Maintain Your Garden in 3 Easy Steps
Never let your plants drown or drought. Slightly moist soil is your best bet. If the ground is saturated, the plants will rot at the roots. Not enough water will cause desiccation. In the heat of summer, especially, keep an eye on the plants. The curling and drooping of branches and leaves is an urgent indicator: Water!
Watering in the morning or in the evening ensures that the most amount of moisture is reaching the plant and not just evaporating.
For better or worse, you need to manually pull out most weeds. Wear waterproof gloves and consider a comfortable sitting pad for extensive weeding. The trick to pulling weeds is to get the root out as well. Weeds will slide out of the soil easier when the soil is wet—and when the weeds are young. Pull the weed from its base (close to the soil line); if you miss the root, try using a fork to gently pry the plant out of the ground, roots and all.
If your weeds regrow, then you have a persistent root that you need to dig out. Use a spade or digging fork to dig up persistent weeds by the roots. Remove as many root pieces as you can. While weeding, hold the trowel vertically (like a child holding a crayon) to eliminate strain on your wrist.
By pinching and pruning, plants can focus their energy on making food instead of foliage. Pinching off extra flowers will help, too: Fewer flowers (along with fewer leaves) means more plant attention on developing bigger, better veggies, bringing forth that quality harvest you’ve been dreaming of.
In addition to increasing fruit size and quantity, pinching and pruning can help train plants to grow where you need them to, like up trellises, stakes, and other supports, keeping your garden looking well-maintained. This can also help keep your plants healthy, as removing excess foliage encourages good airflow through the plant, as well as makes it easier to spot pests or diseases before they become a serious problem.