3 Gardening Tips You Need To Know








sugar snap peas on trellis photo by Doug Beckers

sugar snap peas on trellis photo by Doug Beckers

 

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© 2014 Shanna Lea

I think the best thing about summer is biting into a fresh picked tomato, still warm from the sun.  I love the taste of the juice bursting in my mouth from that first bite.  By growing your own garden, you can experience this little piece of heaven all summer long.

However, to harvest an abundance of veggies year after year, it takes practice.  To become successful consistently, you need hands-on experience.  Here are 3 tips from gardening pros that have shared what you need to know.

 

3 Gardening Tips You Need To Know

Tip #1:  Amend Your Soil.  Few gardeners are blessed with beautiful, rich topsoil right from the start.  Every garden soil is different.  Some gardens have heavy clay, rocky, sandy or other soil conditions that are less than ideal to work with.

Each soil type can present a different challenge, whether it’s retaining too much water, or not enough.  It can also lack the nutrients plants need to thrive.  For example, if you drop a plant into heavy clay soil, it probably won’t survive.  The heavy clay will act like a bathtub around your plant—holding in too much water every time it rains and having no place to drain to.

So the first step is to identify your soil so you can take the necessary steps to amend it.

Watch the video below to learn how to identify your soil type and what to add to amend it.

How to Identify Your Soil Type

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Tip #2:  Go Vertical.  Whenever you can, grow your plants vertically.  You can grow more food in less space.  Growing vegetables on a structural support makes weeding and harvesting easier, too.  And for those that have physical limitations, this can enable them to still enjoy and maintain a garden.

Growing vertically helps the plants, too.  It allows for better air circulation and the plants have fewer fungal infections and pest infestations.  Many gardeners prefer a trellis netting to grow vegetables on.  This trellis netting from Amazon.com is made of all-weather nylon with large openings for easy harvesting.  You can cut it to any size and tie it to fences, poles or wood supports to free up space in a small garden.

Tip #3:  Companion Planting.   Just like us, plants thrive near some neighbors better than others.  Companion planting can increase the yield of your garden production.  For example, some plants add nutrients to the soil that help other plants grow better.  Others repel insects that would normally invade neighboring plants.  By planting these companions together, you add an important step to maximizing your garden efficiency.

A good example is how the Native Americans planted ‘the three sisters’ –maize (corn), beans and squash, together because each plant benefitted the others in some way.  The beans grew up on the corn stalks, while the squash provided a weed barrier spread out along the ground.

Practice companion planting to add nutrients to the soil, deter unwanted pests and attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Keep Learning!

Vegetable gardening is an acquired skill you learn over time.  Apply these 3 essential gardening tips to lessen your learning curve and enjoy more productivity from your garden.

Resources:

Carrots Love Tomatoes:  Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening

Vertical Gardening:  Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space

Vertical Vegetables & Fruit:  Creative Gardening Techniques for Growing Up in Small Spaces

Trellis Netting

 



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