Owning and maintaining a successful garden is about more than just having a “green thumb” or knowing when to plant your tomatoes. There is plenty that can be learned through everyday knowledge and tips that experienced gardeners are often willing to share with any listening ears. All you have to do is be interested in learning the right way.
Don’t grow food no one will eat. Just because you can grow something, doesn’t mean you should. If your kids don’t like spinach now, fresh spinach from the garden isn’t going to change that and much will go to waste. Consider what you and your family like to eat and then determine your garden accordingly.
To save money, consider making your own garden fertilizer. For instance, broken eggshells make a great fertilizer for small gardens, indoor plants and container plants. Mix the eggshells throughout the soil to get the best effect. Eggshells even have the added benefit that they aerate the garden soil as well.
Deciduous shrubs and young trees need to be protected. If you have tender shrubs in pots, they need to be protected in the cold weather. The tops should be tied together, and the wigwam should be loosely covered with a sheet or blanket. This is a much better method, instead of putting the plastic wrap around the plant. It allows proper air circulation that can prevent rotting.
Always read the product label before using garden chemicals and store the chemicals in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets. Garden chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers can be very toxic to humans, so make sure you are aware of any extra precautions you need to take when using, storing and disposing of the products.
Make sure that you are familiar with the level of humidity that your garden plants require. Some plants simply cannot survive without proper levels of humidity. Some plants require high humidity or tropical conditions, while others require arid or desert levels of humidity. Educating yourself will help you to avoid poor plant choices.
Plant in the shade. All plants need light to survive, but not all of them need brilliant sunshine. Plants native to woodland areas are happy when they get protection from the sun’s rays. There are many plants that will thrive in a shady garden, including Hosta, Cyclamen, Foxglove, Helleborus, Japanese Anemone, and Ajuga. By planting these, you will have a year-round display of color in even the shadiest of gardens.
Clean up your garden at the end of the growing season. If you clean up your garden when the growing season is over, it will improve the appearance and make less work for you the following year. Remove dead or damaged branches on trees and shrubs, get rid of weeds before they go to seed, and rake any leaves from the lawn. Remove old annual plants and cut perennials to the ground if they normally die back in the winter. Any plant material that isn’t diseased can be put in the compost pile.
Use companion plants. Companion planting is the pairing of plants within your vegetable garden, such as planting cabbage with tomatoes. Companion planting helps reduce the problems with insect pests, as it attracts natural pest-controlling wildlife. Companion planting is also a better use of the space in your garden, since you basically have two plants in the same plot.
You can save time by using soaker hoses. Instead of standing with a hose for a long time or having to refill a container, set your water pressure on low and let your hose sit next to the plant that needs to be watered. Do not forget to turn the water off later.
Regulate how often you revitalize your soil based on your planting season. During a very long season it might require you to fertilize the ground more than once. It’s important to give your plants the proper nutrients to grow, and remember that as plants grow the nutrients within the soil slowly diminish. Having the correct amount at the correct time will promote your harvest to grow to its maximal size.
Attract positive bugs to your garden. Bugs like lady-bugs actually hunt natural predators to your plants; aphids and caterpillars are just some of the nasty critters that can go through a garden and eat the leaves of the plants. Lady bugs are the natural predators to such pests and help the growth of a good healthy garden by consuming pests.
Through the article, you should have picked up on a few tips that will help you plant and raise your garden with a little better results. As you can see, it takes a combination of time, care, and planning to make it reach the full potential. Of course, having a “green thumb” doesn’t hurt.