It is garden season, and gardeners all through the Midwest are hard at work planting their vegetables.
Backyard gardening is one of America’s most favorite hobbies, and for many, it is a chance to grow some or nearly all of their family’s fresh food right in their own backyard!
So for today’s Weaver Barns’ Backyard Lifestyle Post, we thought we thought we would share 3 helpful tips to get the most from your garden this year.
How To Get The Most From Your Backyard Garden
1. STAY OFF YOUR PLANTS
Whether you have raised beds, raised rows, regular rows, or just a few simple garden plants tucked in your flowerbed – don’t walk near them. When you compact the area around a plant with soil-clogging foot prints, it makes it hard for the roots to expand and grow. Less roots = less ways for the plant to soak up the valuable water and nutrients from the soil that benefit the plant. If you leave the area around a plant alone and un-compacted, it makes for much healthier plants. It’s one reason raised beds and container gardens can be so effective.
2. MULCH YOUR PLANT
It doesn’t matter if it’s a pepper, cucumber, or tomato plant. Applying a healthy amount of mulch around the base of the plant really can make a difference! It helps the plant retain valuable moisture and keeps the soil temperature around the plant more regulated. It also helps keep out weeds that compete for nutrients. What to use as a mulch? Old grass clippings, shredded leaves, finished compost and straw all work great.
3. WATER SMART
This may be the best advice of all. Just remember 3 things when it comes to watering that make it simple. WHEN, HOW and HOW MUCH.
Watering in the early morning is best. Before the sun has a chance to really get hot. Water at the base of the plants and let it soak in. If you water in the afternoon – you not only run the risk of burning the leaves from the sun scorching the water that may hit the plant – but you lose a lot more to evaporation than watering in the early morning.
Water slowly and at the base of each plant. Let it soak in and come back a few times and apply smaller amounts that soak right in where it’s needed most at the root level of the plant Spraying the whole garden with a big hose and spray nozzle can lead to a lot of problems besides just scorching plants – like damaging plants, destroying the blooms that create the vegetables, or helping fungus and rot develop on wet moist leaves.
Too little water and they shrivel up. Too much water and they won’t develop the good and deep root structure needed for big plants. A good rule of thumb is that a garden plant typically needs to receive about 1 inch of water a week. If mother nature isn’t supplying that – then you need to supplement. If you are experiencing a prolonged dry spell – water every two to three days with about a 1/2″ of water to the plant at a time. This allows enough water to go deeper into the soil and build deeper roots – and gives the plants more consistent watering.
Why not every day you might ask? If you water every day – the plants will never send their roots deeper looking for water – and you end up with much less hardy and developed plants. Call it tough love watering to develop stronger plants – but it works.
And if you are an avid gardener – what could be better than your own personal beautiful backyard garden shed to keep all of your tools neat and organized? Check out our complete line of sheds at Weaver Barns and find the perfect structure for your backyard oasis! Weaver Barns…Because everyone needs a little structure in their lives.