Home » Home Improvement » Gardening

Garden Maintenance is Never Fun, But it Can Be a Lot Easier

Apr 21, 2008
One of the most crucial tasks is the proper watering of your garden. The rule of thumb regarding the irrigation of your garden is that you will need to supply an equivalent of about an inch of rain a week during the growing season for optimum growth. Just so you know; an inch of rain is equivalent to about 28,000 gallons per acre or 900 gallons distributed over a 30 ft. by 50 ft. garden area. It is always much better to give the garden a good soaking once a week rather than watering it sparingly more often. Light sprinklings at frequent interviews will do little if any good.

Drip irrigation systems and the use of soaker hoses are efficient methods of irrigating your garden. These methods when used with a timer will apply the water right at the roots when and where it is needed and reduce water waste due to evaporation, over watering and over spray.

As in every garden, keeping ahead of the weeds will save you much hard work later on in the season. When the weeds start to choke out your vegetables, you have a formidable task, not only weeding, but trying to differentiate between weed and vegetable. Mark the newly planted rows of the seeds clearly so you do not disturb them while you are weeding. Weeds rob cultivated plants of water, nutrients, and light. Some weeds also harbor diseases, including insects, and nematodes that infest garden crops in succeeding years.

After each rain or watering, the garden should be thoroughly hoed or cultivated to kill those weeds that have newly sprouted and also to leave the surface in a loose, friable condition which will absorb later rainfall. The primary value of cultivating is weed control, but it should be done carefully so as to avoid injuring the vegetable plant roots that lie near the surface. In small gardens, another way weeds can be controlled is the use of black polyethylene mulch and supplemental hand weeding such as pulling and hoeing. When you are weeding, check for foliage that is broken or diseased and remove it to prevent the possible spread of any problems. A clean garden is a healthy garden.

Mulching with organic materials is also a very common practice in small gardens. The best organic mulches for this purpose are partially decomposed hay, straw, grass clippings and even newspaper. The mulch should be applied 4 to 6 in. deep when the plants are about 6 in. tall. Not only does mulch control weeds, it also conserves moisture, keeps the soil from baking, and increases the humus necessary for vigorous plant growth.

Garden crops are always subject to attacks by a number of diseases and insects. Preventive measures are best, but if an attack occurs and the gardener is not familiar with the cause of the problem and the proper treatment to protect his crop, he is advised to consult the county extension agent or his local garden center.

Great progress has been made in recent years in the development of plant varieties resistant to certain diseases, insects and nematodes. Always check when you buy new plants, new varieties of plants are introduced every season, and you may find an answer to that pesky problem you have been having.

Feeding the plants is accomplished by different means depending on whether you are organic or conventional farming. Side dressing with compost or fertilizes should always be done in moderation so as not to burn or kill the plants. If using fertilizer be sure you are using the right combination of nutrients for your crop to achieve optimum results, for example more nitrogen content for leafy vegetables. Remember, you are feeding the soil not the plant.
About the Author
Dick Murray is a retired urbanite who keeps his passion for gardening alive with pots of herbs on the window sills and the creation of
web site dedicated to vegetable gardening
basics. It is not the same as digging in the soil, but it works for him.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 131
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources