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Gardens have been a way of life until recently. It is likely time to start planting your own.

Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Gen. 1:29

In deciding upon the site for the home vegetable garden you might want to do away with, once and for all, the old idea that the garden "patch" must be an ugly spot in the home surroundings. If properly planned, carefully planted and well cared for, it may be made a beautiful and harmonious feature of the general scheme, lending a touch of home comfort that no shrubs, borders, or beds can ever produce.


In the average moderate-sized lot there will not be much land to plant. This is when you simply do your very best with it. But you need to consider,

first: exposure to sun. Pick out the "earliest" spot you can find a plot sloping a little to the south or east, that seems to catch sunshine early and hold it late, and that seems to be out of the direct path of the chilling north winds.

second: convenience. Other things being equal, select a spot near at hand, easy of access. It may seem that a difference of only a few hundred yards will mean little, but if you are depending largely upon spare moments for working, convenient access will be of great importance. Not until you have had to make a dozen time-wasting trips for forgotten seeds or tools, or gotten your feet soaking wet by going out through the dew-drenched grass, will you realize fully what this may mean.

The chances are that you will not find a spot of ideal garden soil ready for use anywhere upon your place. But all except the very worst of soils can be brought up to a very high degree of productiveness especially such small areas as home vegetable gardens require. Large tracts of soil that are almost pure sand, and others so heavy and mucky that for centuries they lay uncultivated, have frequently been brought, in the course of only a few years, to where they yield annually tremendous crops on a commercial basis. So do not be discouraged about your soil. Proper treatment of it is much more important, and a garden- patch of average run-down, or "never-brought-up" soil will produce much more for the energetic and careful gardener than the richest spot will grow under average methods of cultivation.

The soil.

The ideal garden soil is a "rich, soft loam." And the fact cannot be overemphasized that such soils usually are made, not found. Let us analyze that description a bit, for right here we come to the first of the four all-important factors of gardening food. The others are cultivation, moisture and temperature. "Rich" in the gardener's vocabulary means full of plant food; more than that is this: it means full of plant food ready to be used at once, all prepared and spread out where growing things can at once make use of it; often called "available" plant food. Practically no soils in long- inhabited communities remain naturally rich enough to produce much produce. They are made rich, or kept rich, in two ways; first, by cultivation, which helps to change the raw plant food stored in the soil into available forms; and second, by manuring the soil.

"Soft" means a soil containing enough particles of sand so that water will pass through it without leaving it pasty and sticky a few days after a rain; "light" enough that a handful, under ordinary conditions, will crumble and fall apart readily after being pressed in the hand. It is not necessary that the soil be sandy in appearance, but it should be easily worked through.

"Loam: a fertile soil of clay and sand, containing humus," says Webster. That hardly covers it, but it does describe it in basic terms. It is soil in which the sand and clay are in proper proportions, so that neither greatly predominate, and usually dark in color, from cultivation and enrichment. Such a soil, even to the untrained eye, just naturally looks like it would grow things.

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations.

Isaiah 61:11

There is much in the Bible about planting, care and harvesting. It may be high time we listen with our ears and plant those gardens.