Finding the Right Crop Protection Method for Your Home Garden

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The right crop protection method protects your home garden. Understand how to choose appropriate plants is also critical -- learn more now.

If you have a yard with a plot of soil and an exposure to the sun, and if you don’t live somewhere near the Arctic Circle, there’s a good chance that you can experience the joys of having a garden. By picking appropriate plants or crops for your climate – and by properly watering them, fertilizing them, and weeding out the surrounding soil – it doesn’t take too much effort to enjoy a garden in bloom for much of the summer.

The end of the summer, however, is another matter altogether. If you live in a cold climate, your months of work will likely wither and die. Hopefully, you have planted some perennials that will return next spring. But if you live in a place that experiences more mild winters, you still may be plagued by dying and sickly crops after a few months of gardening, as the warmer season comes to an end. When this occurs, or when perennials in cooler climates fail to endure the winter, many people simply assume that this is an unfortunate and unavoidable product of changing seasons. While they might resolve to start anew the following spring, they chalk their current garden up as a lost cause.

Many times, however, this is not the case. After all, far too many gardeners fail to realize that advanced maintenance practices can turn a healthy, beautiful, short-lived garden into a healthy and beautiful one that is also built to last in the long run.

The first step to take when looking to practice advanced maintenance requires an understanding of the reasons behind your garden’s past demises. For most gardens, this comes down to a couple key factors: soil and climate. To judge whether your soil is a culprit here, the best way is to take samples for testing at a local horticulture lab. A good lab should be able to provide a detailed soil breakdown that highlights specific deficiencies and addresses issues of overall quality. It’s much easier and cheaper to figure out if climate is to blame; just conduct some research on the cold tolerance of your plants and compare those numbers to winter temperatures in your area.

Once you’ve become more informed about the reasons behind your garden’s problems, now it’s time to take some action. There are a couple approaches that can be taken to combat bad soil. You can, of course, go out and buy the highest quality fertilizer at your local garden supply store. There are also sprays and so-called “prescription fertilizers,” tested by companies like Huntingdon LIfe Sciences, Inc., that can provide your soil with even more nutrients. But the easiest and most successful approach may be to initiate a cycle of crop rotation. Few products from Huntingdon Life Sciences or your local supply store can match the benefits of letting a given plot of land lie fallow every few years, thus allowing the soil to renew and revitalize itself.

To combat an inhospitable climate, the first step is to insure that all your crops and plants are weather-hardy to some degree. Once that is established, you may want to research products such as crop protection tunnels, hoops, nettings, and cold frames. These products will physically shield and shelter your garden from the colder climate.

For many of us, starting afresh every May with a new garden is simply a rite of spring and an opportunity for a real and spiritual rebirth. Consequently, there is nothing wrong with being a seasonal gardener and growing a seasonal garden. But if you look to maintain the plants and crops that you have, and seek to have a garden that flourishes year-round, you may want to take these considerations into account.

Your garden will thank you later.

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Posted on Nov 19, 2011

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Melanie Zoltan

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