Get your spring garden off to a good start with a bit of preventative care.
By Melinda Myers
An ounce of prevention is worth plenty when it comes to ensuring a healthy and beautiful garden. Here are some tips on preparing for spring planting, and making your garden easier to care for year-round.
- Select the right plants. Choose fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants suited to summer heat, winter cold, soil, moisture and other growing conditions specific to your yard.
- Water properly based on the plants you’re growing, current temperature and soil type. New plants and those growing in fast-draining soils or hot weather need more frequent watering.
- Water thoroughly, moistening the roots and surrounding soil to encourage deep roots. This prepares your plants for hot, dry weather, increasing their survival and helping you to conserve water in summer.
- Mulch the soil when you put your plants in the ground with a one- to two-inch layer of shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter to help them conserve moisture. It keeps the roots cool and improves the soil as they decompose.
- Consider eco-friendly methods of controlling insects and diseases. Pick off small populations of insects by hand, remove and destroy infested plant parts and, if necessary, consider earth-friendly pesticides like insecticidal soap and horticulture oils. Be sure to select a product labeled for use on the pest and plant you are treating.
About our Guest Expert: Melinda Myers is a nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist. She is a contributing editor to Birds & Blooms magazine and other publications, and maintains melindamyers.com.
Photo by Melinda Myers, LLC.