Tips and Products for Planting and Maintaining Garden Beds
During this time of year many people are thinking about their gardens – last-minute plans, tending to young plants, or thinking about pests and problems ahead! We’ve compiled some thoughts on how to use our products in your garden beds this spring to help enhance soil and growth healthier plants, along with some general advice so you can get the most out of the season!
Garden Bed Preparation and Planting
Before you get anything into the ground, you’ll want to prepare the soil to make sure it’s ready for a fresh round of plants. Soil nutrients will be used up and depleted over time, especially in smaller containers and garden beds that don’t benefit from natural additions of nutrients from sources like insects, falling leaves, and grass clippings. We recommend starting with a soil amendment with ingredients like bone meal, molasses, chicken compost, or something that adds carbon into the soil. If you have a compost heap, this is the time to make use! If you don’t, look into starting one now and keep it going all summer with unused food scraps and lawn clippings, then use it once the materials are broken down into a dark soil. You can find guides online, such as this one.
Garden Bed Planting
Make sure the holes you dig for each plant are the proper width and depth and be sure to water ater planting. This is a great time to add fertilizers and soil amendments directly to the hole or backfill materials. Treat your new plants with NutriRoot and Hydretain. NutriRoot contains kelp, micro & macronutrients, and humic acid – all good things for the soil and plant growth. It’ll help reduce establishment stress, which is perfect for helping young plants acclimate to their new home. NutriRoot is made with Hydretain, but using some extra won’t hurt – since it only converts evaporating water back into liquid, there is no risk of over-watering your plants and causing root rot, unlike with a polymer gel. Hydretain lasts for up to 90 days, so treat at the beginning of the garden season and again towards the end to see water-saving effects all throughout summer.
When applying NutriRoot, the basic dilution is 1.25-1.5 fl. oz. in 1 gallon of water. Use higher rates for newly transplanted trees and plants. Use lower rates for routine maintenance and to alleviate drought stress. It can be used in conjunction with standard fertilization programs and may increase their efficacy!
Continue to water with NutriRoot monthly to help with water loss. The nutrients in NutriRoot are readily available, so this could also be helpful to supplement between uses. Mix 1.5 fl oz per gallon of NutriRoot. Be sure to water in, so the NutriRoot is in the root zone.
Hydretain can also be used early in the growing season to help with water management. This is the component used in NutriRoot that will help plants utilize normally unavailable water in the soil. Hydretain comes in a liquid and granular. The granular version is on an organic chicken compost, so you’ll eventually see additional greening and plant growth as the compost breaks down.
Garden Bed Insect and Disease Control
AzaSol is a neem-based insect control and works by effecting the life cycle of insects piercing, sucking, or chewing on the plant. They will stop feeding, growing, and eggs won’t be viable. Because AzaSol doesn’t work immediately, it’s best used proactively every 7-14 days. Treat before pests typically start feeding on your plants.
If you’re already seeing insect pests, spray with Eco-1 Garden Spray or Eco-1 Fruit & Vegetable spray which will smother and quickly kill soft bodied insects like aphids, mites, and whiteflies.
Eco-1 is also a disease control solution and works great on powdery mildew. It’s most effective to treat before you see the white powdery spots, but Eco-1 can help clear up an infection if sprayed early and often. Use when conditions favor spore development like in hot and humid weather.
Keep all of these tips in mind as you prepare your garden this spring. All of the products mentioned here can be found online or at most garden centers. Happy gardening!