Getting ready to garden? Here are some tips to ensure that this year’s garden is a success.
Carefully Choose Your Plants
The best ways to keep your flower and vegetable gardens free of disease is carefully inspecting each plant before you plant it. This is especially important when purchasing plants at a nursery. If you even suspect the plant is diseased or you see strange insects on it, put it aside and select a healthier option. Give the plants another good going over before you plant them.
Don’t limit your inspection to the top of the plant. Also, check out the roots. It’s not difficult. Gently remove the plant from its pot and look at the newly exposed roots. They should be firm to the touch and are generally white in color. Don’t purchase plants with dark or mushy roots.
Examine Your Compost
Don’t take compost out of the bin and toss it onto your garden without examining it first. Some materials don’t decompose at the same rate as others. The last thing you want to do is spread partially decomposed matter on your garden and potentially introduce a disease to the soil. Having a second compost bin allows you to shift the not quite fully decomposed material out of the compost you want to use as fertilizer.
Get Aggressive with Weeds
The best way to manage weeds isn’t with pulling, but rather with mulching. A heavy layer of mulch not only improves the appearance of your garden and provides you flowers and vegetables with nutrition, but also buries weed seeds, making it harder for them to germinate.
When you do spot weeds, don’t grab them and ruthlessly yank them out of the ground the way your mother did. Instead, cut the weed with a sharp knife. Make sure the cut is right at the soil line so that the root can’t get the sunshine it needs and dies.
Keep Your Garden Pest Free
Deer, rabbits, and other critters who love making garden plants a part of their daily diet are the bane of gardeners. There’s little that’s more frustrating than pouring an entire summer into caring for a garden only to come out one morning and discover that all the plants have been eaten. There are some things you can do to keep your garden pest free.
Cover your plants. Row covers, netting, and protective fences deter all sorts of garden pests. Make sure you routinely check your fence and row covers since the smallest hole is enough for an animal to help themselves to your plants.
Insect deterring plants are a marvelous and natural way to keep bugs from feasting on your plants. Good choices include:
- Lemon Thyme
- Bay leaves
One of the biggest mistakes novice gardeners make is assuming they need to water their garden every single day and drenching the soil. Over watering the garden is just as bad as the garden not getting any water at all. The excessive moisture combined with the Texas heat creates the perfect environment for an assortment of molds and fungi to grow in the soil and can cause your plants to develop root rot. Read up on how much water the different types of plants you’ve selected need and test the soil before watering. Remember that different parts of your garden will require different amounts of water, based on topography and the amount of direct sunlight the section receives.
Need tools to help you better manage your garden? You’ll find what you need at Hurst Farm Supply.