SUNLIGHT AND SOIL
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Sunlight is the single most important element in fruit and vegetable gardening, and it is closely followed by Soil.
Choose a location with a southern exposure, away from buildings, trees and other objects that might shade your garden.
Most vegetables and fruit trees need maximum sunlight, and if light intensity declines, their production is affected. Full sun exposure must include the hours of 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
This is the northern exposure of a
garden and it’s not as effective because of the shade factor – to be successful
in organic gardening or any other type of gardening, you must choose the right
Know your soil
Want to be a successful gardener?
Let your soil be the star!
The quality of soil will definitely
determine whether you have a poor or bountiful harvest.
In order for most vegetable and fruit
trees to absorb available nutrients from the soil, they need a slight acidic to
neutral pH count, from 6.0-7.0. In such range, the essential mineral elements
are available, and the roots can extract them from the soil and nourish the
plant, but there are exceptions. Some species of plants prefer a more acidic
environment, whereas others like a more alkaline soil. Make a point to know what
pH your particular plant needs; a level too high or too low will hinder roots
from extracting sufficient nutrients from the soil.
When not to work soil
The soil should be cultivated at intermediate moisture content, and a rough estimation is by squeezing a handful of it (like when making a snowball).
If the ball remains whole but crumbles when lightly tapped, it’s a good indication the soil is workable.
Another example of the soil being too wet is if the soil sticks to the tines of the tiller, or on the shovel which you’re using.
Amend your soil in the Fall
Resourceful gardeners have learned how to amend, fertilize and maintain soils properly, so it’s as good or in better condition at the end of the growing season than at the beginning. A sensible time to start is during the fall.
Before tiling or spading, incorporate compost, aged animal manure, discarded fruit and vegetables, crab shells, seaweed and oyster shells if you’re fortunate to be near a beach.
While everything is integrating and the
worms are happy, plant a cover crop of winter rye, which adds valuable
nutrients, increases organic matter and soil structure, plus it controls
the big picture