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Where to get comprehensive vegetable gardening information?

Aaron La
2 days ago

I've been gardening a couple seasons, and by far my biggest frustration is just lack of the basic information needed to grow various vegetables.

The seed company generally gives extremely minimal information; and if you get transplants from a nursery, it's even more limited, or non-existent. It isn't remotely enough information to actually get a good yield

Here's some examples of the info I need, that I generally don't get:

  • Watering - Especially supplemental watering necessary for establishment etc, exact requirements for soil moisture
  • Pests and diseases - For some varieties, preemptively treating for various diseases is required
  • When to plant and harvest - a lot of times seed packets just say something unhelpful like "50 days"
  • Fertilizer requirements
  • Soil requirements
  • Climate - Requirements, dealing with heat & cold

What I've been doing is patching together information, mostly from the internet, to try to figure out everything. I'll take whatever the vendor has, combine with the info from the local university extension, and then enthusiast sites from people who grow that vegetable. I try to avoid the commercial "gardening" sites because they seem to be full of mostly trash content that's incomplete, contradictory, or misleading. It's tough though because a lot of time, those are the only sites that really have the specifics I need. Same for YouTube videos: they love to show you their planting technique, but far less often show you a good harvest. And I feel like I'm 50-50 for advice at nurseries just being flat out misinformation.

Vegetable gardening just doesn't work reactively: once you realize you have a problem, or made a mistake, it is probably too late to correct it for that crop. Unless it was right at the beginning, you're now out of luck for the entire year because you've missed your planting window.

Is there some information source out there I'm missing, that I can pick up, that will have 100% of the information I need to grow a particular vegetable in one place? How do the professionals do it? I can't imagine they're just working off the back of a seed packet or random stuff from the internet.

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