Managing Vegetable GardensJune 4, 2014
About this time of year most people have their vegetables planted, whether they be in beds or grow boxes. Now comes the task of managing these plants so they yield the crops you want. Taking care of a vegetable garden isn’t too difficult. A few simple steps will allow you to have healthy plants with as little effort as possible.
Since we’ve already set up the drip or spray irrigation system for the plants, they watering should be taken care of. However, as the season changes and weather gets warmer—and sometimes dryer—you’ll need to adjust your watering output as well. That can be done in a manner of ways. The easiest is probably to adjust the amount of time the sprinklers run to get more water on the plants. You can do this by changing the program timer, or even simpler, if your timer has a budget feature you may just move that up a few clicks. Signs of too little water are excessively dry soil, dried or discolored leaves, wilting stems and roots growing near the surface. As with most plants, it’s better to water deep than to water frequently. Deep watering promotes healthy roots, and thus healthy plants and more veggies.
Next, getting plants nutrients by using either fertilizer and plant food, or simply composting the area for a more organic approach. Don’t overdo it. An inch or two is usually more than enough. And while cultivating it into the soil is tempting, you might accidentally hurt the plant’s root system, so just leave it on the surface.
Finally, check for diseases and insects. The signs are pretty noticeable: chewed up leaves, vegetables with holes burrowed into them and many other gross things. Pesticides are the easiest way but some may be aiming for organic vegetables. In this case there are plenty of natural ways to prevent and control insects in your garden.
Staying on top of these things usually doesn’t take much time and the results are well worth it. We invite you to share some of your tips and success stories with us via social media, via Twitter or Facebook. And keep your questions coming as we’re always looking for new ways to help our customers get the most out of their homes and gardens.