Sometimes you get overwhelmed by day-to-day encounters that may deter you from fulfilling some activities like maintaining your vegetable garden. Failing to cultivate your piece of a vegetable patch may seem not a bother but wait until it gets overgrown, and weeds have invaded your crops. The condition makes the allotment unlikable, and you may find it disturbing to revitalize it. But you are not alone on this one. Worry not because there is still hope to regain the glory of your garden. This article focuses on helping you on how you can restart your vegetable garden and continue enjoying its products.
Things to consider when restoring a Neglected vegetable garden
Before you indulge in the steps of regaining your vegetable garden glory, their several aspects or reasons to consider, notably, rejuvenating an overgrown garden can be nut cracking but worth doing.
You ought to understand that apart from the overgrown menace and the weeds, there is another aspect of the soil. More precisely, weed causes harm to the soil and reduces its productivity due to decreased soil fertility.
Apart from lowering soil fertility, the overgrown also harbor pests. Also, this overgrown garden possesses harmful plants such as poison ivy that can affect your vegetation. Even if you intend to grow the vegetables in the adjacent space near the neglected patch, it can be unhealthy.
Therefore, let us discuss the steps to follow with these considerations when one wants to rejuvenate a truck garden.
How to restart a neglected vegetable garden to its productive status
Let us see how to restart a neglected vegetable garden.
1. Start with a work plan
It is factual to say that one cannot conduct the whole process of reclamation in a day. And if indeed it could happen, it is tiring. Advisably should come up with a plan indicating all the steps and the activities in a subsequent pattern.
Particularly for a vegetable garden, the time it has been neglected matters, it can be a year or more, but the productivity is regainable. The following steps can be of help to you.
2. Eliminate scrap and weeds
First off, it’s common to find unwanted debris like tools, tomato cages, stakes, gardening equipment, and other scraps masked by weeds in a neglected vegetable patch. Advisably, hand weeding is appropriate since it effortlessly reveals this debris. This will prevent any cultivator from getting hurt.
Equally important, when cultivating old or neglected vegetable plots, most likely the previous cultivators used it as a garbage dump. Therefore, it’s not surprising to get debris like wood scraps, carpets, or gas cans.
What usually happens is that these items may have chemicals that can pollute the soil. These contaminants diffuse into the soil and finally are taken in future vegetable crops, which can be harmful to consumers.
In this respect, it’s advisable to conduct a soil test to identify whether the soil has the toxins. Upon getting the test results, one can decide the way forward. In the event the soil contains toxins, their possible ways of treating it. If indeed it’s free of toxins, then you can go on and propagate the vegetables.
3. Mulching and fertilizing
When a garden is abandoned, vegetable outgrows and also it’s overgrown with weeds. When this takes place, two things are bound to take place.
Firstly, most weeds deprive nutrients that were available in the soil. This deprivation is subject to the time the garden stays neglected. The more years the garden stays uncultivated, the more the essential nutrients reduce since the weeds absorb them.
As said earlier, a soil test is prudent to ascertain whether the soil is nutrient-rich or not and, if not, make an effort to enrich the soil.
Secondly, in any neglected patch, the overgrown weed dropseed can cause a threat to your vegetable since as they grow; they will be competing with weed.
According to some research, the seed dropped in the soil in a garden abandoned pause a challenge of weed menace for seven years. After eliminating weed and debris, there is a need to break up the soil but turning the top 6-8 inches with a hoe or a spade. Break huge clods while loosening the soil particles.
Afterward, eliminate old roots as you turn the soil. But it’s advisable to be careful not to over till since it breaks the soil to the extent of interfering with efficient water drainage.
Equally important, checking soil moisture is prudent. You can check the moisture content by squeezing a handful of your soil into a ball and tweak the ball with your fingers. In case it breaks apart, the soil is dry enough for revitalizing. On the other hand, if the ball fails to change shape, then the soil is very wet to start to revive.
Nonetheless, there is no need to worry because these two issues can are avertable by Appling appropriate fertilizers and mulching. Initially, start by tilling the garden.
Subsequently, spread a dense covering of grass straw or clipping or chopped leaves over the pertly weeded garden. The mulching discourages weeds from sprouting during early spring or winter.
Additionally, you can enhance the soil by incorporating green manure crops like ryegrass when tilling the garden. This tilling and planting of the green manure crop hinders weed germination.
Essentially, ensure that you cut and allow a green manure crop to take at least two weeks before growing vegetables. The time will be enough for the plant to decay and enrich the soil with the nutrients.
4. Make a catalog
After tilling and weeding the garden, it’s paramount to take some time to make a list of what you want to grow. Of course, there must be those vegetables that you want to give priority to others. For instants, you may want to have a portion for leafy green like spinach, silverbeet, marrow likes of cucumber, pumpkin, or zucchini.
Besides, other vegetables that may be in your mind like allium-onion, shallot, or onion and edible stems of asparagus or celery. As you make the catalog, consider the space available and the management attention that each of the vegetable crops demands.
5. Identify the type(s) of vegetables to propagate
With the help of your list of vegetables that you may intend to plant, make sure you understand every vegetable and its management to get high and quality yields. Each type of vegetable is direction is different.
For instance, cucumber needs a lot of space, which may discourage you from planting it with any other kind of vegetable. On the other side, you can cultivate onions together with spinach in the same potion, and maybe another brew you can grow carrots.
After these considerations, go ahead and opt for the vegetable or vegetables that you feel will be easier to manage and give you the best output. Besides, note the choice is subject to space and preference in terms of your needs. This is because you can cultivate the garden for subsistence or commercial use.
6. Application of organic matter
Now you have decided on what to cultivate and plant. As the vegetable grows, it good to practice progressively test the nutrients level in your soil against the vegetable you are propagating.
Advisably, organic manure is preferred because it contains organic nutrients that have no adverse effects on the plants that may infiltrate the consumer.
However, as you add organic manure, it offers a conducive environment for more weeds to sprout, which compete for the available nutrients with your crop(s). However, this should not be a worry since you can manage it.
7. Putting Weed under Control
To ensure that your crop(s) are developing healthy, do regular weeding to minimize loss of nutrients to weed. Avoid as much as a possible application of chemicals to weed out weed as it may affect the crop’s health—you organic and natural methods of weed control.
Notably, one of the natural ways of controlling weed is by laying thick mulch after the crops have sprouted from the soil. Besides, organic means of weed control like solarisation can assist weed out.
Solarisation entails placing huge rolls of plastics over the soil. The plastics are thin and transparent. These plastic uses get heated by solar and, in turn, raise the soil temperatures. The high temperature kills the weed and eliminates pests and mold present in the soil to your advantage.
However, you may want to use herbicides, but you need to be cautious since they may lower soil fertility or even affect soil PH to your disadvantage.
How to maintain soil fertility in your restored vegetable garden
Crop rotation is the best way to maintain soil fertility in any land. Plan well on how to change what you plant in your garden, considering that the crop that was in the plot utilized maximum use of the nutrient.
Therefore growing again in the same space the same type of crop may give low yields and low output because of inadequate nutrients.
Thus propagating a different crop is the best way to forward as you wait for the soil to regain its potential to host the planted crop initially.
General maintenance and management of a reclaimed vegetable garden
Aware that neglecting a garden is unforgiving, therefore requires excellent care like other ornamental plants. In this light, it essential to offer them vegetable plants vigor and health conditions to achieve optimum yields. The following are the basic management practices to achieve the intended goal.
- Regular watering
Water is a crucial component needed for healthy vegetable growth as sunlight is. Therefore, depending on the crop(s) in your vegetable garden, moisture requirements may differ.
For instance, the amount of water the onions need differs from the amount that tomatoes or carrots may demand. Notably, the watering aspect may not be a problem if the rainfall is consistent and enough for the existing crop(s).
Advisably, you can opt for drip irrigation, or if the garden location is in an area where nearer water spigot and finds its way to your garden, then watering may not be an issue of concern.
- Manage your vegetable crops(s)
In case your plants are planted directly from seed, elimination of excess and weak seedling would be essential to enhance productivity while reducing nutrients competitions. Aside, it aids in offering the remaining seedling enough space to prosper.
Equally, the elimination should happen when true leaves appear. Again ensure that you don’t interfere with the roots of other seedlings.
Later in the season, you may want to do pruning like tomatoes to avoid other branches growing to the main stem and may cause unnecessary competition of nutrients.
Additionally, every crop demands different kinds of maintenance. For example, a cucumber may require supporting edging since it’s a climbing plant to keep its stems.
- Regular weeding
As mentioned earlier in this article, weed should have no chance to thrive in a vegetable garden because they deprive nutrients for the crops. Advisably, opt for an efficient and effective method in eliminating the weeds for your crops to thrive well.
Mulching was essential in vegetable crops. Notable benefits include suppressing weeds, conserve soil moisture, and offer an excellent environment for roots. However, no al plant requires much. Plants that grow dense like pumpkins offer themselves mulch.
Reportedly, preferred mulch material for vegetable patch one seed-free straw. It makes a super cover and is easy to remove to allowing planting and then mixed with the soil after the season.
Further, it’s more suitable since it acts as a host for spiders that in turn feed on pests and save you from the havoc of pests.
- Improve soil fertility
As earlier said, soil nutrients must be at an optimum level. The best alternative is the application of organic manure. However, you can use inorganic fertilizers to improve, but you need to opt for the best ones, and this can be achieved by first conducting a soil test to confirm what nutrients the soil is lacking.
You may like the following vegetable gardening articles:
- How to Keep Rats Out of Your Vegetable Garden
- Best Ways to Grow Onions
- How to Take Care of a Vegetable Garden While on Vacation
- How to Get Rid of Whiteflies in A Vegetable Garden
- How to Get Rid of Voles in Vegetable Garden
From the above discussion, it’s imminent that the worry that your neglected vegetable garden was pausing is a thing of the past. Now, you need to pull up your sleeves and get dirty as you work on your vegetable space.
However, information is power, take time to find more on the concepts to boost your knowledge, and surely you will not be surprised. Because eventually, you will get outstanding details that you need at your disposal to rejuvenate the abandoned garden.
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.