Maximizing Your Garden's Potential

Snap and Snow Peas ready for your stir fry

Many gardeners think that a garden is a place where you put some seeds and plants in the ground, water them, and hope for the best. As a result, many gardeners are very disappointed in the harvests the get. You reap what you sow…more true in the garden than anywhere else! I like to think of a garden not as a place, but as a living being. It has needs that must be met, and if they are met, it will be your best friend and give you way more than you put into it.

Any tomato from your backyard is superior to any other tomato!

A garden’s soil needs to be fed. Fertilizers and other additives can help, but natural compost is the best food for your beds. Compost should be made only of locally grown yard clippings, garden waste and leaves that have been fully broken down. Compost should smell like the Earth and be light and fluffy in the hands. You can make your own compost with your leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable waste from your kitchen. It takes a while to make and you won’t get a lot, but it’s a satisfying process. Purchasing compost is the best bet if you need large quantities. Make sure you buy from a reputable company and check the smell and texture of it before you allow them to deliver it to your gardens.

Spinach loves cool weather

A garden needs to have a plan. Just willy nilly throwing in seeds and plants into your garden is a recipe for disaster. Some veggies only like cool weather and must be planted early and under the protection of floating row covers. Other veggies despise cold weather and will suffer and die if planted in cold soil. Timing is crucial! The garden plan needs to consider the space your plants will need. Some like to be close to each other, while some need room to themselves. The garden plan should include consideration for spacing and timing.

Ravish your radishes!

Once your soil is right and your plan is implemented, then a garden needs some attention all spring, summer, and fall. Visiting your plants at least once a week is essential to keep tabs on varmints, insects, fungus, or disease that may wipe out your hard work. A neglected garden gets lonely and weedy and will not do well in the long run. You don’t have to be in the garden every day, but don’t neglect your plants for too long!

Loads of lettuce!

Your garden needs to be watered, but not all the time. Some plants need lots of water while others prefer to be dryer. Drip irrigation is a great way to measure and control the water your plants need. A garden hose and sprayer will work, but try not to spray the leaves of most plants…the roots need the water.

Garden diversity at its finest!

Your garden needs to be harvested! Yes…pick those veggies! Waiting until many veggies get super large is usually a bad idea. Pick many veggies when they are young and tender and have few seeds. Let other veggies grow to maturity, but be careful waiting too long as hungry varmints really like ripe fruits!

Taking care of your garden requires quite a bit of expense, planning, knowledge, and effort. However, the rewards of sitting down to a meal that includes the freshest produce you could ever get is worth all the work!

Gardening isn’t for everyone, but everyone can enjoy the rewards of their own garden. Yum Yards is here to help! We’ll build your gardens and fill them with the best soil mix. When you sign up for our seasonal gardening service, we will plan, plant, and keep you up to date with all of the things you can do from March through November to make the most of your beds. Schedule a free gardening consultation by sending us an -e-mail: yumyards@gmail.com .

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