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Tribune staff reporter

Want to get started vegetable gardening but feel you need to know more? Here's where to turn.

Web sites

*"Watch Your Garden Grow" ( The basics of vegetable gardening, from the University of Illinois Extension. Go to to find helpful information on composting, container gardening, vegetable pests and diseases and more.

*Better Home & Gardens ( has many articles about edible gardening, including container gardening.

*Vegetable Gardener ( is by the editors of the excellent Fine Gardening magazine.

*Gardeners Supply Co. "Kitchen Garden Planner" ( An interactive space-planning tool that is based on the company's products, including its 3-by-6 raised beds, but could be useful for planning other gardens too.

*Weekend Gardener GrowGuide ( A tool for scheduling tasks in the vegetable garden. You'll need to know our local average last frost date (roughly May 15) and first frost date (roughly Oct. 15).

*National Garden Bureau fact sheets ( Information on growing specific vegetables.

* Cornell University Extension vegetable site ( Includes gardeners' reviews of varieties.

*Chicago Tribune's "Gardening 101" series ( A host of useful articles for beginner gardeners.

*Cool Foods Campaign "Garden Guide" ( Handy basic guide, for window boxes and containers as well as gardens.



* Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, 847-835-5440,

* The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, 630-968-0074,



*"Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener: A Guide to Growing Your Garden Organically" by Karan Davis Cutler (Wiley, 448 pages, $39.95)

*"Crops in Pots" by Bob Purnell (Reader's Digest, 160 pages, $19.95)

*"Vegetable Gardening: From Planting to Picking -- The Complete Guide to Creating a Bountiful Garden" by Fern Marshall Bradley and Jane Courtier (Reader's Digest, 288 pages, $32.95)

*"Guide to Illinois Vegetable Gardening" by James A. Fizzell (Cool Springs Press, 288 pages, $12.95)

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