Here are a few easy gardening tips from a very passionate and accomplished gardener, Martha Stewart. These gardening tips and tricks can help to jump start your Vegetable garden this season.
You can create a garden by laying out a geometry shape to yield maximum results and easy access. To help minimize weeds and to help retain moisture, she uses mulch of salt hay, which can be harvested in marshes along the east coast. ( you can also use straw hay to help minimize weeds)
Make sure your plant seeds or small starter plants are spaced evenly to prevent crowding. You can use a tool called a dibber, which places holes into the ground . Set plants too close together and you’ll stunt their growth. Set them too far apart and you’ll create an opportunity for weeds, so if you can’t find a dibber, simply use your hand as a measuring tool, each plant should be a hand apart from one another.
If you decide to plant tomatoes in your garden, try using Martha’s tomato stake method. It consists of white nylon twine supported by bamboo tripods. The vines are attached to the twine with trellis clips. Staking tomatoes allows for a clean, disease- and pest-free crop and even ripening of the fruit, and the clips can be reused each year.
Seeds saved from past gardens may be worth planting — but only if they pass Martha’s test: Fold 10 seeds in a moist paper towel, place in a resealable bag, mark with date and type. Watch to see how many germinate. Multiply that number by 10 to calculate the percent of germinations. More than 70 percent is passing. If between 40 and 60 percent, sow thickly. Below 40 percent, it’s best to buy fresh seed.
Watering your garden. Gauging how quickly a sprinkler delivers the right amount is easy if you follow Martha’s example. Set an empty, regular-size coffee can about 10 feet away from the sprinkler (or closer, if 10 feet is outside the watering zone). Turn on the tap, and monitor the time needed for the sprinkler to deposit enough water to reach 1 1/2 inches on a ruler dipped into the can (the equivalent of what your plants need). Next time, you’ll know just how long to run the sprinkler.
These tips should point you into the right direction and you can read our next blog to help see which vegetables are compatible with one another!