What components are necessary for a healthy garden?

A healthy garden requires a combination of these components:

  • Healthy soil
    • Adding compost and soil amendments helps keep soil nourished.
    • Rotating crops helps reduce fungal and bacterial issues for vegetables.
  • Sunlight
    • Most vegetable varieties need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight in the growing season.
    • Leafy greens and root vegetables can often survive with less sunlight, but it depends on the specific variety.
  • Adequate moisture
    • Most plants do best with at least 1" of water per week in the growing season.
    • You can determine how much time it takes to water 1" by doing the tuna can test: Place an empty tuna can near your plants. Turn on your regular watering source (drip irrigation, sprinkler, watering can) and time how long it takes to fill the tuna can. However long it took to fill the can is how long you should water your plants each week.
    • Adding compost to the soil surface will increase water retention.
    • Watering as close to the root systems of plants as possible will increase the absorption rate. This also helps reduce the chance of blight* affecting vegetable varieties like tomatoes.

*Blight is a disease or injury of plants marked by the formation of lesions, withering, and death of parts (such as leaves and tubers).

Show All Answers

1. Who will benefit from the food grown in the garden?
2. Who will care for the garden?
3. What components are necessary for a healthy garden?
4. Where did the garden's raised beds come from?
5. How do the garden's rain barrels work?
6. How does the garden's irrigation system work?
7. What can be grown in the garden?
8. How long do certain crops take to grow?
9. What is "overwintering" and why is it important?
10. Where can I learn more about the YMCA Community Food Garden?
11. What is the Lawns to Lettuce Program?
12. How can I learn more about the Lawns to Lettuce Program?
13. What do I need to consider if I want to start a community food garden?