From Plant to Harvest: Your Guide to Vegetable Garden Care

What to Do Now

Now you need to get into a routine of things to do to keep your garden at its best. Get in the habit of taking a few minutes, every couple of days to walk through your garden and get to know it.

Look at the foliage, admiring any tiny blooms just popping out; turn over the foliage to look at the backs of the leaves. If you see anything questionable, either look it up or take a sample to your local garden center to figure out what’s going on—unless you already know.

If you catch an insect or disease early enough, it can often be taken care of with little or no difficulty than if it has taken over the plant. Sometimes, if the problem is cultural, catching it early enough allows you to correct it before it affects your harvest.

How to Water Correctly

Be sure you water correctly. If possible, water early in the morning or in the evening. This allows more water to reach the plant, as less is lost to evaporation. It may also save you a buck or two on your water bill!

Avoid using sprinklers. We have enough problems with fungal diseases with our summer humidity without compounding the problem by getting the foliage wet. Use soaker hoses, which put water at the roots, or use your hose to direct the water at the roots.

Do check the soil with your finger to be sure it’s dry about one inch down (this is for established plants, not seedlings). Don’t get in the habit of watering every day without checking to see if you need to.  Plants prefer a deep watering when they need it, not a shallow sprinkle every day.

Growing Veggies? Apply a Veggie Garden Fertilizer

Plants use up available nutrients in the soil, so they get into the habit of using vegetable garden fertilizer. Always follow the label directions as to how much and how often. So many plants get damaged or even killed when overfed, believe it or not, because too much fertilizer can actually burn the roots. Not feeding enough can affect whether you get the desired harvest. Overfeeding can kill.

Enjoy Your Garden!

Last, enjoy your garden. Fresh produce tastes so much better, and what’s fresher than fresh from your own backyard?

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