Your Garden Is Planted—Now What?

If you are like many gardeners, you started your plants in the early spring inside, waiting for the right temperature to put them in your backyard garden. Now that you have got those vegetables planted, it would seem the real work has just begun.

Here are four tips to keep your garden growing healthy and strong.

Hydrate: Your garden needs watering—lots of it–however, there is a correct way to do it. Water your plants by hand. That will help prevent water from getting on the leaves and will hit only the soil. Overwatering can cause fungi to grow, leaving spots that lead to unhealthy plants. Expert gardeners recommended waiting for the soil to dry before watering as that trick will deter overwatering. Keep your plants hydrated but try not to drown them.

Your soil: Overtime soil can decay. When purchasing loam, check the quality. Soil that is less than 15 percent clay and at least 5 percent organic matter is ideal. Another way to rejuvenate the ground is by mulching. Mulching helps keep the soil moist and the weeds at bay while supplying organic matter to help during the decomposing process. Weeds suffocate the roots of your plants by taking away space and resources while providing a home to pests.

Clean tools: Before starting in your garden, make sure the tools you are using are clean. Clean tools help to eliminate the spread of any bacteria or outside elements to your garden.

Garden maintenance: Now that your plants are in the ground, you must maintain them. Weeding and thinning out dead underproducing portions of your garden will help get rid of the unhealthy parts of the plants, creating more space for your garden to flourish. Protecting your plants is a valuable step in garden maintenance. Setting up a wire fence around your garden will let the sunlight in and keep critters out (mostly). Vegetable plants such as tomatoes and peppers need extra support when it comes to their stems. Driving stakes into the ground and using plant ties to tie the plant stems to the stakes help support them, allowing them to grow without falling over and breaking.

Check out these great pictures that my gardening friends have sent me! It looks like their gardens are growing strong and healthy!  Do you have some gardening tips that you can share? I would love to hear them send them to me at