Want to get started vegetable gardening but feel you need to know more? Here's where to turn.
urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies): The basics of vegetable gardening, from the University of Illinois Extension. Go to urbanext.illinois.edu/hort to find helpful information on composting, container gardening, vegetable pests and diseases and more.
*Better Home & Gardens (bhg.com) has many articles about edible gardening, including container gardening.
*Vegetable Gardener (vegetablegardener.com) is by the editors of the excellent Fine Gardening magazine.
*Gardeners Supply Co. "Kitchen Garden Planner" (gardeners.com): 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 (chestnut-sw.com/growform.htm): 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 (ngb.org). Information on growing specific vegetables.
* Cornell University Extension vegetable site (http://gardening.cornell.edu/vegetables): Includes gardeners' reviews of varieties.
*Chicago Tribune's "Gardening 101" series (chicagotribune.com/gardening101): A host of useful articles for beginner gardeners.
*Cool Foods Campaign "Garden Guide" (chicagotribune.com/coolfoods). Handy basic guide, for window boxes and containers as well as gardens.
* Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, 847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org
* The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, 630-968-0074, mortonarb.org
*"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)