It is important to maintain plant growth once you have planted your vegetable seeds and transplants. The best advice I received from a farmer when I was woofing in England was to take the time to walk through my garden and observe.
Every day or two I take the time to keep an eye on my vegetable plants. I look for signs of garden insects or other pests like slugs or aphids that can cause damage. A little bit of damage is alright for most plants, however if you can catch this early your plants will be healthier and more productive.
Your type of soil as well as observing your plants will give you some indication when other requirements are needed for good plant growth. These requirements are watering, weeding, proper fertilization, and plant protection.
You will need to water often enough to keep your vegetable plant growth steady. Too little will cause your plants to wilt and ultimately kill the root; too much water will drown the roots resulting in the same thing. Check outgrowing vegetables for more specifics.
A weed is just a plant growing where you do not want it. A lot of what we call weeds are actually very beneficial to our soil and plants. Learn more about this on my page about companion planting.
Even though some weeds can be beneficial keep your seedlings and sprouting seeds free of weeds. They can rob young growing vegetable plants of moisture and nutrients which are vital for good growth. It is best to pull weeds when they are small and the soil is a bit damp. Never let weeds mature and go to seed. Once a vegetable plant is bigger you can use mulch to help protect them.
Fertilizing and Amending:
Vegetable plants need nourishment for proper plant growth. Different soil fertilizers may be needed to give your plants a boost during the growing season. Do this once the plants are established, usually starting 2-4 weeks after planting. See my vegetable garden journal for when and how to fertilize your vegetables.
During the growing season you can have a variety of weather conditions. Plants may need to be protected from too much heat, cold or frost, wind, pests and larger animals. Learn the 10 ways I protect my plants.
Trellis and staking :
Some vegetables grow best if they are trellised or staked for example pole beans, snow peas, tomatoes and cucumbers.
By trellising or staking you can save space as well as keep fruits from touching the soil. Put supports in when planting so as not to disturbs roots later and train and tie as the plant grows.
Trellis and staking techniques
The next step to planting a vegetable garden is probably the most fun! Learn more about your vegetable harvest.