Top 10 Spring Gardening Rules
There's nothing like the taste of home-grown fruits and veggies, and the experts at DIYnetwork.com have a new crop of tips for creating a backyard bounty. Growing such produce isn't hard, but it does need proper care to ensure success in the garden. DIYnetwork.com offers the following 10 rules for growing vegetables and fruits.
1. Find the sun. Except for lettuce and radishes, vegetables need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
2. Start small. Big first-time projects can quickly become overwhelming. A surprising amount of vegetables and fruits can be grown in a bed just ten feet square.
3. Build up your soil. The foundation of a healthy, productive garden is rich, crumbly, well-draining soil that contains good organic matter such as compost.
4. Time your crops. Soil temperature matters as much as air temperature when planting vegetables and fruits.
5. Be ready to supply cover if a late frost hits. No one can predict the weather in early spring. Being prepared with plastic can determine healthy crop growth.
6. Mulch, mulch, mulch. Treat a garden similar to a flower bed: keep a layer of organic mulch over roots to help conserve moisture and prevent weeds.
7. Anticipate animal pests. Use fencing to keep out area pests such as raccoons, rabbits, groundhogs, deer and other unwelcome visitors that will help themselves to the feast.
8. Mingle your plants. Prevent bugs from flocking to groups of tender veggie plants by mixing plant types together in the same space.
9. Stay on top of the harvest. Pick produce when it's ready. Removing mature produce from stalks and vines encourages growth of new fruit and vegetables.
10. You don't have to hide your vegetable garden. Integrate outdoor living space with gardening areas. When crops are close at hand, it's more convenient to pluck away bad bugs and water thirsty plants.
For more information, visit www.DIYnetwork.com.