Cultivating is the New Weeding

 

Garden Tip of the Month

As summer heat ramps up and all your garden weeds take over, have no fear. Cultivation is here.

Cultivate, verb: to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.

 

Farmer Jay recommends “cultivating” rather than simply “weeding” your garden on a schedule that will make you and your garden healthy. Set aside about 10 minutes of garden cultivation time in either the morning or evening (to avoid that brutal dry heat we’ve been experiencing), every day. This will make your cultivation more manageable and enjoyable.

Of course, cultivating your garden will entail the act of weeding, but this labor does so much more than pull out unwanted plant matter. When weeding, you are aerating the soil, creating space for microbes, air, water, and nutrients to flow in the benefit of your desired plants. So certainly, keep on working that soil by pulling weeds! By consistently tending your garden on a daily basis, you’ll be able to catch weeds while they are small and before they go to seed (hopefully!).

While weeding is one act of cultivation, you may also give your garden attention by adding compost or other soil amendments such as organic fertilizers. Compost tea is another fun and easy way to cultivate your land, support microorganisms, and protect your crops. Different plants require different labor and attention, as well. Trellising can help support your tomatoes, beans, and peas. Mounding potatoes and pruning tomatoes are typical cultivation techniques that will diversify your work in the garden, too.

For more tricks and tips of the gardening trade, look out for our next gardening tip of the month or join our Grow Your Own learning series!

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