It’s early in the year but it’s safe to say we have a successful garden. We planted our spring vegetable garden a few months ago, you can see the full garden plan here and we’ve already enjoyed spinach, figs, green beans, and zucchini. We have lots of peppers, tomatoes, squash and onions on the way. It hasn’t been without its challenges. I’ve had to contend with some fungus and end rot…not to mention a toddler who doesn’t listen when I say “no touch”. Here are my top 5 garden tips for great vegetables.
Great Vegetable Garden Tips
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Water in the morning and at the roots. Sounds a bit obvious but to prevent fungus and other diseases, you should make sure that you are watering at the root of your plants. Avoid spraying their leaves. Unfortunately, my neighbors have their sprinklers run in the late afternoon and they spray all over our raised beds. My squash plants have all developed a white fungus and I’ve had to use this spray to keep it under control. I’m also a huge fan of Captain Jack’s Dead Bug to keep other pests at bay. I spray everything once a week.
Check on it daily. Sometimes the garden can be a bit out of sight, out of mind but if you check in once a day, you’ll be able to notice if things are going array. I noticed that some of the pumpkins and zucchini had developed an end rot so I added this to the soil to help them absorb the water and fertilizer. This is a common problem if you have a lot of clay in your soil or a lot of saltwater. We are very close to the coast so this is an issue for us. Adding this to the soil solved the problem and we’ve had a ton of zucchini now. Plus how cute is this tiny little butternut squash!
Protect your crop. Last year, I was so excited when my figs started to come in but I wasn’t alone. As soon as they got close to ripe, all of them had tiny bite marks on them. This year, I wasn’t going to lose the fight and as soon as the figs were big enough, I put them in these bags. We did find one bag with a fig in it in our yard but it kept the critter out of it and I’m hoping it’s given up on our tree. One of my favorite garden tips was to keep pinwheels in the raised beds to keep birds away from young fruit. So simple and brings a fun pop of color to the garden.
Feed your plants. Adding a good vegetable fertilizer is so important to growing big healthy vegetables. I’ve had great results with this organic fertilizer. Make sure you spread it evenly and work it into the first inch of soil, then water. I do this every other week.
Go with it. In our original garden plan, we didn’t account for just how big and robust the plants would get. I’ve had to pull out some spinach because there just wasn’t enough room and sun for it to do well. That’s the fun about gardening, you set out with the best of intentions and never know who it will flourish. Now that I pulled back some of the spinach, the surrounding peppers and the green beans have plenty of room to expand. We’ve also had mixed luck with our vegetables and sunflowers we started from seed. About half of them germinated and I’ve placed them in containers around the yard under a drip line.