Even in lawn mowing, lawn care and planting, a gardening system must be used. Planning your garden systematically pays off in the long run.
– Leave grass clippings on your lawn. They contain valuable nutrients and recycle quickly in a healthy lawn.
– Remove grass clippings from your lawn only when treating it for a severe thatch problem.
– Cut your lawn frequently enough to keep clippings below 1 1/2 inches in length.
– Let your grass to grow longer during spring for better growth and in the fall for greater root development.
– An extra feeding in the fall would help your lawn handle winter better.
– In hot, dry weather, never cut grass shorter than two inches.
Plot your vegetable garden using chalk! Draw the outline on a chalkboard. Then draw in crop locations and revise them readily with an eraser. When you finally find the perfect arrangement, copy the chalk diagram on paper.
Planning a Small-Space Vegetable Garden
– Put fall-bearing plants, like kale and Brussels sprouts, at the garden edge so that you could turn under the rest of the garden in the fall.
– Keep tall plants, like tomatoes, on the north side of the plot so they do not shade other crops.
– If your garden is on a slope, run rows parallel to that, not straight up and down, to avoid soil runoff.
– Stagger your rows so that the rows are closer together but the plants maintain the same distance.
– Select continuous-bearing vegetables. Some crops—peas and spinach, for example—have a really short harvest of two weeks or so. Other vegetables produce until frost: tomatoes, broccoli, squash, kale, eggplant and peppers.
– Place ramblers, such as squash, at the edge of the garden or on trellises.
– Make frequent small plantings of radishes and lettuce instead of planting once in one long row.
– Succession planting could double your garden’s yield. Substitute a row of vegetables that have finished bearing with a new planting of a different vegetable. For instance, follow leaf lettuce with carrots or snap beans, beets with escarole and cabbage with beans, carrots with fall spinach or kale. To work out other practical combinations, alternate crops with maturity dates similar to these.
– Your average fall frost date would decide what you can plant and how late. (Refer to your local county agricultural agent for frost dates in your area.) In warm areas, three and even four succession crops may be grown on the same piece of ground.
– Rotate various kinds of plants, root vegetables with leafy vegetables for example, since each uses different combinations of soil nutrients.
– For the second crop, pick out vegetables that grow best when they mature in cold weather.