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BONNIE’S GARDEN – My Veggies Are Planted! Now What?

By Bonnie Pega
Bonnie's Garden

Okay, so I’ve got all my veggies planted. I can put up my feet and relax now, right? Not exactly.

What I Need to Do Now

Here’s what I need to do now:

  1. Stay on top of weeds. Right now, weed seedlings are already popping up in my freshly planted raised beds. If I slack off, they can quickly get out of hand, so I’ll check every day or two and deal with them before they become a bigger problem.
  2. Feed. I did amend the soil with extra compost. However, that does not replace quickly used-up nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, etc. That’s what a good fertilizer is for. What is a good fertilizer? As an organic gardener, I use Espoma’s Tomato-tone. Tomato family members (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.) need extra calcium, which Tomato-tone has, so it’s good for them. Cukes, squash, etc. don’t need the extra calcium, but they don’t care if they get it so I use it on them, too. And, because it’s a good overall fertilizer, if there is anything left when I’m done with my veggies, I toss it in my perennial bed.
  3. Admire my garden every day—and while I’m admiring it, I’ll be turning over the occasional leaf to check for any potential problems, like insect eggs. Believe me, it’s way easier to STAY on top of a problem than it is to GET on top of a problem.
  4. Replace sprinklers with soaker hoses. So many of our vegetables are prone to powdery mildew and other fungal problems. With our generous summer humidity, I don’t need to add insult to injury by getting the foliage wet when I water.
  5. Keep my birdbath filled. Huh? What does that have to do with vegetable gardens? Ever had squirrels go after your green tomatoes? They take one bite and toss the rest. They’re not actually eating your tomatoes. They’re after the moisture inside. I spray my green tomatoes with Hot Pepper Wax, a repellent that contains an extract of cayenne pepper. That makes the tomato unpleasant to eat. Then I provide the squirrels with an easily accessible water source a few feet away. I do this every year and I’ve learned that the repellent works partly, but I get way better results by providing the squirrels something to drink elsewhere.
  6. Most importantly, I need to take time to sit on my deck or patio and appreciate my garden. Sometimes I get so bogged down in the details that I forget to appreciate the bigger picture. I forget the pay-off—bees and butterflies flitting around my yard and delicious HOME-GROWN produce. Produce tastes best when it’s fresh. You can’t get fresher than this!

Everything You Need in One Place!

We still have a great selection of both vegetable plants and seeds (for fast-growing veggies like beans and cukes). Come in and let us help you select the best for your garden.

To read more from Bonnie, visit our blog

2 thoughts on “BONNIE’S GARDEN – My Veggies Are Planted! Now What?

  1. Birds,birds,birds are attacking my vegetable garden (Robin’s) I put up Aluminum pies pans ,a owl,still not working sometimes the birds set and watch me work and as soon as I go back in house they right back at it again so can someone tell me what else needs to be done to keep the birds out

  2. Bird netting is probably the strongest defense but other things can certainly help. Putting up bird feeders and a bird bath at the OPPOSITE side of the yard can help to attract them away. Most birds are actually good guys–over all–eating bugs and things that eat our veggies but occasionally can nibble at the plants as well or disturb tiny seedlings in the soil. Try adding a rubber snake –just be sure to move it every couple of days or they begin to ignore it. If you don’t move your owl around every few days, it will lost its effectiveness. Shiny balloons that move in the breeze can help.

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