Carrying out conservation practices within your garden will ensure a healthy harvest for many years. Conservation in the garden can come in all shapes and sizes. Three main conservation tips we are going to touch on today are irrigation, cover crops, and crop rotation.
Irrigation is the process of applying controlled amounts of water to plants at set intervals. This practice can vary on water usage depending on the scale of your garden. If you have a more extensive garden, investing in drip irrigation may be a smart idea as it can be re-used. Drip irrigation only applies water right to the roots, which is an excellent conservation method even if you water your plants with a hose or watering can. Conserving water will cut down on your costs and time invested in your garden in addition to implementing best management practices.
The second conservation tip that will help your garden become more efficient is crop rotation. Crop rotation is the act of not planting the same type of crop in the same spot every year. This rotation will help keep soil healthy since growing the same kind of crops repeatedly will strip the soil of its nutrients. Having a good crop rotation is only possible with good planning. Planning out where you will plant what and having records of where you planted certain crops last year will help you in this conservation method. Not only should you not plant the same crop in one spot, but you need to make sure the crop you follow it up with isn’t from the same family. You can find crop families with a quick Google search.
If you would prefer not to rotate crops, another option to use is cover crops. Cover crops are crops you plant in-between seasons in the garden. There are many different cover crops such as sunflowers, buckwheat, and iron clay peas. Each cover crop adds other nutrients into the garden and can help with specific problems you may identify in your garden. Cover cropping is significant in making sure your cash crops get the essentials it needs. You don’t want to put too much effort into your cover crops, though, since they may not give you much of a return other than added nutrients to the ground. Spread the seed out and just let them grow. Take the time you are cover cropping as your break from the garden before you gear up for the next season.
These are just a few conservation practices that will help your garden and soil stay bountiful for many years. If you were to implement all three, you’ll see a positive change in your garden.