What do you do when your home starts to get cluttered and disorganized? You start cleaning until you have everything back in place. But sanitation isn’t just for inside your home. Garden beds also need some TLC when it comes to keeping them clean and in order. This comes down to garden hygiene.
Regular removal of the trash and other debris from the garden area is a vital part of gardening. So, it’s time to start paying attention to the upkeep of your garden. You can plant, water, and fertilize. But if you overlook healthy sanitation practices, your garden won’t thrive.
Garden hygiene, and why it matters
Your garden will accumulate trash. Garden sanitation helps remove that trash so your garden stays healthy and hygienic.
Here are a few of the benefits of garden hygiene:
- Keep your plants healthy: Plants can be diseased or infested. Regular cleanings help account for any infestation, and help remove contaminants before they start to take control.
- Help prepare you for the next spring: It’s important to be forward thinking. Pathogens can grow over time. What you do now can help make the best growing environment for the next spring.
- Natural garden nourishment: Leaves and other plant materials can decay into a natural fertilizer. Rake leaves right into garden beds as fertilizer. Shred the leaves in the lawn mower and make tidier mulch.
The problem with pests
When you don’t have good garden bed practices, you’re likely to develop a pest problem. When you have a lot of trash in your garden, you have a multitude of places for pests to hide and survive–not great for overall garden hygiene.
First, you need to remove materials from your garden that can harbor pests. But remember, pests are not only insects. These are anything that can destroy your garden’s health and wellbeing.
So this might be insects, fungus, mildew, bacteria, viruses, or even small rodents. Anything that can cause damage and lead to a downward trajectory for your garden’s health. Even weeds can potentially fall in this category.
Removing trash helps eliminate the number of places where pests can thrive. Just remember not to remove any dead plant material until after the first frost. Anything diseased should be disposed of in bags and destroyed. Do not use diseased material for compost, this is extra bad for garden hygiene.
Mulch helps control damage during freezing temperature. It can also reduce the need to weed in the spring.
Garden hygiene and the value of food safety
Very often planting gardens means growing food. Don’t forget about food safety.
Food illnesses come out of eating food with pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and viruses. And when you grown and consume foods without clean practices, an outbreak can occur. Which you want to avoid in your home garden for obvious reasons.
Disease can grow in unhygienic environments. When you’re growing plants, you want to take steps to keep them safe from contaminants like structuring your garden with barriers to keep out pests.
Here are some additional tips for overall garden hygiene and keeping your garden free of things that compromise food safety:
- Use soil specific and safe for growing food for consumption. Make sure to use non-toxic materials like lumber and stone.
- Keep things sanitary by washing your hands with soap and water before handling edible plants in your garden.
- Refrigerate vegetables that need it and wash them only before you go to eat them.
Steps to take to keep garden beds clean and improve garden hygiene
Not sure where to start with garden hygiene? Here are some easy things that you can do to help sanitize your garden bed environment
- Remove weeds
- Take out dead tree branches
- Pick up fruit
- Stop leaves from covering your lawn
- Apply mulch or scatter compost
- Take out an manmade object like hoses
And what do you do with this debris? For better garden hygiene, you can scatter leaves strategically as nourishment to garden beds. Or you can add to a compost pile.
Keep in mind, dried stalks won’t cause damage, so feel free to keep them. Some people even like the look of dried stalks in their gardens. Insects, including pollinators, lay eggs in stalks. So you don’t need to remove everything for garden health and garden hygiene.
Don’t forget the equipment for garden hygiene
While you’re spring cleaning your garden beds, don’t forget about the equipment you use within your garden. These too need to be properly sanitized for garden hygiene.
If you’re not sure where to start, look at the equipment owner’s manual. This should be great for direction.
Anything that can harbor pests. So this just makes sense. That way, you can provide your best defense against pests, disease, and weeds.
Stockslagers is your partner for a clean and hygienic garden
You’ll find everything for a clean and disease-free garden at Stockslagers. From plants to soil, mulch, and other good-hygiene materials. A healthy garden starts and ends here.