Grow Your Garden Workshop: Veggie Garden Maintenance

Written by Taria Person


Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! This week we will highlight the Grow your Garden Workshop Series, presented by the Center for Urban Agriculture. The event was held yesterday at the Morningside Community Center (SEEED) and facilitated by Amanda Spangler, Center for Urban Agriculture Manager at Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

Before the workshop, I was able to ask Amanda about the event, the partnership with SEEED, and to get more insight about the workshop in general.

“It’s an honor to be here! I enjoy promoting the awesome work that SEEED is doing. Most times, I come with more information than needed for the workshops, just incase there’s a topic that people are more interested in,” Spangler expressed. “It’s not realistic for everyone to come to us [Knoxville Botanical Garden], so it’s great to let people know that you all are a resource in the neighborhood. Also, these events are great because the proceeds go towards SEEED’s gardening program!”

Below, we will share a few tips from Spangler’s “Veggie Garden Maintenance” presentation.

1. “Wicked Weeds”

The first question was, “What’s a weed?” Soon we all found out that It’s pretty much an out of place plant. In the garden, weeds compete with other plants for things like water, space, and nutrients. Weeds are not aesthetic in gardens, and become a great place to host pests!

Ways to prevent weeds:
-Remove weeds before planting;
-Mulch suppresses wicked weeds;
-Don’t water the entire plant or bed! Only water the rooted area.

*Wood chips, sawdust, and recycled leaves make great mulch!

2. “Critter Control”
There are three methods regarding critter control: Mechanical, chemical, and cultural.

  • -Mechanical: fencing, scare tape, and netting;
  • -Chemical: soap and pepper sprays, predator’s urine;
    -Cultural: crop rotation, avoid monoculture, and less appetizing selections.

Make sure you research methods that would work best for your area. For instance, if you live where there are a lot of rabbits, fencing would be great; however, fencing may not be as effective for deer.

*For soap and pepper spray, use non-concentrated soap. Occasionally, change the recipe of your spray (cayenne pepper to habanero pepper) so pest don’t become immune.

3. “Plant Disease”
Diseased plants can occur for various reasons, but there are many methods of prevention. One way is to build and maintain a healthy ecosystem in your garden.

-sufficient amounts of water to reduce/avoid stress;
-if possible, water before 10 am;
-remove old plant debris from around.

And experiment in your gardens!

*Did you know that stressed plants send messages to pest, to let them know that they are available, versus healthy plants?

Thank you for reading this week’s blog. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share! If you missed last nights event, no worries, there are more to come. The next Grow your Garden workshop: Fall Fruits and Veggies is on September 13, 2017 at 5:30pm. Come join us! Until next time, keep growing!

Posted in Community Garden, SEEED's Weekly Voice.