Gardening, be it for shrubs, trees, flowers, or vegetables, can be a very relaxing and rewarding activity. The smell of the dirt under our fingers as you plant seeds and pull up weeds, the thrill of the watching the tiny plants start to come up, and the pleasure you take in the results of your efforts, all make gardening an affordable and pleasurable past time. here’s a few useful pointers.
Before planting anything, clean up as much as possible the area where you plan on having flowers or any other delicate plants. Remove all the weeds and the grass if you think it is necessary. Your flowers should not have any competitors for the nutrients they need while they grow.
Choose plants and flowers that complement the colors of your home. Flowers that are pink or fuchsia, may go very well with your burgundy shudders. Tying in the colors of plants and flowers that you choose to harmonize with your house, will save you a lot of time at the garden center by simplifying your plant choices.
Feed your plants. The way your plants are growing can tell you what nutrients are lacking and need replacing. Some plants take up a lot of nutrients early in the growing season and quickly need a new supply. Look for signs of deficiency such as yellowing leaves and stunted growth. Feed the plant with a general purpose fertilizer, unless it has specific requirements. Foliage plants, for instance, prefer a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.
Divide large clumps of perennials. Some perennial plants lose vigor and flower less well if the clump becomes too large. Plants like Shasta daisies, bearded irises, phlox, chrysanthemum and coneflower benefit from being divided every three years. Without division they become congested, and the center of the clump will begin to die out. Simply dig the entire plant out, keeping the root ball intact, and divide it into pieces using a shovel. By doing this, you will have at least two or three new plants!
Pick garden vegetables often and early. While immature, many types of vegetables are very tasty in their young phase. Snap peas, little summer squash, cucumbers, and budding broccoli can be picked to keep the plants in a state of reproduction for a longer period of time. This will also increase yields with a second harvest off of the same plants.
If you want to grow fruit trees but have limited space on your property, consider dwarf fruit trees. Many fruit trees are available in dwarf varieties, including apple, peach and pear. These trees typically reach approximately three to eight feet. Not only do they take up less room and produce lots of delicious fruit, but their low height makes it easier to harvest the fruit.
An excellent garden shouldn’t begin from plants. They should begin from seeds. Planting seeds is the most eco-friendly way to start a new garden. Plastics from nurseries aren’t recycled often, which causes them to go into landfills; so try starting with seeds, or buying from organic nurseries.
It is important to follow the instructions on your chemicals and tools closely, especially if you are new to gardening. Some of the chemicals in these products can cause skin irritation, or worse, if you fail to take this simple precaution. Directions, especially safety rules, are there for your own good, so make sure you follow instructions on your tools and chemicals to the letter.
Grow sweet basil easily. Basil is an annual herb, and very sensitive to cold, so try growing it in a pot in a sunny kitchen window. Continuous harvesting of the plant encourages growth so be sure to pick the top leaves constantly. It can be grown in the garden, but beware of lower night-time temperatures as this will cause the entire plant to wilt or even die.
If your gardening boots and gloves are beginning to develop an odor, try using orange slices! Simply place a orange slice in the boot or glove and leave it there overnight. Oranges are ideal for eliminating the unpleasant smells often picked up in a garden. If you don’t have an orange, other citrus fruits like lemons or limes, will work as well.
One way to slowly-water your plant is by using a plastic bottle, such as a 2-liter soda bottle. Punch a few small holes in the bottom of the bottle, fill it to the neck with water and replace the cap. Place it in the soil and use the cap to regulate the flow of water.
When watering plants use recycled water, but avoid re-using water from sources such as baths, washing machines, or dishwashing. These water sources may contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into your vegetables such as nitrates and phosphates. This water may even contain pathogens that could harm you or your plants.
Use mulch to fertilize your beds. You have to make sure you spread mulch evenly, as you need a certain quantity and do not want to waste any of it. Sprinkle mulch as best as you can and use a rack to spread it flatly and evenly. Make sure you cover all the areas that need it.
To conserve water when you’re gardening, be sure to use three inches of organic mulch. The mulch will help your plants to absorb the water slowly over time, allowing you to use less water than you normally would. Many natural materials make great mulch, including pine needles and many types of leaves.
When raising an organic garden, sometimes a solution to resolving bad soil is to raise your garden bed. Building a garden bed or roost above the regular soil, can allow you to put your own fertilized soil within the bed without the risk of the soil becoming diluted or mixed in with the surrounding area.
Gardening is a pastime that really gives back. It brings benefits to ourselves, to our family, and to our planet. So, turn your thoughts to outside, and to the pleasure to be had by tending our own piece of the earth, and work on that garden!