As a keen gardener, I’m always on the lookout for things to do in the garden. But it’s also very important to be take care for what not to do.
Here is a list of 6 of the worst.
Planting The Garden In Rows
Commercial vegetable gardening has greatly influenced this. They need machine access to plants to spray, till, weed and pick the produce. It’s fine in the commercial context but we can break away from that approach in the home vege patch. So its wrong to assume that what works commercially is right for the home gardener
- Looks more natural
- Can make better use of space
- Confuses pests
- Decreases weeds
To maximize the efficiency of your water, fertilizer, soil additives – put the plants as close together as possible.
etcCommercial growers use rows as a way to This one can be a bit challenging for those who like everything ordered ‘just so’ – in life in general and the garden in particular.
The thing is, a little chaos in the garden is a good thing. You can fit a lot more plants into the available space, especially important if space is a premium in a small yard.
The Raised Bed Garden Solution
A better option is to use wide row or raised bed growing techniques. Whether you’re growing vegetables, herbs, or even a flower garden, raised beds provide many advantages and in the long run will save you time and effort, and make your gardening easier.
Best of all, raised beds are more attractive in the landscape and capable of producing many more fruits and vegetables per square foot than growing vegetables in the conventional row format.
It may take a little getting used to, but once you try raised beds you’ll be surprised by how well your plants perform. Soil compaction will be a thing of the past and you’ll enjoy easy access to your entire garden regardless of the weather conditions. Each season the depth and texture of your soil will improve allowing for better plant growth.
In the next gardening blunder we’ll take a look at what’s really bugging the garden, and discover the surprising truth about whether insects are responsible for destroying your precious garden plants and vegetable produce.
An activity that you may consider to be one of the goals of growing a successful vegetable garden plot and that is eliminating insects from our garden. Don’t get me wrong, I confess to wiping out more than my share of bugs, but it’s a mistake to view all insects as the enemy and set out to destroy anything that walks, crawls, flies, or otherwise moves through the garden. Live and let live. If you work on having really healthy plants, insects will be discouraged by the processes of the plant itself – a healthy plant has its own mechanisms to keep insects at bay. If you do have insect infestation, take a look at the plants themselves and see if they are stressed by heat or inadequate watering.
Feeding Plants Instead of the Soil
Get your soil healthy with a load of biological activity and your plants will thrive.
As a fairly new gardener I am still learning lots of new things every year. The thing I had to put the most time into was learning how to amend our garden soil properly.
Kenny says “Garden soil is much more than simply dirt, or a foundation for the plants to grow on. In fact, a healthy garden soil is just as much alive as the plants that are grown in it.” Be sure to read the rest of this informative article.
This gardening blunder is something I have thought about but now that I’ve read Kenny’s shallow watering article I know what I will be doing next year. I have to say this little series has been a great read.
The preceding gardening blunder examined the importance of planting at the proper time, today we’ll take a look at mistakes that gardeners make which can lead to problems with excessive weed growth.
Bad Weed Management
Many gardeners view weeds from the perspective that the only way to deal with them is through the ordeal and effort of physically removing them from the garden. But in fact there are much easier ways to prevent weeds from spoiling your vegetable gardening experience.
One thing that surprises visitors about my garden is the lack of weeds and people assume that I put a lot of effort into eliminating them.
Weed Free Gardening Secrets
Actually I don’t spend much time pulling weeds and I think the secret relates to healthy soil, shallow cultivation, early identification, not leaving the soil exposed, and preventing weeds from setting seeds or multiplying within the garden.
I go into these techniques in more detail in my gardening ebook but today I’ll focus on a few of the common gardening mistakes that allow weeds to quickly take over the garden.
The biggest mistake is to allow weeds to become established in the first place. I know that’s not much help if you’re currently struggling with a weed problem. The point is that I see many gardeners who relax in their efforts as the season progresses, and by the end of the summer allow anything and everything to grow unimpeded in their gardens.
Keeping It Covered to Reduce Weed Growth
If you don’t employ succession planting to continue gardening, or don’t plant a fall garden, then at least sow a cover crop to deny weeds the opportunity to grow and multiply freely in the vegetable plot.
Bare soil and empty growing beds invite and encourage weed growth, so if you must leave your beds vacant, lightly cultivate the soil with a weed weasel or rake to disrupt the weed seeds that are in the process of germinating.
Weeds are much easier to control if you attack them while they are young or before they even have a chance to emerge from the earth. If you wait until they’re mature and spreading, the weeds can be impossible to control. In addition, you’ve allowed them to consume moisture, nutrients, and sunlight that should be reserved for your cultivated plants.
Getting to the Roots of Weed Problems
Another major mistake is to allow weeds to flower and ripen their seeds around the garden area. Doing so is like planting weeds in the garden yourself, so don’t be surprised by the results.
Simply uprooting the undesirable plants isn’t good enough. Certain plants will go into survival mode after being uprooted and will hang on just long enough to produce a crop of seeds right under your noses. So once you’ve pulled the weeds, get rid of them.
Importing Weed Headaches
Be careful about tossing weeds into the compost pile. Leaves are okay but avoid placing flowers or seed stalks from weeds in your compost piles. The same applies to the roots of persistent grasses that spread by sending out runners. Don’t take a chance on spreading them through your compost.
Also keep an eye on your finished compost piles to make sure weeds don’t turn them into breeding ground. It’s best to keep the piles cultivated or covered. I’m even cautious of using compost, leaf mold, mushroom soil, or other soil amendments from sources that may have been exposed to contamination from weed seeds.
Weed seeds are always present in the garden, but fortunately they require specific combinations of temperature, depth, moisture, and even light in order to germinate. If they’re stuck deep within the garden they’re not likely to germinate, but guess what happens when you till the garden?
That’s right, you bring weed seeds to the surface where they find the conditions needed in order to germinate. In the final installment of this series we’ll take a look at other reasons why you should limit the use of the tiller in your garden.