After you have tilled the soil and planted a variety of vegetables, you may think that your part of the process is over. However, your work is just beginning. To ensure a healthy crop of vegetables, you also need to keep the garden hoed for a couple of reasons, especially while the plants are still new.
1. Helps Young Roots to Firmly Take Hold
When you first plant your vegetables, the soil is already loose. However, every time you water the plants or walk on the ground surrounding them, the soil becomes harder and impacted.
If the soil becomes too impacted, the tender, young roots of the vegetables will have difficulty firmly taking hold in the ground. They may grow in a ball or only have the ability to spread an inch or two outward from the plant.
This limited growth would not only reduce the plant's ability to take in water and nutrients, but it may make them loose to the point that a simple tug or strong wind could pull them out of the soil.
However, if you hoe your garden at least a couple of times a week, the soil stays loose enough to allow for healthy growth of the roots. However, do not hoe within an inch or two of the plants while they are still young, as you could accidentally harm the roots or dislodge the plants.
2. Keeps Weeds from Taking over Your Garden
Along with ensuring a healthy root system, hoeing your garden also keeps weeds from taking over your garden. Even if you thoroughly removed any weeds you saw while tilling the soil in preparation for planting, there will still be seeds in the dirt waiting to grow.
If you do not hoe your garden, the weeds will sprout and grow while stealing nutrients from the soil that your vegetables need to grow. And, because weeds are often heartier than vegetable plants, the weeds will grow faster and spread over the plants, eventually choking them out.
When you hoe the soil, you not only disturb their growth cycle, but you can actually break up the weed plants and roots. If you see any roots directly next to the plants, however, you will have to carefully pull these by hand so that you do not harm your vegetables.
Taking the time to keep your vegetable garden hoed will let you reap the benefits of healthy plants without having them tangled up in weeds. For more information on maintaining your plants, contact a garden center services business, like Natorp's Nursery.