Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Location is key
Most vegetable plants do best in full sun. Find a location that gets at least six hours of it each day. Eight hours will give you even better results. When planning your garden layout, in order to provide the most sun exposure to all your plants, place the tallest ones, such as corn, indeterminate tomatoes or pole beans on the north or west side so they do not shade the smaller plants.
It’s all about the soil
The best soil for vegetable gardens includes lots of compost and organic matter such as rotted leaves and aged manure. Whatever you’re starting with, incorporate enough of the above material so that the amended soil is neither sandy nor compacted.
When the mix is right, it will bind together when you squeeze it but break apart when disturbed. This soil is full or living microorganisms that will help feed your plants. The water will be sufficiently retained and yet won’t saturate the soil either.
For most vegetable plants, one inch of water per week is adequate. An efficient way to deliver the proper irrigation is by using soaker hoses or drip irrigation lines. This water is delivered slowly and evenly, allowing roots time to absorb the moisture and soil to adequately hydrate. Automatic timers take the effort and worry out of this all important step.
But how ever you water, try to do so at the soil level only. This will help to keep the foliage dry. Wet foliage for extended periods can promote diseases.
On the subject of retaining soil moisture, mulch is critical for that. A layer of any type of mulch (about 2 inches) will help retain moisture. In addition, it will moderate soil temperatures, reduce weed germination and reduce the chance of soil-born diseases from splashing onto your plants. Plus mulch in any garden looks great!
Use patience with pest control
Although pests are usually a given at some point in a vegetable garden, by exercising patience, nature can usually take care of the problem. If you practice the steps mentioned so far, you’ve taken the measures to promote the growth of healthy plants which are better able to stand up to potential pest invasions.
If you must resort to insecticides, apply them responsibly! That means only late in the day or evening and then only when necessary. Never apply pesticides in the morning when pollinators and beneficial insects are most active. Otherwise, you’ll likely kill them as well. My preferred method of control is to be proactive in the garden. Visit it often, early in the morning, and pick off pests with your hands.
Don’t over fertilize
Too much fertilizer, especially nitrogen (the first number on the fertilizer package) can promote plenty of lush green growth at the expense of less fruit and a smaller harvest. Excessive fertilizer can also harm your plants. Soil that’s rich in compost and organic matter will provide all the nutrients your plants need for a lush garden and bountiful harvest.
If you put into practice what I’ve suggested above, you’ll get your garden off to the right start and set it up for a fruitful season. Preparation is key but the reward is a healthier, more productive garden and fresh food that tastes better than anything you can buy in the store. What could be better than that?