Journey's Past Flea Market and General Store is open. Every Friday here in Dougherty on Main St. there will be a Flea Market and the General Store will be open. Come on and have a look what treasures you can find. Then you know you can stop and see us at the greenhouse.
Found this article about what not to do with your vegetable gardens. I usually talk about what to do. Interesting...Whether you are just starting your first vegetable garden, or have been growing for decades you are bound to make mistakes.Here are things NOT to do in the vegetable garden along with an extra bonus tip at the end.
Do Not Over Fertilize Many new vegetable gardeners may get the idea that really slapping on the fertilizer will help the plant grow even more. And the more fertilizer you use, the bigger and better the plant will get. Avoid Over Fertilizing Vegetables
Fertilizers should really only be used when there is a nutrient deficiency in the soil. Plants are going to only take up nutrients as they need them, and any others that are added to the soil will only go to waste. This is especially true when it comes to nitrogen. Sure, there are some plants that will benefit from a small dosage of fertilizer, such as corn, and organic amendments like compost are always a good bet.
Do Not Plant In Too Much Shade Planting vegetables in a shady area is a really big no-no. There are a handful of veggies that do not mind a little shade, such as lettuces and peas, but most vegetables need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight in order to thrive. Less than that and you could end up with underperforming plants. If you are starting your first vegetable garden make sure to watch the sun throughout the season to find the area that gets the best sunlight. It’s better to check the sunlight in the spring, summer, and fall because what is sunny in early spring might be shaded in summer once the trees have filled with leaves.
Do Not Forget to Amend the Soil Amend Garden Soil with Plenty of Compost There’s a saying in gardening that goes something like this, “Feed the soil so it feeds the plants”. This is extremely important and should be embedded in your gardener brain. If you start out with vibrant, healthy soil you will grow vibrant, healthy plants. Amending your soil in the spring, throughout the season, and in the fall with copious amounts of organic matter is the absolute best thing you can ever do for your garden. When it comes to compost and other soil amendments you really want to pile it on. With adding compost, more is better.
Do Not Over Water Just like over fertilizing, over watering is a very common mistake many gardeners make. Keep in mind that most vegetables need about an inch of water per week. A good rule to remember is to keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy. I like to use the “finger check” method to see if a plant needs water. Simply take your finger and stick it in the soil about an inch or two deep. If the soil feels dry to the touch, water the plants. If the soil feels moist, do not water and re-check again the next day. I always recommend mulching around plants. You can use straw, dried grass clippings, unfinished compost, dried leaves, or non-colored bark mulches as an excellent mulch for the vegetable garden. A thick layer of mulch will help conserve soil moisture and even help keep weeds from getting out of hand.
Do Not Plant Seedlings Too Deep… Except TomatoesTomatoes are the only vegetable that you can actually plant deep. Every vegetable except tomatoes should be transplanted so the soil line of the seedling is level with the soil line of the garden.
Tomatoes are the rare exception because the tiny hairs found on the stem of the plant will actually form roots. Planting the tomatoes deep will cause the plant to grow a bigger, stronger root system. So, when transplanting vegetables into the garden make sure to keep the soil lines the same, except for tomatoes.
Do Not Start Out Too Big Once you get the gardening bug it is difficult to restrain yourself from wanting to go full bore and plant an expansive vegetable garden. The temptation is great. If you are just starting your first garden resist the urge to plant a huge garden right off the bat. Start with a few easy plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green beans, or lettuces. Once you start getting comfortable growing those vegetables, expand on to a couple more vegetables. As your experience and confidence grows, start diving into more difficult vegetable to grow, like broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Avoid growing a huge garden during your first at-bat. Doing so can lead to you becoming overwhelmed and frustrated. Till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa