New to vegetable gardening? Your plants and seeds are planted but you’re nervous about caring for your new garden?
Your presence in the garden is important. Taking a little bit of time out of every day is the best way to care for your garden. This will enable you to notice changes and detect early signs of pest and disease, enabling you to attack before it’s too late.
Much like us, every plant needs enough space to grow and be happy. Check out our article on seed spacing for specific details for different varieties. As a general rule, once planted, make sure to harvest big leaves that may be shading other plants. Keep the area around seedlings clean so that your plants are not competing for nutriments with the weeds. Pay special attention to plants planted from seed. Once they sprout you need to thin them. Watch this short video on thinning radish seeds to see some thinning techniques.
Plants need water. Inconsistent watering can cause slow plant growth, stress, or lead to effects like cracked tomatoes. It is best to water in the early morning or late afternoon. Watering at high noon means that lots of the water is lost by evaporation. The best way to know if you are watering sufficiently is by sticking your finger in the soil. You want the soil to be nice and moist under the surface. If regular watering is problematic, you may want to consider installing an irrigation system to help keep your veggies growing.
Soil fertility is the most important component for a successful vegetable garden. A great soil is composed of one third compost, one third coconut coir and peat moss, and one third black organic earth. We use vermicompost with every seedling we plant and apply kelp during the summer months and fish emulsion when we close the garden.
Insects are your companions all season long. The best defense against pests in your garden is having strong stress-free plants, which begins with healthy fertile soil and sufficient water and sunshine. Having a healthy ecosystem will allow your plants to build up resistance to a variety of pests and disease. Read more about beneficial insects and how to deal with pests in our post on Natural Pest and Disease Control.
These are our 5 tips to maintaining your vegetable garden. Not so scary anymore?