Keep your vegetable garden healthy by keeping your vegetables picked close. By that I mean do not let over ripe fruit go unnoticed and drain your plants of the nutrients needed to grow even more vegetables. That over ripe tomato or foot long squash is not very good to eat and will greatly decrease the amount of vegetables the plant can produce. I like young vegetables. By keeping them picked as soon as they are ripe or just before keeps them producing more.
Use garden stakes to help plants that are heavy with vegetables. Keeping vegetables off the ground that do not belong there is always a good thing. Try growing cucumbers on a trellis or fence. You may be surprised by the outcome.
By using a little fertilizer along the way you can extend the amount time your plant lives and make more vegetables. Be careful of when you you fertilize, I usually do this in late afternoon when it is not as hot. Your vegetable garden will benefit most from this while plants are still fairly young. You have less chances of disturbing the roots of your plants at this stage and they will get a much needed boost at a critical time in their development.
One option I hope you will stay away from is the time release fertilizers. Do you really know what is in them? Besides there are better fertilizers you can make and use yourself. Buying organic fertilizers is one option but you still rely on someone else saying it is totally organic. Composting materials at home is the sure fire method to organic. You get out what you put in.
Rotate where you plant your vegetables. – I don’t mean plant in a totally different area of your yard. I mean try not to plant the same vegetables in the same plot every year. You will deplete the soil of nutrients that the plant needs. All plants pull from the ground what they need to grow. If you plant corn in the same spot every year it will not yield as well the following year, unless you fertilize heavily. When planning your garden design, keep in mind where you last planted certain vegetables. Garden design can prevent a lot of head aches down the road. For instance, I would not plant watermelons or cucumbers near my pea patch because the vines would grow into the peas and make them hard to pick or keep weeds out.
Pick Vegetables In Early Morning Or Late Evening – Not only will this save you from the heat of the day, it will put less stress on your plants. Exposing Some plants roots or stems that are usually shaded from the sun by the foliage of the plant can slowly effect the health of the plant.