Six tips for success with your spring vegetable garden
If you’re yearning to grow your own crisp lettuce and succulent tomatoes, it’s not too soon to start.
After all, you’re living in Arizona, one of the nation’s biggest and best suppliers of lettuce and vegetables to the nation.
Here are six tips for having a successful spring growing season:
Make sure that your soil is properly amended to a depth of six to eight inches so that your plants will thrive. Provide lots of organic matter to make your soil loose and easy to work. Compost, chicken manure and leaf mulch are popular.
If you can, install a drip irrigation system using perforated lines to water your plants. If you do that, you can ensure that your plants will not be wet on top when the hot sunny weather arrives.
Water to a shallow depth for a few days before you actually plant. Water throughout the growing season to keep the soil moist but not too wet and to keep plants from wilting. Too much water during the growing season will affect the quality of your crop.
If this is your first time farming in your own backyard, you will find seedlings are more rewarding than trying to start plants from seeds. Visit a local nursery for information about what they are selling for planting right now. Generally speaking, the first week in February is a good time to plant your small starters. But watch for warnings of frost and cover your plants if the temperature is predicted to drop.
If you’re planning to plant tomatoes and peppers, plant them with a wire cage around them so that they have support for their branches and fruit.
Watch for signs of bugs and treat them at the first sign that they’re attacking your garden. Use Neem oil, a vegetable oil used extensively in organic gardening.
We also have tips for building your own raised vegetable beds.
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