Looking After Your Vegetable Garden

Added on June 24th 2021

During the pandemic, lots of homeowners started their own vegetable and fruit gardens so they’d have something to do during lockdown and also so they’d have a ready supply of fresh produce such as tomatoes and herbs.
If you’re about to buy a property with a vegetable garden, whether it’s well-established or relatively new, it’s a good idea to find out how to look after it once it’s yours. Here’s how to keep your patch safe and productive.

Use garden netting

Birds, bugs and small mammals can’t resist some crops, especially sweet fruits like strawberries, so place some netting over them to prevent anyone getting to your plants. Netting lets air and pollinating insects into your crops but stops the bigger, munchier critters from ruining your salad prospects.
Netting can also double as a frame for climbing plants and can provide shade to your plants during really hot and sunny days.

Make sure you maintain consistent temperatures

Your crops need to have the right conditions and not be subjected to wide fluctuations of temperature and moisture. If you’re growing some plants which need warmer temperatures, for example, then making sure they have some sort of cover for colder nights can help them to grow and ripen.
If you’re growing crops that do best in hotter climates, make sure they’re watered enough and get at least some shade during the day so that they don’t wilt or dry out altogether.
Using a layer of mulch helps to maintain moisture in the soil, as well as to regulate temperatures.

Use windbreaks

A harsh, dry or cold wind can really damage plants, especially younger seedlings, so you’ll need to keep the worst off them. You may already have some natural windbreaks in the form of trees, bushes, furniture and walls, but you might need to add in some more, even temporarily, to deflect the wind from your more delicate plants.

Build some raised beds

Most insect pests and vermin like mice tend to live at ground level, so raising your growing beds by a foot or so makes it harder for these nuisances to get to your crops. The walls of the raised beds also help to prevent larger animals like rabbits from digging into your beds, as well as to elevate your plants away from excessively damp soil or even flooding in winter.

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