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Mainers go gaga over growing veggies

Here's what you need to know to get started and Memorial Day is the time to do it!

FALMOUTH, Maine — Interest in vegetable gardening is exploding in Maine.

Garden centers are packed, and many seed companies have had to shut down periodically, just to catch up with demand.

We are going to be showing you what you need to know to get growing, right here on NEWS CENTER Maine all summer.

Our first stop is Allen, Sterling & Lothrup on Route 1 in Falmouth, Maine. It's Maine’s oldest seed company, supplying high quality, mostly heirloom varieties of seeds to more than 60 locations in Maine.  

"It's been crazy," said Shawn Brannigan, the General Manager. "It seems everyone wants to grow their own vegetables now." 

Brannigan thinks a lot of that is the fact that people are home.  A small percentage he says are worried about the food supply because of the virus, but most seem to want their teach their kids about gardening and being self-sufficient.

To get started on your own garden, Brannigan asks: "What do you like to eat? That's a good place to start." 

Location, location, location!  The next question is where to put your garden. Vegetables need full sun all day long, so make sure you locate your garden, be it in ground or in a raised bed, in a bright sunny spot.

How much room do you have? If you are growing in a raised bed especially, you'll need to consider how much room different types of plants will take up.   Plants that vine, such as cucumbers, squash and watermelon, need a lot of room, unless you can force them to climb a trellis.

Make sure you put down good soil and compost, so the seeds and small plants will have a lot of nutrients to draw from the soil.

Fertilize: Brannigan fertilizes when he plants, and then again every three weeks. 

Plant: the rule of thumb is to plant seeds twice as deep as the seed's diameter. Small seeds will need to be very close to the surface.

Water: Brannigan says raised beds will need to be watered more often than in ground gardens. He suggests twice a week for raised beds, and once a week for others.

Happy gardening everyone.

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