Okay, so I’ve got all my veggies planted. I can put up my feet and relax now, right? Not exactly.
Here’s what I need to do now:
Stay on top of weeds
Right now, weed seedlings are already popping up in my freshly planted raised beds. If I slack off, they can quickly get out of hand, so I’ll check every day or two and keep them pulled up before they become a bigger problem.
Yes, I know. I amended the soil with extra compost. However, that does not replace quickly used up nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, etc. That’s what a good fertilizer is for.
What is a good fertilizer? Well, as an organic gardener, I use Espoma’s Tomato-tone. Yes, even on my green beans, etc. Tomato family members need extra calcium, which Tomato-tone has, so it’s particularly good for them.
Cucumbers, squash, etc. don’t need the extra calcium, but they don’t care if they get it so I use it on them, too. And, because it’s a good overall fertilizer, if there is anything left in the package when I’m done with my vegetables, I toss it in my perennial bed.
Admire your garden every day
While you’re admiring it, turn over the occasional leaf to check for any potential problems, like insect eggs. Believe me, it’s way easier to STAY on top of a problem than it is to GET on top of a problem.
If I had an irrigation system, I’d turn it off in the vicinity of my veggie garden. So many of my vegetables are prone to powdery mildew and other fungal problems. With our generous summer humidity, I don’t need to add insult to injury by getting the foliage wet when I water.
Keep your birdbath filled
Remember to keep my birdbath filled? Huh? What does that have to do with vegetable gardens?
Ever have squirrels go after your green tomatoes? They take one bite and toss the rest. Believe it or not, they’re not eating your tomatoes. They’re after the moisture inside. I spray my green tomatoes with Hot Pepper Wax, a repellent that contains an extract of cayenne pepper. That makes the tomato unpleasant to eat. Then I provide the squirrels with an easily accessible water source a few feet away.
I do this every year and I’ve learned that the repellent works partly, but I get way better results by providing the squirrels something to drink elsewhere.
Make time to sit on my deck or patio and appreciate my garden. Sometimes I get so bogged down in the details that I forget to appreciate the bigger picture. I forget the pay-off—delicious home-grown produce from my own yard. Produce tastes best when it’s fresh. You can’t get fresher than this!
We still have a great selection of both vegetable plants and seeds (for fast growing veggies like beans and cukes). Come in and let us help you select the best for your garden.