Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden
You’ve just planted the most amazing garden, but you notice your plants are wilting…. or dying? Maintaining a garden is crucial to not letting your hard work go to waste. You want to make sure you reap the benefits of a fruitful garden.
1. Water is life. Getting the right balance is key. Water too much and you risk drowning your plants. Water too little and you risk your plants dying. A moisture meter can help measure if roots are too wet or dry. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses help keep your soil moist without wasting water on the plant’s leaves — it gets right to the source.
2. Having the right soil matters. Loosening soil will help plants absorb water properly. If you have Clay soil, add organic material to it to provide plants with nutrition. Clay soil absorbs water slowly, so be careful to water as fast as the soil soaks. If you have Sandy soil, supplement with organic matter otherwise water will run through the soil leaving plants disadvantaged from absorbing water.
3. Do you Mulch? Mulching helps improve moisture retention, regulates soil temperature, prevents soil erosion, reduces diseases and weeds! Nearly anything could be used as much such as dead leaves, bark, coffee grinds, hay, straw, sawdust and grass clippings!
4. Take out the dead. Dead & rotting vegetable clippings and pulled weeds can attract pests which can also ruin your crops.
5. Throw some shade. When it gets too hot, you can provide shade for your plants to prevent wilting. Cheesecloths are inexpensive and are great for providing shade!
6. Weeds from hell. No matter how often you pull them, they keep coming back. Daily maintenance is key to controlling weeds. If you can’t keep them at bay, you can look at an organic weed solution such as vinegar + citric acid.
7. Support your plants. Supporting your plants can increase space in your garden, circulating air and gives plants more exposure to light.
8. Harvest! Remember to pick your crops as soon as they are ripe. If they don’t have any diseases, you can add them to your compost pile.