Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Your Vegetable Garden is Talking, Are you listening?

It is a fact that your home vegetable garden is going to go through ups and downs throughout the growing season. Not just the current season but also over many years. I find in my own experiences that from one year to the next that certain crops do better than others.

For example, last year I had one of the greatest tomato crops in my many year history of gardening. This year, the tomatoes, well, lets say they are being stubborn. My cucumbers are going through the roof, almost literally, as I had to extend the height of my trellis just to keep up! Last year many of the cucumbers were sour and stopped growing altogether around the end of July. Something I had never experienced.

I have taken a different approach this year after talking to some very seasoned gardeners and that is to “listen” to what my vegetable garden is telling me. No, my home vegetable garden is not actually talking, but little things occur that I need to be more aware of if I plan to have a more consistent garden.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular things your home vegetable garden actually tells you. The first one is pretty obvious and that is drooping plants. This is most common during hot temperatures. Many plants can not withstand the extreme heat and respond in kind by drooping or the beginnings of wilting. If those plants are in pots, pull them indoors if possible, otherwise make sure you give them a good watering to keep them hydrated.

A second popular thing your garden is telling you is lack of nutrients. Your plants aren’t going to tell you they need a daily multi vitamin, but they will tell you what they need in the form of deformations in leaves and in the fruit itself. Are your leaves yellow or yellowing? Chances are it lacks nitrogen. Do your tomatoes have blossom end rot? Then your soil may very well lack calcium.

Finally, one of the more popular issues home vegetable gardeners have are bugs. If the leaves have holes in them you have an issue. Shake a plant and if you see some insects flying around you probably have aphids. You get the point. Neem oil, diatamaceous earth, and pepper spray are just three safe solutions you can use to get it under control.

Your garden wants to thrive just as much as you want it to thrive and will tell you things. Keep an eye out for them and when you see something that may look out of the ordinary do a little research or ask a fellow gardener and tackle it as soon as the issue arises. Your garden will thank you for your efforts.

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the owner of Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC, the exclusive home for the Seeds of the Month Club, which has appeared on NBC, ABC and MSN Money as a great way for consumers to save money.

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