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How To Care For Your Plants

Posted by ECOgardener on

Gardening is becoming popular again for many reasons. The economy has many people looking for a way to save money on their grocery bills. In addition, growing your own organic garden provides you with a way to know exactly what you are putting in your body. There is no need to worry about pesticides and other chemicals being in your food.

With gardening it is important to know how to properly care for your plants. No matter what type of plants that you are growing from flowers to fruits and vegetables, there are some plant care techniques that you should be aware of.


Location

When it comes to plant care location is important. Most vegetable plants will require full sun. You will want to find a location for your plants that gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day.

In order to make sure that all of your plants receive the most exposure to the sun, place the taller plants such as corn, pole beans, and indeterminate tomatoes on the north or the west side of your garden so that they do not shade the smaller plants.

The location of your garden is key to your plant care. Choosing the perfect spot to grow your plants can be the difference of having an abundant harvest or a small one.


Soil

The best soil for vegetables will include a lot of organic matter and compost. Make sure that you incorporate organic materials into your soil and that the soil you are planting in is not compacted or sandy.

When you have a good mixture of soil it will bind together when squeezed, but it will break apart when it is disturbed. Good soil is full of living microorganisms to help provide your plants with food.


Watering

One of the biggest mistakes that people make with their gardens is over watering. You should provide your vegetable garden with about an inch of water each week. This inch should include natural rainfall, so if it rains a lot and then is sunny, do not water your garden in the same week.

The best way to water your garden is to use a watering system. Soaker hoses and drip lines will deliver water slowly to your plants. The water is delivered to the roots where it is most needed. Wetting the foliage of the plants can cause diseases. Automatic waterers are also a great way to make sure that you do not forget this important step.


Mulc

Organic mulch around your plants can help insulate the soil. It will keep the soil cool in the summer and warmer in the winter. In addition, organic mulch will retain moisture and will suppress weeds. It can also protect your plant from diseases.

When choosing mulch it is important to make sure that you know where it comes from. There are some mulches that contain harmful chemicals. The Mulch and Soil Council is a non-profit organization that certifies bags of mulches to be free of harmful ingredients. If buying bags of mulch make sure to look for this seal.


Pest Control

Almost every vegetable garden will experience some pests. However, only about 3 percent of insects are actually harmful. If you have taken the steps to promote healthy plant growth in your garden you have very little to worry about pest invasions.

It is best to avoid insecticides. There are many natural ways to remove pests from your garden without resorting to harmful chemicals.


Fertilizing

Another common mistake when it comes to plant care is using too much fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can provide your plants with lush green growth, but you will end up with smaller fruit and a smaller harvest in the end. In addition, there are many fertilizers that contain chemicals that will leech into your plants. This is not something that you want in the food that you are going to eat.

One of the best ways to promote plant growth is by using organic compost. About 20 percent of the makeup of your soil should be organic compost. When you do this you are supplying your plants with the nutrients that they need in order to naturally thrive. A good rule of thumb is to feed the soil and then let that soil feed your plants.

If you use the right amount of compost in your soil you will not need to add any type of fertilizer to for your plants as they will have all that they need in order to grow.


Conclusion

When it comes to plant care there are a few simple steps to take in order to ensure that your plants will thrive. Start with choosing the right location. The space should get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Once you have the location chosen, it is time to prepare the soil. Make sure that you till the soil well and test the ph balance. Using quality compost will be key to ensuring that your plants have the right nutrients to grow. Once your plants have started to grow it is important to properly care for them. Make sure that you water them regularly. You do not want to overwater your plants. You should consider a watering system for your garden to ensure that your plants are getting the right amount of water each week.

You can use mulch around the base of your plants to help curb the growth of weeds. Make sure that weeds are promptly removed or they can take over your garden quickly.

If you take the above steps for your plant care you are sure to have a garden that prospers.


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