Gardeners like to share tips and tricks. Here are a few we hope are helpful!
Water slow and low
🌾 Three inches of water once a week is best.
🌾 Avoid getting leaves wet. Early morning is optimal: less evaporation.
🌾 Night watering promotes mold and fungus growth.
Lay newspaper or cardboard between plants
🌾 Cover paper with mulch or hold down with rocks. This smothers weeds and holds in moisture.
🌾 Paper degrades into compost.
🌾 Leafy veggies stay cleaner for harvest.
🌾 Determinate tomatoes are short and bushy. Since they produce fruit all at once, stagger planting times to extend harvest time. No need to remove suckers.
🌾 Indeterminate tomatoes grow continuously producing throughout the summer. Remove some or all suckers.
🌾 Suckers will root to make a new plant.
🌾 Keep base of tomato mulched to keep roots cool and moist.
🌾 Clip base branches to allow 8 inches of space for air circulation and to deter fungus.
🌾 Watering evenly prevents splitting fruit and black spot.
🌾 Wrap a gloved hand with wide sticky tape, like duct tape, sticky side out. Brush both sides of leaves to catch pests. Replace tape as needed. This will quickly reduce the number of offenders.
🌾 Don't squash stink bugs. They release an odor that attracts more stink bugs.
🌾 Marigolds and zinnias attract pollinators and predatory insects to your garden.
🌾 Marigolds kill or repel nematodes that attack plant roots.
🌾 Nasturtiums repel the squash bore.
🌾 Wrapping the base of zucchini stems in foil helps deter squash bores. July is the worst time for squash bores.
Pesky birds and squirrels
🌾 Cover your larger fruit with the toe part of a nylon footie.
🌾 Buy fruit bags to cover your fruit.
🌾 Picking veggies often encourages more fruiting.
🌾 Pick veggies after plants have been watered.
🌾 Frequently clipping herbs encourages new growth and deters seeding.
🌾 Do not handle plants when they are wet because it encourages transfer of disease and fungus.
Journaling -- keep notes for future planning
🌾 Which varieties are doing well? Do you want to plant them again?
🌾 Where are plants located for crop rotation next year?
🌾 What problems and successes did you observe?