How to Care for Your Vegetable Garden
Although your vegetable garden may seem very self-sufficient after the seedlings begin to sprout, there are a few things you can do throughout the Spring and Summer to make sure that it grows up big and strong, full of the delicious crops you’re expecting! Giving your vegetable garden a little bit of TLC will help your plants to reach their full potential and produce high-quality fruit and vegetables. You don’t have to be a helicopter-gardener though, just take a look at our easy ideas below!
Thinning the Crowd
The first thing to keep an eye on is overcrowding in the garden beds. Give your plants plenty of room to spread out and grow by thinning your plants while they are young. Pluck out every second or third plant (depending on what vegetable you are growing) that sprouts up so that each chosen plant has 2-3 inches on either side. This is especially important when growing vegetable plants from seeds, as they often get planted very close together to account for the seed failure rate. Vegetables such as beets or carrots need thinning so that they don’t end up growing together when they are close to harvest. Other vegetables, such as corn or broccoli, will need much more space to grow and you can consult your seed packet for more detailed information.
For more tips on starting your vegetable garden from seed, read our blog post here.
You and your family aren’t the only ones that love fresh vegetables from the garden…there is a crowd of pests and wildlife out there just waiting for your garden buffet to open! While there are way too many types of potential threats to mention here, the one thing that remains constant is the need to catch them right away before they become a bigger problem. Whether that’s beetles, birds, or deer, once you’ve identified your intruder it’s a lot easier to handle.
For a look at how to deal with some common pests in your garden with natural solutions, take a look at our blog post here.
Hydration is Key
Whether it’s Spring, Summer, or Fall–your vegetable garden will get thirsty! In order for your plants to produce a mouth-watering crop, they have to get enough water. This also helps them to repel pests and grow enough lush foliage to protect their crops and roots. Make sure you are watering the soil in your vegetable garden beds until it is thoroughly soaked, and then keep an eye on it during the hot Summer months so that you know how long to wait between waterings. When the top 2 inches of soil are dry, that’s when you want to add more H2O. Avoid getting the leaves wet, if you can, because that could cause bacteria or mold to start growing on your plants.
For more hydration tips for your garden, check out our blog post here.
Tuck Them in for the Night
Give your garden beds an extra boost by using mulch around the base of your plants. Not only does this stop weed growth, but it also keeps the roots cool, helps retain moisture in the soil, and can foil pests. Mulch can be seed-free straw, bark mulch, or compost. Organic mulch will add nutrients to the soil for an added bonus!
Watching your little seedings grow up into large, productive plants can be a wonderful experience! You’ll be sad to see them go in the winter, but don’t worry, you can start a new batch next Spring. Enjoy watching your vegetable garden flourish as you anticipate all those delicious, fresh grown crops.