Common Garden Mistakes
Are you someone that just can't get the hang on this gardening stuff? You want to grow your own veggies, but keep falling short. Your tomatoes are tall and spindly. Your peppers are yellow. Your squash is always small and the blooms fall off. These are all really easy fixes.
Lets start with your spindly tomatoes. There are usually two reasons for this. The first reason is sunlight. A garden needs at least six hours of sun. One small sunbeam moving across the garden in no way counts. Your plants are reaching for sun.
Another reason for spindly plants, and also plants that put on a lot of leaves and stems, but no fruit,is the use of fertilizer with a high first number, such as the miracle grow brand. The first number on a bag of fertilizer represents nitrogen. Nitrogen is great for your winter greens, and corn, but not good for must of your summer garden. You need to use a more well rounded fertilization, like 6-7-7.
The next problem is yellowing leaves. Several things can cause this. Planting your summer vegetable plants while the ground is still to cold, will damage your plants. Wait to plant your tomatoes and other summer plants until the temperatures get over 60 degrees at night consistently for about two weeks.
Take your shoes off and walk bare footed in your yard. If the ground is still cold to your feet, don't plant.
Not enough sunlight, also can cause yellowing, as well as too much or too little water.
Blooms falling off can be caused by a lack of bees. Squash and Zucchini, as well as other garden vegetables, must be pollinated by bees. Plant some buckwheat in your garden to attract bees. Bees love red flowers, sunflowers- well pretty much they love flowers.
One of the BIGGEST mistakes I find gardeners making- they buy squash, zucchini, eggplant, bush tomatoes, cucumber, and even okra plants, that have been in their starter packs too long, and now they are stunted. They will not recover. If you buy any of the above plants, plant them immediately. If you see roots splitting the containers, don't buy.
An exception to this rule is the vine tomatoes. Since the whole stem of a vine tomato can become a root, I actually prefer to buy my tomato plants taller. I then bury them deep. I bury all but ¼ of the plant.
Are you guilty of making any of these garden mistakes? I would love to hear from you. I may feature your garden in an upcoming article. As always- Let's Get Growing South Carolina.
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