A Time for Everything

After weeding and planting annuals, add a layer of mulch to help control weed growth and help keep moisture in the soil.
After weeding and planting, add a layer of mulch to help control weed growth and help keep moisture in the soil.

After you spend all this time and money on planning and planting your garden, how do you maintain it?

Watering

New plants, newly sown seeds, and small seedling transplants will need consistent water to get established.  For larger plants and sown seeds, this is a daily thing (best in the early morning).  For small transplants, this could mean twice a day, depending on how they look (early morning and later evening).  As the plants get more established and their roots have expanded into the surrounding ground, less frequent watering is needed.  Eventually, most plants like an inch of water once a week.  Perhaps more with hot temperatures.  Veggies are a different story.  To be safe, I’d water daily with a soaker hose for 15 min in the early morning.  It’s always best to water the base of the plant rather than overhead.  Containers will always be thirsty at least once a day.

Weeding

The best time to weed is after a rain.  The plants pull easily and you will likely get the root without too much fuss.  The only problem to weeding after the rain is to avoid walking on your soil.  Walking on wet soil compacts it.  So, if you have pathways or sidewalk, you can stay on them and reach into the beds to weed.  A handy tool to have is the dandelion weeder.  It’s a long pointed metal stick.  You dig near the root to help you get the entire root of the weed.  It works!  Adding a nice layer of mulch often cuts down on the need to weed and water as often.

A mass of green is nice, but not when half is weeds.
A mass of green is nice, but not when half is weeds.

Staking

As plants grow they may flop and fall over.  Staking helps keep tall plants neat and tidy.  There are stakes for everything.  Edging ones that hold up plants so they don’t fall into your yard.  Tall ones with open necks to gently place the flowering part of your plant in.  The most common ones are bamboo and can be found just about any hardware/garden store.  If you need specific kinds, take a look at Gardener’s Supply Company.

HAPPY GARDENING!

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