- Keep weeds under control. Weeds rob desirable plants of nutrients, including water. Pull weeds and treat the area with Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer. This all-natural, corn-based product keeps weed seeds from sprouting. When applied monthly according to label directions, Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer adds traces of natural nitrogen as the product breaks down, another benefit.
Rain barrels conserve water for use in the garden.
Photo courtesy TerraCycle
- Plant in tight rows with plants close together. When planted close together, plants shade each other’s soil and root systems.
- Mulch the base of vegetable plants. The mulch helps the soil retain moisture, moderates soil temperatures and reduces weed growth. Preen Landscape Weed Control Fabric is another way to control weeds and help the soil retain moisture. Make an X in the fabric and fold the cut sections back under the material. Sow seeds or plant transplants in the holes made by the Xs. The water penetrates the soil in the openings.
- Water infrequently, but deeply. Frequent, shallow sprinklings do not encourage deep root development, which is essential for good food production and healthy plants.
- When watering the vegetable garden, do not use overhead sprinklers. Instead, keep the water low and in the root zone of the vegetables. Water the soil, not the plant, with a drip irrigation system, soaker hoses, a showerhead nozzle on the hose, a watering can or a bucket.
- Punch tiny holes in plastic milk jugs or aluminum cans and sink them in the soil in the root area of plants. Rainfall collects in the receptacles and trickles out slowly to deliver water where it’s needed most.
- At the beginning and end of the growing season, add lots of organic matter to the vegetable bed. Natural ingredients, such as rotted manure, compost, chopped leaves or finely shredded mulch build the soil’s ability to retain moisture and encourage the right environment for beneficial microorganisms, fundamental elements of healthy soil. Healthy soil promotes and supports healthy roots and plants, which are able to fend off adverse environmental conditions, including drought, insects and disease.
- Install a rain barrel. The water collected during rainstorms can be tapped for use in the garden.