You can see it, can’t you? Walking through your garden this summer, picking vegetables and filling a basket with an overflowing bounty? Fresh tomatoes for your salad, ears of corn to roast on the grill, and berries for your favorite smoothie. But, before you can get them to your table, you have to get them in the ground. Knowing the best methods and basic needs for your garden can go a long way to getting a successful harvest.
So where do you start?
Location, Location, Location
Finding the best spot for your garden can make the difference between a great harvest, and a great disappointment. Location is important not only for the soil, but also for the amount of sunlight and shade.
Sunlight—most vegetables need six to eight hours of sunlight in a day, while leafy plants such as lettuces need less. The sunlight to shade ratio should be noted for each item you plant in your garden, and then followed for best results.
Seclusion—to make sure your garden gets the nutrients it needs to grow, choose a spot that is away from other plants and trees that might rob your veggies of the good ingredients they need to flourish.
Plants need about one to two inches of water per week. If the weather is warmer, they might need more, especially if you are in a drought area. You can get water into your garden through several different ways.
Watering Sprinkler—while this method is common, it’s the easiest to forget. Thankfully, many of today’s sprinklers not only come in decorative varieties that enhance the beauty of your garden, they can be placed on a timer system that automatically waters.
Drip hoses—these uniquely designed watering hoses allow a constant and consistent drip to flow to your plants. This not only allows them to get a ready supply of water as needed, but you don’t have to worry about scheduling this into your day.
Just like every other living organism, plants need food in order to grow. In general, these foods consist of: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. While these are often present in the soil, adding to it can promote a strong and healthy harvest for your garden.
Composting—this is a great way to continue recycling what you’ve used, and creates one of the best plant foods you can find. The only downside is that you have to plan ahead since compost takes about four to six months before it is ready.
Companion plants—some plants work in tandem with each other to provide benefits such as nutrients, higher yield, and pest control. Try to find companion plants that naturally help each others growth, then plant them together.
We’ll admit this is probably the least favorite part of gardening for most people. Unfortunately, that means most people skip it altogether, not realizing the benefits they are missing out on. Taking time to prune dead foliage and non-producing limbs helps the overall health of the plant and increases the size of the vegetables you will yield. Pruning is the best way to redirect the plants energy to the most effective areas of growth.
Branch tips—pinching is used to remove small buds, flowers, and young fruit. Pinching the tips of branches throughout the season to create fuller plants. Be careful to only remove the last few leaves, including the branch, each time you pinch.
Dead foliage—removing foliage that is fading or dying is a continuous process that keeps the plant green and healthy as the “dead weight” is literally removed.
Blooms—pinching one-third to half of the blooms on your flowering fruits and vegetables allows your plants to concentrate their efforts on growing larger fruits.
Growing a garden can be a fun, and inexpensive way to fill your table this summer. With a little direction, and the right tools from Best Buds Garden Supply
, you could be well on your way to a tasty summer.