Planting a a vegetable garden is more than just placing and watering seeds and seedling plants. Being a gardener is providing the protection, nutrients, and healthful elements your plants will need to grow the best they can. Here are some tips to help you boost your soil and benefit your garden plants this season.
Install a Weed Barrier
Weeds growing in your garden may seem quite harmless until they overtake and grow above your garden plants, stealing soil nutrients, water, and sunshine from your cultivated plants. Weeds are also harmful to your nursery plants in the manner they can attract and house pests and insects that can damage and destroy your garden plants. But you don't need to spend hours in your garden weeding to keep your garden free of weeds.
Installing a weed barrier over the soil around your garden plants is the easiest way, and you can use landscaping fabric, or use other organic materials you may already have in your home or yard. Old newspapers are one of these items, as they make a good weed barrier for your soil.
To use newspapers, soak them in a bucket of water until they are completely wet, then spread the newspapers several layers thick over the soil in your garden. The sun will dry the newspapers into a hard shell, blocking out sunlight and oxygen to prevent weed growth in the soil beneath.
Fertilize Your Soil
Plants in your garden soil will use up the nutrients each season, and if the nutrients are not replenished regularly your soil will be void of the food your plants need to grow well. You can add bagged fertilizer or plant food into your garden soil, tilling it into the soil. You can also mix lawn clippings into your lawn each week or rake your yard's leaves into the garden every fall, tilling them with a garden tiller. As the leaves and lawn clippings sit in the soil over the winter, they will break down and decompose adding nutrients back into the soil.
You can also collect vegetable peelings, egg shells, and coffee grinds from your kitchen. Dig a hole in your garden and dump the kitchen compost into the hole. When the hole is full, cover it with soil and dig a new hole nearby. Continue this process during the summer and till your soil and all the pockets of compost in the fall or next spring so the compost can provide food for your plants.
Use these two tips to help you get your garden soil rich and full of nutrients