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Reclaiming the vegetable garden after an illness

Weeds can get out of control when you're not feeling well.
Weeds can get out of control when you're not feeling well.Copyright Jaipi Sixbear 2014 All rights reserved

A week of sick leave can make a whopping difference in the condition of your vegetable garden. While you're recovering, don't forget your garden needs a little nurturing too. It's likely taken a toll from your forced neglect. Rather than giving up on it altogether, why not go back to gardening a little at a time? Don't overwhelm yourself. Keep garden time minimal so you can rest. Try this 5 day, 1 hour a day garden recovery plan to ease you and your veggies back to good health.

Day 1 - Water and feed

Once you're able to get back on your feet, concentrate on the garden's biggest needs first. Your veggies will be hungry and thirsty. Give them a good long soaking. Feed with your choice of fertilizer. This will help them recover from any stress they've suffered while you were sick. Be sure to address the same needs for your lawn and ornamental plants. Keep a close eye on watering needs throughout the week as well.

Day 2 - Critter and disease check

If you've been inattentive for more than a few days, your second step should be to check for disease and pests. Who knows what crept into your veggie garden while you weren't looking? Use your hour on the second day to carefully check your plants for signs of illness or infestation. Address any issues right away. Be sure to check the underside of leaves for bugs too. Many common species like to hide there.

Day 3 - Pick, pull and deadhead

During your time in the sick bed, you might have had crops ripen. Spend day 3's hour picking any ripe produce. Ridding plants of ripened fruits and veggies leaves more nutrition for developing plants and produce. While you're at it, pull any plants that have outlived their usefulness. Take the time to deadhead flowering plants to produce more and bigger blooms.

Day 4 - Weed and rake the lawn and garden

Weeds can quickly take over a yard and vegetable garden while its owner is fighting illness. Spend your hour on day 4 pulling and clearing weeds and debris. Use a gentle raking to pull dead, dry foliage from the yard. Check your veggie plants for dried leaves and branches that need to be removed. Clearing debris and weeds from the yard and garden gives it room to breathe and grow. Do a quick mow and trim if you feel up to it.

Day 5 - Restart your regular garden maintenance

Spend day 5 getting back into your regular gardening routine. Before you fell ill, chances are, you spent at least an hour a day doing regular lawn and garden maintenance. Now that you've given your garden a jump start on recovery, you can put your old routine back in service. Once you feel a little better, you can increase gardening time if needed.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.