There's a greater interest in home vegetable gardening this year, according to retailers in the Arizona Nursery Association.

Now's the time to "get your garden growing," a release said.

Great plants to start right now, even for the novice gardener, are tomatoes and peppers. For the more adventurous, try planting artichokes or strawberries later in the fall. Now is also the best time to begin the root and leaf crops, which you start from seeds or seedlings, including lettuces, cabbages and carrots.

Jay Harper of Harper's Nurseries encourages homeowners to take the time to properly prepare their soil prior to planting.

"The soil will still be ready to plant in the same day, so taking the time to amend the soil increases your garden's chance to thrive," Harper said. He recommends mixing compost, gypsum, bone meal and an all-purpose fertilizer into your soil to obtain the proper soil mix.

Planting times:

Sept. 1 – Beets, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, carrots, chard, cauliflower, celery, collard, endive, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuces, mustard, green onions, parsley, parsnip, radish, rutabaga, spinach, turnips.

Sept. 15 – Cabbage.

Oct. 1 – Asparagus.

Oct. 15 – Dry onion sets.

Arizona Nursery Association

www.azna.org

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