We have been gardening for many years and have learned a few things about having a successful garden. I thought I would share our best tips to help others have a great yield without using chemicals.
It’s very fun to plant a seed and see it grow, but when those weeds start popping up, gardening is work! Here are some options we have found that work to keep weeds and bugs at a minimum.
Keeping Weeds Down:
Newspaper and grass clippings – Besides weeding constantly, we have found that laying a thick layer of newspaper with a thick layer of grass clippings in each row and around each plant early in the season is the best way to keep weeds down. Then it’s not so hard to pick out the few weeds that come through these thick layers.
Newspaper and straw – If you have access to straw, lay down some newspaper and add a thick layer of straw in your rows and around plants. This works the same as the grass clippings. Grass clippings are cheaper in some cases but a little bit more work if you don’t have a grass catcher on your mower.
Use a tiller – Some people like to till between their rows to keep the weeds away. Some use a walk behind tiller, but we like our handheld model because it’s lighter. This way we don’t have to worry about making our rows far apart if we don’t want to.
We like using newspaper and grass clippings best. This extra layer around our plants provides moisture so that if the weather gets hot and dry, our plants still hold some moisture. Many times people around us have a “bad” year, but we always seem to have a successful garden and good crop every year.
Marigolds for a Successful Garden?
For years we have planted a marigold at the end of each row in our garden (on both ends). Not only does this make the garden look even prettier, but it helps keep bugs away. I’m guessing it helps attract bees too, but I have not done research on that.
No more holey leaves…
When we start to see holes in the leaves of our plants or some type of rot, I sprinkle the plants with bleached flour. It sounds weird, but bugs don’t like bleached flour. Most of the time our leaves clear up and look healthy again. I figure it’s worth a try and won’t hurt anything if it doesn’t work.
I dust the plants lightly because too thick of a layer of flour will keep the sun off the leaves. Once it rains, the flour will get washed off. Check your leaves regularly. If the leaves start looking stressed, then sprinkle some more flour on them and check them every few days.
Gardening is Simple but Takes Some Work
Having a successful garden doesn’t have to be hard. If you set things up right and watch your plants weekly, you will see great results.
Plan early to have all the seeds, plants, newspaper and grass or straw ready. Then when it’s time to plant, get those seeds in the ground and cover the area around them. This will keep the weeds away.
Keep your plants watered and check them weekly. If they have any holes in the leaves or show signs of being stressed, then get your flour sprinkled on the leaves right away.
Then comes the fun part – watching your plants grow and enjoying the fruits of your labor!
I hope this post inspires you to have a successful garden too.
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