Maintenance of a Kitchen Garden

Gardening- a great way to spend more time outdoors, enjoying some fresh air, and get that much-needed boost of Vitamin D. But, gardening can sometimes be overwhelming if you don’t know all the tricks of the trade.  

A kitchen garden is a wonderful source of fresh vegetables and fruit. With increasing awareness towards healthy eating and lifestyle shift from processed to natural, sourcing food from a kitchen garden is gaining popularity.

Let us delve into the necessary steps you should follow to give your kitchen garden the care it deserves. Here is what you need to do:

1.    Water

Water is so important for all living organisms on our planet. Your plants can only grow and thrive if the soil or medium they are growing in has sufficient moisture. This also helps plants establish strong roots and produce fruit. The quantity of water and the frequency of irrigation will very as per the plant growth phase and atmospheric conditions. While watering, take care that you don’t drench the entire plant, this can promote diseases. Your goal is to ensure availability of right quantity of water to the root of the plant at all time, not on the foliage. Automatic irrigation systems like ‘Rivulite –aqua’ (www.rivuliteaqua.com) may be a right solution to provide required water at set intervals to the root zone of plants.

 2. Mulch

Once you’ve planted your seeds or seedlings, add mulch around them. This will keep soil cool, the weeds down, and retain water which will also impact the quality of soil and add to compost. You ideally want a 2- 4-inch layer of organic mulch around your vegetable plants to moderate soil temperature, improve soil quality, and keep vegetables clean. Apply mulch after the soil has warmed in spring and replace when needed.

3. Weed and thin seedlings

Weeds are bad news for your garden. Make sure to get them out as soon as they appear, they are easier to pull out when they are small. If weeds are allowed to grow in your garden they compete with your healthy plants for nutrients and leave them under-nourished. Maintain mulch to suppress weeds. It is also helpful to remove crowded seedlings-especially carrots, radishes, onions, and beets-as quickly as you can to give the remaining crop enough space to mature.

 4. Fertilize

Different crops have unique needs of nutrition which vary throughout the growing season. The texture of soil and levels of fertility also influence when and how much fertiliser the plants need. Most transplanted vegetables like tomatoes, corn, and lettuce need fertilizers about 3 to 4 weeks after they’ve been planted. Some crops may need additional fertilizer later in the season so get enough research before you being to apply fertilizer. A good way to apply fertilizer is to sprinkle it 6 to 8 inches from stems.

Ultimately the key to good gardening is to care as you go. Follow the above mentioned tips to maintain the health of your garden and enjoy the sweet harvest of produce from your own garden.

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