County, Indiana which is in the southwstern part of the state near Kentucky and adjacent to Illinois. Our sandy soil produced some of America’s finest cantaloupes and muskmelons. I now live in southwestern Ohio where the soil is clay and the rainfall is too much for good melons here. Southern Indiana farmers start seeds in individual peat pots in greenhouses during the March 15-March 20 period to be planted outside in the sandy soil once the ground temperature is 60 or above. (usually May 10th or so). The soil had greensand, fish meal, manure, and lots of compost added during the late April plowing/discing. Other than dusting for beetles and turning the vines three times during the season, we just hoped for regular rainfall, no hail, and picked by the truckload in mid to late July.
      I do suggest you add a lot of sand to your garden area where you intend to plant melons. You might even benefit from using black plastic for the first few weeks to warm the soil since cantaloupes flourish in hot weather as long as they have adequate (but not too much!!) moisture.
      Al Miller,
      West Chester Twp., Ohio

  4. Hi Tee. Have you got any experience growing okra? I live in Hawaii and ironically with all this warm weather and sunshine it’s hard to find veggies that will grow well here. Seems like we’re limited to green onions, eggplant, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and corn. Brassicas are out. The bugs never get knocked back by winter so they are rampant. Anyway I heard that okra likes hot weather so I planted some in nicely composted manured soil and here it is about 5 months later and the 3 plants that survived the bug attack are about 8″ tall! I did get one very small (3) crop of pods from them so far. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Phillip – You bet I have some experience at growing okra. That’s my favorite vegetable in my garden. Having trouble growing okra is usually unusual in a warm climate. I have a couple articles here that has information on growing okra.

      Tips for Growing Great Okra

      How to Grow Okra

      The slow and stunted growth could be contributed by many things – not warm enough temperature, too much water, root-knot nematodes, or the particular variety you are growing.

      I hope those articles help, and if you have any more questions, email me using the Contact page :)

  5. Hi Tee,
    We live in north Texas…20 years ago, we moved from New York State where everything grew without effort or extra watering. I use to plant 80 tomato plants and canned 100′s of qts of tomatoes, ketchup, sauce, etc. Here in Texas, I’m lucky if I can get an 8 qt basket full of really nice tomatoes. OK..we live on a “windy” hillside of solid rock so we are planting in raised beds or terraces. We have replaced the original soil with compost and it is really nice organic soil . We built a mini greenhouse over a 4 x 8 foot bin to protect the tomato from wind and cold (we planted 6 plants last wk of Feb & have a light in there for cold nights). My theory is to get my harvest by the end of June or first part of July..before the 100 degrees hit. I’ve gone with the determinate Roma (pear) variety this year. If the “greenhouse” gets too warm by April..I’m thinking of replacing the top with screening but leave the side solid to protect from the hot dry wind. By the way..we use the Gilmour flat soaker hose and we love it! Wish me luck on my texas tomatoes and feel free to advise.

    • Hi Linda – Thanks for sharing your garden!

      It can be tough moving from one area to another, and adjusting to the climate. It seems you moved from one extreme to another going from NY to Texas. They are completely different environments.

      I’m glad to hear that you have dealt with the differences and seem to have a pretty good handle on it.

      I see you are using compost and have really good soil. No matter where you live the soil is the most important thing for a successful, thriving garden.

      Please keep me posted on your garden, and if you ever have any questions feel free to contact me any time.

    • Hi I read the article on this webiste titled “10 Great Vegetable Gardening Books To Read During Winter”. I read a great gardening book called ” The Wise Old Gnome Speaks: How to Really, Really, Really Care About Your Garden”. It sells on amazon, and the author also has a page on facebook. I have two large veggie bins right now and they have been very successful. I really recommend this book.

  6. Hi Tee! Thanks be to God for one like you!

    Finally, I found one who has the same passion as I have! I visited your site and from there immediately learned a lot. You can be sure I’ll be a constant visitor to your site . With your indulgence, I shall be asking a lot of questions since I’ll just be starting my vegetable garden this March. With your guidance. I imagine success in this endeavor. My appreciation and wish you all the best!

  7. Hi Tee,
    It’s my first visit to your web site and I’m already impressed, leaving replies, and printing free advice. Your Texas tomato farmer might try what my cousin in New Mexico does for her tomatoes. the south and west sides of her garden are fortressed with stacked bales of hay–three bales high to block the hot, dry winds. Once June arrives she actually shades much of her garden with shade cloth which is available at garden supply catalogs or through nurseries. Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona have enough sun with UV ratings of 10+ that the shade cloth pretty much makes the sunshine normal.

    My question is for southwestern Ohio, zone 6. Broccoli and cabbage are great early crops here and we’re almost ready to plant them outsiede now. How do I keep the green worms (cabbage loopers) off the plants? Once the white butterflies arrive in mid April I’m out there spraying with BT but it only works partially. The beautiful 8-10″ broccoli heads are worthless once you’ve discovered a green worm in your dinner plate.

    Al Miller
    West Chester Township, Ohio

  8. Hello Tee
    I really like your garden website. The only questio’ns I have for you at the present is: Do you have a Youtube channel where all of your fans can watch your uploads. If you don’t are you planning one in the near future? Thanks and keep up the great work!!

    • Hi Charlie – thanks for stopping by and leaving a question. Currently, I don’t have but one video on Youtube. Whether I do any more is really up in the air. I may create a few more, but really don’t see me doing too many. Doing videos is very time consuming and I’ll admit I’m a bit camera shy :)

  9. Karen Bradshaw says:

    Putting in my first raised bed garden, am so excited. Used to live in your neck of the woods at Langley—the most wonderful 4 years. So beautiful there, just love Virginia. Will look forward to your tips and help as I set out on my maiden voyage gardening in raised beds. Glad I found you.We have some Riddles in our tree somewhere, I am originally from NC. I had an Uncle Casper Riddle in NC.

    • Hi Karen – we could be cousins ;) I’m glad to hear you are starting your first raised bed garden.

      Please let me know if you ever have any questions!

  10. Saw you site today for the first time. Gardening is my passion and this week I have the worst case of spring fever!!!. I’m originally from Brazil but all my garden experience came from living the last decade in Utah. I’m used to plant what grows here.But two of my favorite plants don’t grow here because of our short growing season, but I wanted to get a greenhouse this year to give it a try, as I miss those so much!!! But I have no clue how to get the starts for these plants or how to get a license to have someone legally send them to me. I tried different government places years ago when I went back to visit but nobody ever replied. The plants I am interested are “mandioca” ( tapioca) and “batata salsa or mandioquinha” ( also tapioca family ). I don’t want to grow commercially, just for myself. As far as I know they need 15 months of growiong season…Do you have any ideas on what I can do about that? Thanks a lot!!!

    • Hi Claudia – I’m not familiar with US Department of Agriculture laws on importing plants from other countries. The best advice I can give you is to contact your local USDA office and ask them about the plant imports laws. There are a bunch of restrictions on plants being brought into the country from other countries. There are also state laws that could pertain to your situation.

      I hope this helps and good luck!

  11. Hi Tee. Just came across your site while trying to research growing green beans. Hoping I can pick your brain. I’m trying to grow veggies in containers in NY on my patio for the first time. I get 6 hours of full sun. I started some zucchini, green bean and pea seeds indoors back in the middle of March. I’m starting to introduce them to the great outdoors and running across a few issues. My green beans are not getting very tall, but each new set of new leaves that appear are smaller an smaller and a very light green color. Some of them are even coming how half brown? Any ideas how to fix this?

    My zucchini seems to be doing well and starting to grow flower buds. Is there anything I can do to help promote the possibility of getting fruit?

    I’m very excited that a few plants seem to be doing well, but nervous I won’t get any actual veggies. I’d really appreciate any advice you can offer!

    • Hi Natalie – I’m glad you are starting to grow your own vegetables! As for the green beans it could be a couple things. One – Are you watering them too much perhaps? The second thing I would suggest is they may need more sunlight. Six hours isn’t bad, but at least eight hours would be better.

      Good to hear your zucchini is starting to flower. The biggest thing that will impact it setting fruit is pollination. You will need bees or other pollinating insects to initiate pollination. If you don’t have any around you may need to hand pollinate the flowers.

      I hope this helps and if you ever have any other questions please feel free to email me using the contact page. I’ll be glad to help in any way I can! :)

  12. hello! my daughter and i started a little garden. we made a 4′x8′x12″ raised bed. i was hoping you can help us choose what veggies can we plant for the summer with a simple layout. thank you so much!

    • Hello! Congrats on starting a garden! I know you will have a blast with it.

      It really comes down to what you like to eat the most. Decide on what you enjoy eating the most and go from there. A 4′ x 8′ bed means you have 32 sq ft to work with, so you could grow a couple tomato plants, a couple squash, an eggplant and a couple pepper plants. Add a vertical trellis on one end and you could grow a couple cucumber plants up it. You could also grow cucumbers up one side of the trellis and pole beans up the other side.

      If you like fresh herbs, you could inter plant the herbs between the tomato plants if you like. If you split the bed up into one foot squares you could grow up to 32 plants in that bed (squash and tomatoes may need 2 sq ft each as they get pretty big).

      I hope this helps and if you have any more questions let me know.

  13. Hey Tee,

    I came across your website when i was searching for info on preventing BER. Thanks! I found your site, read your Bio and found out that we are neighbors. My wife and live in NN. Due to time constraints, we currently limit our veggie garden to a 6 X 12 raised bed. We grow the the usual veggies, have a few fruit trees, black, blue and straw berry plants. We also have a small Koi pond that keeps us busy. Great site and thanks!

  14. HI Tee,

    I just came across your website today when I was trying to figure out why my house plants were slowly dying and some of my veggie plants arent looking to good. This is my first attempt at starting a potted veggie garden and turns out i too used miracle gro. Just found out that my hubby has been watering them everyday as well. I will stop with the mircle grow and cut down on the watering, hopefully they perk back up. I was really looking foward to starting my own garden.

  15. Hi!
    I’m struggling with knowing how much I can plant in a raised bed garden we are attempting to do for the first time with another family! Our bed size will be 8′ x 12′ – any suggestions on what/how much we shold plant? We are going to try to grow some things vertically – like beans – any other suggestions?

  16. Rita-Renee says:

    Hi Tee,

    We are a family of vegans, and the farmers markets are not close to our home. This week, I purchased a cherry patio tomato plant and a hybrid variety from Lowes in GA. After 4 days, I noticed the leaves are browning and wilting. Plus there are some light brown spots appearing on some of the fruit of the cherry tomato plant. There are about 20 or more healthy green looking fruit on the plant. All I can think of is blight. Eeeeh!!! Let me state this is my 2nd try at growing a tomato plant. The last time (several years ago) the birds beat me to the punch, and lapped up our delicious heirloom tomatoes. So after some hesitation, I’m at it again and now my pre-teen children are anxiously on board to help me become a better gardener.

    Now, my question is: Should I return the plants to the store and start from scratch, or should I use a fungal recipe and hope that it works? I think my error came with my selection of plants. After reading your site, I discovered that I probably didn’t do a thorough job of picking the healthiest plants.

    Thanks for any help and guidance you can provide! :)


    • Hi Rita-Renee – If it’s only been four days since you bought the plants I would return them and get new ones. If it is blight make sure to wash your hands really well after touching the affected plants. The fungal spores can be accidentally transfered to the healthy plants by your hands.

      Good luck and I hope your plants turn out to be OK :)

      • Rita-Renee says:

        Thank you, Tee!

        Off to the store I will go. Do you suggest that I create a brew of fungicide (baking soda, organic soap, veggie oil mix) or should I go on ahead and purchase one of the organic varieties?

        I’m growing blueberries (2 bushes), strawberries, and cucumbers on my deck along with the tomatoes. I want to make sure all the plants have a fighting chance.

        Thanks again for your insight and advice.

        My daughter just said, “Man, I didn’t know growing plants were such hard work!” Aaaah, no kidding…;)

        • Hi Rita-Renee – It depends on the type of fungus. An organic copper sulfate based fungicide works well for most kinds. I wouldn’t use a fungicide unless you see symptom, or have had them before. Since your previous tomatoes may have had a fungus, you should be OK to use it on other plants. Make sure to follow the instructions on the container, and do not go wild with spraying it on your plants. It’s better to start out with a little to avoid damaging any other plants :)

  17. Hi, garden newbie here…just found out that my cucumbers are “bush”. I planted them in early March. Today I moved them from my raised bed to a container. I’m gonna buy a tomato cage so they can creep up. Is this a bad idea? Should I moved them back to the raised bed? Have I killed them already?

    • Hi Gerrie – As long as you didn’t disturb the roots too badly, it should be OK. Keep it well watered the next couple days after transplanting it. If it hasn’t died within a week I’d say it’s ok :-) The tomato cage is good idea to let it crawl up a bit.

      Good luck! :)

  18. Hi Tee
    I have always had good luck growing green beans, now, everyday I am loosing three to
    four plants. They are drying up from the top and dying out, the roots are still intact,
    but plant is gone, what is happening to my garden?

    • Hi Helen – sorry to hear about your green bean troubles. Are your beans receiving enough water? That could be one cause for the drying up. You could also have a disease like rust. Check the leaves for little brown spots that look like rust.

      It could also be pests like bean beetles or Japanese beetles.

  19. Hi Tee,

    Great website!
    I am growing some wasabi roots in my garden and they’re finally starting to sprout. There aren’t many caterpillars etc around but I noticed that there are parts of the leaves that are being eaten.

    Do you know what might be eating the leaves and how can I keep the pests away naturally? Heard that it would take around 2 years before you’re able to harvest the roots so I want to make sure they grow nicely :)

    Thanks for your advice!

  20. My cucumber plants survived! We’ve picked 4 so far. One was gross, but the others were really yummy. I took your advice and kept them well watered but some of the leaves continue to be really “crunchy”. The plants are still producing though.
    Last night I found downy mildew on my crookneck squash (lots of white spots on the underside of the leaves). I cut off all the leaves and stems that were infected. Any other suggestions?
    On to the corn…how long before I see the beginnings of cobs? I’ve had the tops (the furry arm thingys) for about 3 weeks now.

    • Hi Gerrie – The first thing is make sure it is definitely downy mildew and not powdery mildew. Either way, you can use a copper based fungicide that helps control powdery and downy mildew. Check with your local garden center if they carry copper based fungicides, or check with your local cooperative extension office. They will know where to get it in your area, and may give you more detailed advice for your particular locality.

      As far as the corn, once the tassels on top of the ear begins to turn brown the corn should be ready to harvest. You can always pull the husk open a bit at the top to get a sneak peak of the ears to see how full the kernels are. It usually takes any where from 3 – 6 weeks for them to fully develop. How fast they develop will greatly depend on how much water they get, the temperatures, and available soil nutrients.

  21. john napoli says:

    Hi Tee,

    Your site is amazing and very useful for first time home farmers like my wife and I. We live in Macon, Georgia and grow all of our herbs and veggies in large pots. Everything is doing great and I have begun harvesting the first of our sweet banana peppers. I would like to save the seeds from our peppers. We have sweet banana peppers, chilis, and marconi’s. I am currently drying some out on paper towels. I guess my question is, is it worth germinating the seeds, or should I buy adolescent plants next spring? Thanks again for your very helpful site. -John

    • Hi John – If you are saving seeds you must first determine whether they are open pollinated (heirloom) varieties or not. If they are a hybrid variety then it does no good to save the seeds because they will not grow true to the parent plant. Some may not even germinate.

      I do think it is worth it to save your own seeds, especially if you are planning to grow food to sale.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Hi Tee,
    My radishes are now 1 to 2 inches tall. I planted them in MID APRIL! It’s June! What’s up with that? They popped right out of the ground about 10 days after I planted the seed, grew 1 to 2 inches, and stopped. Only 2 radishes out of 90 grew to an edible size.
    They are planted in a raised bed with Mel’s mix from the Square Foot Gardening Book. Spacing is 2 inches apart and I even thinned other areas to see if that would help. It didn’t. They’re pretty, but they’re just sitting there. Not even a bug. I never knew a plant could be stagnant. I’m befuddled and would appreciate any words of wisdom.
    Thanks Much,
    Atlanta, Georgia

    • Hi Jennifer – Sorry to hear about your stumped radishes. The only thing that comes to mind is possibly a lack of potassium in the soil. Potassium helps develop strong roots and since radishes are a root crop, they benefit from good levels of potassium.

      You could give them a good drink of diluted fish emulsion or liquid kelp to see if that helps perk them up.

  23. Tee, I never did thank you for your advice and GREAT website- loads of useful info. BTW, when I planted my corn I did not thin them. So they are practically growing on top of each other. They’re not so vertical anymore, kinda leaning. I’m hoping that they will make it to harvest time. I am learning that I am NOT a patient garderner. Today I spotted more melon…they’re growing soooooooo slowly. :)

    • Thank you, Gerrie! I’m glad the site has been useful. The corn should be OK as long as you don’t get any high winds that could knock them over. You may need to put in some stakes and then tie the plants to the stakes to help support them until harvest, if you feel you might need it. Corn can topple fast because it gets top heavy and have shallow roots.

      Patience is a tough one, huh? I feel that way while waiting on my tomatoes. :)

  24. Hi tee….Great information….Hey, I’m new to gardening (well not really, but everything I’ve ever tried to grow, I’ve killed…LOL) and I live in the high desert of New Mexico. I’m putting in new raised bed gardens and I’m using garden soil mixed with equal parts mushroom and garden compost. Any good advice for gardening in my area or things I should be concerned about would be appreciated. I really don’t want to lose the plants I spent so much money on! I’m planting tomatoes, parsley, basil, rosemary, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, hot banana peppers, big jim peppers, onions, and artichokes…thanks!

  25. I have gardened most of my 70 years, enjoying every year. Perhaps you may be able to tell me why after removing the wind protection from tomato plants they stop setting fruit? Last year was the same, before that no trouble.

    • Hi Rod – Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. The only thing that comes to mind is temperature. Once the temperature gets above 88-90 degrees the plants will stop fruiting and the blossoms will die off. Maybe removing the wind protection caused that area to be a bit warmer?

  26. Hi Tee! Nice web site. My sister lives in Hampton and I’m in Raleigh NC. We grew up on a farm but haven’t grown much besides flowers, tomatoes and herbs for years. I’m planning a veg garden for spring of next year. I’ll be checking out your tips as I plan. Thanks!

    • Hi Paula – Good to see a former Hamptonian!

      I hope you find the site useful and if you ever have any questions please get in touch with me.

  27. cathy mc curdy says:

    thanks for info on kholrabi,1st time growing it.

  28. Hey Tee, This realization has come to light.
    I have a drip system and my veggies are doing GREAT. The soil is well draining and always slightly moist. However, when it rains, the garden goes into a REMARKABLE overnight growth mode!!! I mean to say, ie, tomatoes and squash plants just explode. It must have to be that the leaves are getting wet even though everyone advises not to do so. Are there any studies that you know of that discusses CONTROLLED plant soaking?

    • Hi TJ – Plants do uptake water through the foliage, but it’s very little compared to the roots.

      What you are most likely seeing with the abundant greening after a storm is generally because of the static electricity caused by thunderstorms. Lightning has been proven to increase the amount of nitrogen available in the air. This sudden increase in nitrogen tends to help plants.

      Ever noticed that everything looks greener, brighter, and more lush after a thunderstorm? It’s most likely due to lightning. I’ve even heard some gardener run copper wire around their raised beds to attract more of the static electricity around the plants. I’ve never tried it personally.

      I still think it’s better to water your vegetables using drip irrigation or soaker hoses for the most part. If plant leaves stay too moist it can promote certain diseases and fungus.

  29. Hi!

    I started looking over this site and thought I’d join in so I can see what others are doing.

    I’m a new gardener! I have yet to eat one single vegetable that I grew from seed in my garden. I planted late! My plants are growing now and I’m excited about it. They’re pretty! And, I’ve even joined http://www.urbanfarmonline.com to post my progress and pictures under Quinn’s Burb Farm. However, I do not have a clue what I’m doing, just growing them in extremely hot temperatures here in the DFW area. I water every day, not sure if I’m supposed to do that either. It’s like 101 – 107 every day here. I don’t know if you can see my blog or not I posted here – - let me know! I’m growing bunches of stuff after pulling all my first puny attempts!

    How the heck long does it take to get vegetables to produce? For real! My family is laughing at me about this so far! Thanks!

  30. Diane Brunkow says:

    Hi, I love your website! I moved from Montana to Oregon about 10 years ago, and I love gardening in Oregon! Each spring I find myself tearing up yet another little patch of lawn to add more garden space. I have 2 questions. The first is about growing radishes. I planted them twice this year, and both times they bolted and flowered and didn’t produce. The second is about mulching. What to use, where to mulch, and when?

    • Hi Diane – Thanks for the kind words! The biggest thing that typically causes bolting is fluctuations in temperatures. This is common in spring or fall when it’s cool at night then very warm during the day, then cool again at night, etc. The best way to avoid this is to either plant them a bit later when temperatures are more consistent, or plant them in containers that can be brought in at night.

      For mulch the best things to use are organic materials like straw, bark, grass clippings, or leaves. You want to mulch around your plants as much as possible and also any walkways or paths that you want to suppress weeds. You can mulch at any time and I usually leave mulch in my garden year round. The materials decompose adding organic matter to the soil and help suppress early spring weeds.

  31. I built a potato tower this year and had fair results. my main problem was something was eatting holes in the leaves of the plants. I looked and couldnt see any bugs. what could have been eatting them? and what do I do to prevent it? Great web site, It has been a life saver. Bob

  32. Steve Reyes says:

    Hello Tee,

    Thanks for the great site. I am very new to gardening and have chosen to do it with containers. I have grown some egg plant, brussel sprouts, blue berries, black berries, tomatoes, herbs of various types and some flowering plants. I also tied some pumpkins (only had 3 small ones from 3 plants using vertical growing using tomato cages). I currently have water melons growing vertically on a small “wind mill.” they seem to be doing well.
    Just wanted to say thanks for the web site. Has a lot of good helpful information. I like the PDF function on your printer page. It makes it easier to save an article for quick reference later. I am looking forward to more informative articles.


  33. YVONNE RIVERA says:


  34. Hi! I just found your blog today and have already read a ton of articles! I love it!

    I’ve tried square foot gardening the last couple of years without much luck. The biggest problems I seem to have are not getting enough sun, or finding an area that the sprinklers don’t hit. Any suggestions for gardening in a yard that gets a lot of sprinkler action? I live in Utah so the hot summers mean we water the yard 3x a week for three 15 minute increments.



    • Hi Stacy!

      I am glad you have found the articles helpful!

      Sounds like you have some challenging issues to tackle. Getting enough sun is a big problem, because most vegetables need at least 6-8 hours of full sun in order to be productive. Any less than that and your plants will not thrive as they should. You really need to find an area in your yard that receives that kind of full sun.

      Sprinklers can be a problem while the plants are just seedlings because the force of the water hitting them can damage and break them. Once the plants begin reaching maturity it might not be as big an issue. The best advice I can give is to create some kind of barricade to shield the young plants from the sprinklers. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe even just an old sheet hung up or something. Anything that would reduce the force of the water hitting the plants.

      I hope this helps and good luck with your garden!

      • Thanks…the sheet is a great idea! I think this year I’ll just use one garden box in the old space and try that, and then I’m going to try container gardening on the patio (the only place that truly gets full sun all day). Hopefully I’ll have better luck this year!


  35. Hello Tee. I am a novice gardener. I have had success with tomatoes, beans, zuccini, radishes. I must mention that I live in WI where the growing season is pretty short. My question is how to maximize my space and season. I have a space of about 10′ by 5′ . I plan to can tomatoes and freeze beans. I have tried brocolli and they were overtaken by some sort of grub. yuck! where and when do I start?

    • Hi Tami! Thanks for stopping by.

      Learning to maximize your particular space takes a bit of time and some trial and error in order to get in down just right. I would start by using companion planting as much as possible. That is, plant vegetables together that grow well together. For instance, try planting a few carrots, or basil, between your tomato plants. You could plant a couple onions between your zucchini plants. For a full list of vegetables and herbs that are companions, please check out this extensive list – http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html

      A tool I love to use that really helps you get the most out of your garden is called GrowVeg. It’s an easy to use online garden planner and can be super helpful for laying out your garden before it even gets close to spring. It sets the proper spacing for each plant in your garden so you can play around with the arrangement until you have it to your liking. It does have a small cost, but you can use it for free for 30 days. I’d recommend using the free trial for setting out your garden and see what you can do. Here’s the free trial offer – http://www.veggiegardener.com/go/growveg-freetrial/

      If you have any other specific questions feel free to contact me!

  36. Hi Tee,
    I have just been to the veggie site and I am very impressed about growing tomatoes. I am from Kenya, East Africa. I would like to know how I can grow tomatoes and other vegetables> This is the best site I have ever visited.


  37. I would like to start a gardening project for my community, I have no gardening skills but I have a passion and a dream to help my community. People are starving out there. I believe this project of starting a garden in my community and in each school it can assist them in so many ways.

    I know this may look big and impossible to do but this my dream and I believe and know that it can be done. It breaks my heart to see people starving where as God gave us hands and this hands needs to utilised.

    Where I come from people spend so much of money only planting meilie meal on a big chunk of land and then after that they dont know what to do with them once winter comes. I believe that there is so much that we can plant beside meilie meal.

    I need your guidance in making this project a reality and a success.

  38. I have wanted a veggie garden for years but thought that I just didn’t have the time with a full-time job, a husband, and two young kids but this year I am determined to get at least one 4′ x 8′ raised bed off of the ground! Unfortunately my garden spot is on a hill that I am trying to terrace which is no fun with GA red clay. I hope that I can get at least one bed started… I will have room for four 4′ x 8′ beds. While doing some online research I kept ending up on your site and I enjoy reading your posts. I’m planning on doing companion planting and planting my plants in the sqare-foot method. Is it okay to put more than one plant in a square foot? Like dill and cucumbers for example? And know anyone in the Atlanta area that has a back hoe that I can “borrow”?? LOL! The only local place wants $500 for 12 hours. Yikes!

  39. Hi Tee,

    I have visited this website while trying to research tomatoes and it was wonderful. I was particularly interested in the variety of cherry tomatoes and would like to try them since I have failures in my local breed here. However since I live in Asia I don’t think ill be able to obtain them without using web purchasing.

    My question now is that:

    1.) Are the seeds worth purchasing (Black pearl, sun gold, Italian ice)
    with shipping and handling aside, or should i stick with on the local breed first (Since I am an amateur gardener)

    2.) In an Unrelated note, my peppers are growing more leaves than any signs of fruit on it, am i doing something wrong? (I am using organic fertilizer)

    thanks and more power to your website

  40. Tola Atanda says:

    Hi tee,
    Am a Nigerian. I will like to make enquiry about Hybrid tomato seeds i can grow here in Nigeria under a temperature of between 25-32 degrees pls i need your assistance

  41. Hi Tee
    I like to know if a square Foot Garden can be put on legs 30 to 33in tall with
    12in sides. I know the plants will take a beaten from weather more. if
    it can be done what would you use for a bottom. Reason I like to know is I can’t bent over or get down on my legs anymore.

  42. stephanie says:

    Hi Tee,
    I just wanted to say that I found your article on Tomato planting very helpful. I look forward to reading more if I have questions which being as it is only my 2nd yr attempting a garden I am sure there will be plenty more to come. If you are looking into more heirloom varieties, have you tried Baker Creek Seeds of Victory Seeds? Thanks again. -Stephanie

  43. Hi! Just found your site and I am so thankful! I’ve always gardened, but only how I was shown (I grew up on an acre land and half was garden). Granted we only grew what would suffice us through the winter/spring time. But I recently started in my own yard, this will be my 3rd year and I went to raised beds as my soil was too hard/clayey type. Can’t wait to see how the raised beds work out! I plan to can most of my veggies and am super excited to follow through on some of your thoughts. I really want to learn more about companion planting. Hoping to get my guys going in the next 2 weeks. It’s still a little chilly here in IL. I’ve been posting my progress on my blog above, it’s just my way of helping my family eat healthy and save money where i can! Thanks again for so much info!

  44. Hi,
    Just found your site! Thanks for sharin so much info wiht those of us who can only seem to grow weeds.
    I need a little guidance!
    Can you tell me by looking at this soil analysis why I cant seem to get anything to grow well. Last yea rall my plants were very pale to yellow and really did not produce much of anything.

    Date Time
    General Parameters
    Analyses Result Units RL Qual. Method Analysis Date/Time Analyst
    pH 7.59 s.u. 1 WREP-125: S-1.10 5/8/2012 10:25 LG

    Major Ions
    Calcium 21000 mg/kg 200 EPA 200.7 5/14/2012 11:56 EJ
    Magnesium 7500 mg/kg 20 EPA 200.7 5/14/2012 12:01 EJ
    Nitrate as N 52 mg/kg 0.22 EPA 300.0 5/9/2012 11:21 MW
    Phosphorous 741 mg/L 50 EPA 200.7 5/14/2012 12:55 EJ
    Potassium 2400 mg/kg 60 EPA 200.7 5/14/2012 12:01 EJ
    Sodium 500 mg/L 3 EPA 200.7 5/14/2012 12:55 EJ

  45. Danna Bowden says:

    I am a first-timer with growing veggies in the grown. I am doing well but I need to ask a question. My sister gave me a tomato plant growing in a pot. It has produced fruit but few have turned red, I think it needs to be in the grown. Is it too late to plant it especially with small green tomatoe on it?

  46. Donna Mollaun says:

    No bees seen last year. No bell peppers either. The pepper plants bloomed, but didn’t produce peppers. That is a first for me.

    However, the tomato plants, Zuchini and Hot Peppers peppers produced last year, which says that bees were there — or does it?

    We had a mild winter in SW Ohio. By March 2012, bees were everywhere. By the end of May 2012, the bees were gone.

    I’m trying to attract the bees with flowering plants near the veggie garden. I have tons of roses nearby, some white flowers and my yard backs into a wooded area with a lot of honeysuckle.

    I live in a neighborhood where lawn maintenance is important. Too many herbicides?

  47. carol gibson says:

    I’ve got sugar snap peas growing and pumkins :)

  48. Aireen M.D. says:

    Good day! Can I grow vegetables in large pots instead of transplanting them in gardens? Right now I have bell peppers, tomatoes and eggplants in small pots and I wonder if I can just grow them in pots. If yes, how large a pot should they be? Thanks!

  49. Hi Tee, what a cool name you have, I just found this site and am enjoying it. We moved from Long Island NY to central NC (four years ago this Aug.) this is my 3rd year gardening here. First year we got very little yield, last year was fantastic! Crossing my fingers this year, although I have picked at least 6 peppers so far( 4 bananas and 2 bells),beans ,tomatoes, okra, all coming along fine, sugar snaps just died a few days ago due to the heat. I also plant basil which I let go to flower bees love it! I put cosmos near the pole beans last year and had no trouble with bean beetles eating the leaves and stunting yield. What I was amazed to find is marigolds self sow here, it was funny to find marigolds ALL over the place because I left a quite large pile of deadheaded flowers and we had some severe wind that must’ve blown them around, my lawn had so many marigolds which I dug up therefore my lawn had so many little holes in it! I never have to purchase them again…..The biggest challenge here is the clay soil or should I say concrete soil , I never had such problems digging holes it’s a back breaking nightmare and stunts growth if not amended or hole is not really large, when I have to dig the air is filled with some foul language., the results are worth it. I love the longer growing season here, its just a beautiful place, and no watering EVERYDAY like I had to on Long Island with that sandy soil. I am putting this site in my favorites and will use it alot , Thank You.

  50. Hi Tee, Somewhere in the last few months I saw and idea online of creating a tomato trellis using wooden stakes and slinky toys. Seems to be working great so far. New to this forum…where do you post pictures??

  51. Hi Tee! Love the site. I did find some very useful information. But I still have a few questions. I live in Portland Metro area (oregon) and have planted my very first patio garden. I mainly have tomatoes ranging from the big beefy heirlooms to grape tomatoes. I have 3-4 per container. They have great vigorus growth, and have tons of flowers. They are kinda squished due to all the green folige. Just wondering if I should prune some branches out? And when do I need to stop watering. Some of the plants are just new developing fruit. Thanks!

  52. Kenneth Thompson says:

    I have justplanted Detriot dark red beets ,it is August 5 an temps. run 88 to 95 degrees i am in Georgia zone 8 iam told by a garden it was to early that the temp. will cause my beets to taste woody if so is there any solution to this problem?help Thank you KennyT.

  53. I live in GA and seem to have problems with squash bugs when I try to grow winter squashes.. Is there a special time I should plant? I am new to this site and I love it already . Thanks for being here.

  54. Brendammmmmm says:

    Hi there T etal!!! First time veggie gardener here and I was looking up Zucchini picking…our plants are so large…after reading this…I’m on the hunt for caveman clubs!!!! great site T and thanks so much…p.s…lessons learned this year…do not plant beets/radishes close together…we got mini-beets and mini radishes :P

  55. Hey there, I am on my 3rd year veggie gardening in Southern California.
    Some of my Veggies, mainly peppers and herbs, are getting hay colored leaves, I’m thinking I over watered them, but my husband thinks I underwatered them, how do I know which it is? It is currently very hot here, with temperatures of 95 degrees daily with a few times a week reaching 100 degrees. I am stumped. My bell peppers, zucchini, tomatos, and jalapenos are fine, but my habaneros, cherry peppers, basil, and cilantro are the ones changing. Thanks! And I have read a lot of your articles!

  56. Hi Tee

    Your adventures sound amazing , i look forward to reading your future blogs , I have just started a small veggie patch in the backyard of the concrete jungle called suburbia.

    I envy you and your space and look forward to chatting again.


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