3 Ways To Ensure A Healthy Harvest From Your Summer Garden

| August 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

Summer GardenGrowing a garden full of fresh herbs and vegetables not only helps feed a family for very little money but is simply pleasurable in and of itself. There are many things a gardener needs to do to help their garden be at its healthiest and most fruitful. Here are a few big ones:

Test the Soil

The pH of the soil can tell a gardener its alkalinity or its acidity. Most plants like soil that’s just a touch acidic. Soil that’s too alkaline or too acidic prevents plants from taking in the nutrients they need.

Many gardening centers have kits for home-testing the pH of the soil. If the garden is fairly large, it’s a good idea to take samples from different areas.

Healthy Garden

gardenSoil that’s too acidic can be sweetened by adding lime, and soil that’s too alkaline can be made more acidic by adding elemental sulfur. The trick is to amend the soil well before the first seeds are sown or the seedlings transplanted.

Some gardeners do this in the fall for a spring planting. It gives the amendments time to really blend in.

Water the Right Way

gardenLots of gardeners think that if they water their plants every day for a few minutes, they’ll have a good harvest. Then, they’re surprised when this doesn’t happen. When the plants are ready to produce, they should be watered only twice a week but deeply.

Watering every day for a few minutes only penetrates the very top of the soil. This tells the plant that it should keep its roots shallow. Deep and somewhat infrequent watering makes the roots go deep, which is healthier for the plant.

The best way to water is through drip irrigation or a soaker hose, for these methods keep water from getting on the leaves. Different plants have different needs for water. Tomatoes need over two gallons a week, while onions need only a half a gallon a week if the soil’s dry.

Pests

gardenMore and more gardeners are turning from synthetic pesticides to more natural alternatives to control pests. One way to keep pests under control is to encourage good bugs to come to the garden.

These include lady bugs, who eat aphids that suck the juices out of plant stems. Even ladybug larvae eat aphids. Some gardeners spray their plants with garlic water, insecticidal soap and even cooking oil spray to keep the pests down.

If you have larger pests, like rats or mice, it may be more difficult to handle on your own. While you probably won’t have to deal with pesticides on your vegetables, you may need a service like E&R Exterminating Company, Inc. to come out and trap the rodents before they further damage your garden.

Gardening takes plenty of work and a lot of patience, but if you keep it up until the end, you’ll be happy you did. There is nothing like homegrown vegetables for dinner and when you can share it with your family, it is truly a labor of love.

 

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Category: Home and Garden

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