Picking out the fruits and vegetables that you would like to use on your mini farm can be a fun experience, but what should you do when it is time to plant them or after they are already growing strong? There is still a lot of work that you will need to take care of from picking out the right soil, keeping the pests at bay, and even taking care of the weeds. In this chapter, we will take some time to look over these important aspects of taking care of your garden to ensure you get the most out of all your work.
While you are working on your garden, you need to make sure that you are picking out a soil that is good for the plants. Many farmers will choose to just use the soil that is available in their area, but this could mean that your plants are missing out on some of the important nutrients that they need to stay healthy. Adding in some more nutrients or designing your own soil can help to ensure that the plants are going to do fine without as much worry.
If you are choosing to use the soil that is already available in your yard, it is time to get to work. You will need to move the soil around and till it a bit to allow some more oxygen to get in and to release some of the nutrients that are inside. There can be a lot of good in the soil that you have available already, but you will need to bring it out to see results.
You will also need to pick out a good pH tester. This is going to tell you what nutrients are present in which amounts. Sometimes the soil will be just fine and other times you may want to consider bringing in some more nutrients to make the soil perfect for the plants that you would like to grow. You can choose to mix in some premade potting soil or make your own compost, perhaps with the chickens or goats that you are also raising on your mini farm.
No matter what kind of soil you are using, you will need to check the pH levels on occasion. Some plants are going to take a lot of nutrients out of the soil and if you’re not careful, you could end up without something that is important to your plants. Set up a regular schedule for checking the pH levels or any time that you notice that some of the plants are yellowing or aren’t doing as well, it may be time to add some new nutrients.
Pre-making your soil is another way to go. You may find that making up soil with the right nutrients or adding in a lot of compost can ensure that all those nutrients are available right from the very beginning. This may take a bit of work on your part to organize, but if you want those fruits and vegetables to flourish, you will really appreciate this effort.
Any time that some of the nutrients begin to fall short in your garden, it is time to add in the nutrients. There are many products available, many of which can be added in along with your watering routine, so you can give your plants the nutrients they need to flourish in a mini farm.
Pest control is another option that you will need to take care of when it comes to your garden. Many people assume they can just use bug sprays or other pest control sprays to take care of their gardens, but if you’re not careful, you may find that these chemicals are going to cause some harm to your beautiful garden. Because of some of these issues with traditional pest controls, many people are turning to organic options to help make their gardens look amazing while keeping those pests away. Some of the options that you can use to help with natural and organic pest control include:
- Floating row covers—these are a porous fiber that is white and see through but will act as a barrier to insects. They still allow the sunlight in though so your plants are going to get all of the great nutrition they need in that part. If you would like to extend your season a bit longer, there are heavier duty row covers that will help to keep the plants warm.
- Pheromone traps—many insects are going to produce pheromones, or powerful smells that are meant to lure the opposite sex. There are special bait traps that have these scents on them that will help to alert you when a certain pest is trying to move into the area, but they may not be the best at keeping the pests away.
- Sticky traps—these are a rigid material that will have some kind of sticky substance on them that is meant to capture the insects and keep them still. You have to keep the traps clean and as sticky as possible and it is best to hang them at plant height every few feet. The color will also attract different kinds of pests so keep this in mind. For example, yellow is good for leafhoppers, whiteflies, and fruit flies while white is better for plant bugs and flea beetles. Light blue is good for flower thrips and red spheres can be good for some flies.
- Insecticidal soap—this kind of soap is going to include a fatty acid that will dissolve onto the skin of the insects. The insect needs to come into contact with the soap while it is still in liquid form so you will need to spray it onto the pests as they are flying around. You can also test it on each plant to make sure that the plant will be fine with that spray around.
- Essential oils—these are often the most effective because they are going to scare away the pests without causing harm to the plants. There are a number of essential oils that have a smell that is bad for the pests, but the oils are made out of herbs so they aren’t an issue to your plants. Make sure to research which oils work the best with your particular pests to help avoid issues.
While traditional forms of pest control may seem like the best options to take care of your pests and will help you to keep the plants healthy, they can actually cause a lot of harm to the plant. You could be spraying harmful chemicals at the plants and making them sick and ensuring they don’t do well. Try out an organic option of the pest control and you will see that it is much easier to keep those pests away without ruining all your hard work.
How to Take Care of Weeds
Weeds are a pain for anyone who has ever worked in a garden. The weeds can take over the garden in no time and you will have to keep up on them all of the time. Weeds can cause a variety of issues when it comes to your garden. First, they are going to be really unsightly to your garden because they take up a lot of space and can take away from the beautiful garden that you are growing.
The biggest issue with weeds though is that they are taking up a lot of nutritional value that the garden plants will need. While the weeds will pose no value to you on your mini farm, they are going to pose a lot of issues when it comes to the nutrient content in the soil. Your plants and the weeds are going to start competing for all of the nutrients that are in the soil, despite the fact that you didn’t put the weeds there and want nothing to do with them. If you don’t take care of the weeds and let them overtake the garden, your crops are going to start to fail and you will just be left with weeds no matter how hard you work.
The best thing that you can do for he health of your garden and to keep the crops growing healthy is to take care of those weeds. You should check on the garden at least a few times each week, seeing how well the plants are growing, checking if there are issues with pests, and then to also see if the weeds are starting to sprout up. If you start to notice that there are weeds all over the place, take care of them right away. You can pull them out at the roots, use a safe weed remover, or any other method that will get rid of the weeds, just make sure to take care of them right away.
Taking care of your garden can seem like a big task, but if you just keep up with all of the work it won’t seem so bad. Pick out the right soil and check on the pH levels from the beginning, learn how to find all natural ways to keep pests away, and keep up on those weeds and you are going to have the best mini farming garden that you could ask for.