ICYMI: Gardening is America’s favorite hobby right now. Whether you’ve started your very own “victory garden” or just wondering how to keep those bright pink Zinnias looking their best, we wouldn’t want all that hard work to go to waste. Here, with the help of Miracle-Gro, we gathered our top four tips for maintaining your little plot of backyard (or raised-bed) heaven.
4 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Victory Garden
You've planted everything. Now what? If there's no rain in the forecast, keep plants healthy and happy by watering deeply every few days (versus a light watering once per day). You may even want to invest in a rain gauge or place a clear container outside so you can tell how much water your plants are actually getting. Rule of thumb: Most gardens need about an inch of water per week (and even more during the hotter months).
No, we’re not talking about water and sunlight (although that, too). Make sure you’re helping your plants thrive with adequate nutrition. While the best kinds of soil, like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil contain plenty of nutrients to give plants a good start, you’ll need to make sure to add fertilizer, especially for those “heavy feeders” like tomatoes and peppers. As the growing season continues, we recommend a plant food or fertilizer that contains nitrogen (for growth), phosphorus (for root and bloom development) and potassium (to make plants strong enough to fight off diseases and withstand stressful growing conditions like drought and heat). Our top pick: Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Plant Nutrition.
3. Weed Control
Just like when you KonMari’d your closet, removing growth that doesn’t “spark joy” is an important part of garden maintenance. Take out weeds that are crowding stronger, healthier plants in order to reduce nutrient, water and sunlight competition. Remove plants with decaying limbs or diseased leaves to help prevent the problem from spreading to neighboring plants.
4. Mulching And Soil Care
It’s not enough to just mix the top six inches of dirt with a store-bought soil. After you’ve planted your victory garden, spread a 2-3 inch layer of mulch on top of soil to help retain moisture and prevent weed seeds from sprouting by blocking their access to sunlight. You should also try to avoid walking or kneeling on moist soil when tending to your garden as you could compress the dirt, which prevents oxygen and moisture from reaching the roots of your seedlings. Finally, you can always add a boost of nutrition after planting by feeding your plants when you water with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition.