We’re getting to the part of summer where many of your plants should have sprouted up. The heat and humidity are keeping things moist and the conditions are ripe for picking. Not to burst your garden bubble, but the conditions are also perfect for disease and bugs. Here are some tips to improve and protect your garden.
Your first line of defense for protecting your garden is to make sure you have healthy, humus-rich soil. This is the kind of soil with a lot of organic substances in it, like compost or other decomposing plants. Clay soil won’t do you much good, since it’s not the best for growing vegetables. By making sure your soil has lots of humus, you’re ensuring that your garden will have proper drainage, soil aeration, and the ability to hold water.
Good soil is one of the most important things that a garden can have. If you are using raised beds to garden in, it will be a little easier because the area is a contained space. Adding more compost, leaves, and grass clippings will help your garden immensely. Ensure that these products are seed-free and pesticide-free if possible.
Keep your plants safe from disease and pests
Fungi is the root of many diseases for plants that have already grown. Plants need their own space, so try and keep them off the ground as much as possible. You want to put stakes or cages around your tomatoes, and have cucumber and bean plants run up trellises or along fences. You can make also make mesh slings to keep watermelons and cantaloupes off of the ground. These strategies and props will keep your plants safe from many fungi.
When you replant next year, try to plant beans near corn and cucumbers near tomatoes. These plants thrive off of each other, so putting them next to each other is very beneficial. Just be sure that each plant has enough room to grow.
Be sure that you are very careful with how much you water your plants. You might think that you’re just keeping them hydrated, but providing too much water invites disease and pest problems. Ideally, the best time to water your plants is in the morning so that they can dry throughout the day. If you water too late in the day, then your plants will remain wet throughout the night.
As you know, insects can completely destroy your crops and all your hard work. Make sure you read the labels on all of your insecticides. They are poisonous and you don’t want to harm yourself when applying it. Don’t think doubling up will help, either. It won’t, and will create more problems in the long run. If you choose an organic pesticide, know that you may have to apply it more often.