This secret tip is great to do early in the season when root growth is at a premium. Plants with strong root systems can grow faster, resist more stress, and bloom sooner. It is expensive and worth it. I’m talking about Superthrive. When transplanting your seedlings into the outside garden, water them in first with good clean water. Then return the next day and pour about one cup of diluted Superthrive mixed with water onto every plant near the stem. (1TBSP Superthrive to one gallon of water) Plants will recover faster from the transplant shock and begin vigorous growth.
This secret tip is something many food gardeners might not think about, but Dorothy and Toto know all about it. Wind protection! It is not always obvious when plants are stressed from the wind, but they can get tossed around and sometimes bend over to the ground. Wind results in higher leaf transpiration and dehydrates the plant. Yields can be reduced by more than 25%. When I say yield, I’m thinking about my heirloom Big Rainbow tomatoes. Wind breaks are easy to establish. Some ideas include a row of tall sunflowers or corn. A row of permanent edible shrubs, fruit trees or bamboo will slow the wind too. Temporary wind break ideas include a row of tall potted plants or a semi permeable fence. Solid wind breaks like brick walls create greater turbulence as wind is deflected upwards and falls with greater pressure on the other side.
The very best secret tip has been saved for last, because it is the most important. Put your shadow on your plants. You need to put your shadow on your garden every day. Check in with the plants and the soil and the bugs. Know when the tomatoes are blooming or the strawberries are ripe. The only way to have a successful garden is to look at it. Catch any problems at the earliest time possible, because so many things can happen when you’re not looking. We could make a list of what happens when you’re not looking, but it would contain just about everything you can imagine and more. Go out there every day and put your shadow on your garden for your best garden yet.