Nutrients in the Garden 19: Garden Maintenance

July 08, 2014 | 10:07 am


We are in the dog days of summer and there isn’t a lot to report in the garden. The hail set us back so while others are harvesting, we are waiting and watching for everything to grow, bloom and produce.  As we wait; we water, weed and fertilize.

kids smallThis is a good time to access the nutrient needs of your vegetable crop. All crops will benefit from a light feeding; however, some need it more than others. When fertilizing follow label directions, too much fertilizer can damage the plant. Also over fertilizing will yield huge, green plants that will only produce a late light crop.

Light feeders: lettuce, mustard greens, peas and turnips. These vegetables will not need additional fertilizing if they have been planted in fertile soil.

Moderate feeders: beets, carrots, okra, green beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes. These moderate feeders would benefit from fertilizer while they are growing. I generally use a water soluble fertilizer on them once a week.  I use Miracle Grow because it’s easy to find at almost any store.

beans

Bush Green bean plant

Heavy feeders: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, kale, kohlrabi, onions, peppers, rhubarb, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon.  With their strong need for nutrients, I often will side dress a granular fertilizer based upon each need of the vegetable. The heavy feeders are also heavy producers and will provide your family plenty of healthy, nutritious food so it is worth the investment of time and money to fertilize.

tomato

Tomato bloom

This morning’s walk through the garden yielded a handful of sweet and tender peas. They provided a perfect snack, just before we weeded and watered.

bowl

Doesn’t every gardener use a baseball hat for a bowl? Wasn’t long and the “bowl” was empty. Yum!

natalie small

I am happy to be gardening with you and hope to have a more bountiful report in the next blog.