When done well, gardening can be a very rewarding activity. Nothing beats the flavor of a tomato you’ve grown yourself, or the scent of your own flowers. Whether you’re just starting out as a gardener or you’ve been growing things your whole life, there’s always something new to learn. Here are a few tips any gardener can use.
So that you don’t shock your plants, try gradually accustoming them to conditions and temperature. Put them out in the sun for approximately one to two hours on the very first day. Gradually increase the the time they spend outside over a one week period. Finally, after about a week, you should be able to move them outside and leave them there for the summer.
Plant crops compatible with each other in order to add even more efficiency to your garden. Plant crops that take longer to mature next to faster growing varieties. You can also get ahead of the season by planting cooler climate crops in the shade of larger summer crops. Greens such as lettuce do great in the shade of a large tomato plant.
Collecting and preserving autumn leaves is a fun gardening project, especially for the kids. Generations of kids have used the “wax paper method” to preserve fall leaves at peak color – with a little help from Mom. Just select colorful thin leaves that don’t have a high water content and place them between two sheets of wax paper. Place a cloth – like an old tea towel – on top of the waxed paper “sandwich” and have Mom slowly run a hot iron (no steam) across the cloth. Peek underneath to see if the wax paper is melting and bear down hard to get a good seal. The wax paper may seem cloudy while it is warm, but it should dry clear as it cools. Enjoy your pretty display of colorful leaves!
Do not forget the sun when deciding on a place for a garden. Gardens need sun. Almost all flowering plants and vegetables grow best in excellent sunlight. Vegetables like tomatoes require a lot of sunlight and will not produce without it. If there are trees above the area, trim them back or look for another location because a garden without sun is doomed to failure.
For garden plants that crave and need a lot of water, use five gallon buckets to keep those thirsty fruits and vegetables happy. Simply drill or punch several 1/8″ to 1/4″ holes into the bottom of a five gallon bucket, fill with water and set near the parched plant. Gravity allows for a slow and steady watering of those plants and if you live in an area where you get frequent rain, you will be capturing plenty of rain water to keep those buckets fairly full all season long.
If you want your garden to be successful, focus on your soil. In order to protect your plants from unwanted pests, it is essential to have healthy soil. It will nourish your vegetation and help them grow into strong plants that are able to fight off disease and damage from bugs.
Before starting a garden, it is important that you have a plan. Without one, your garden may not come out the way you want it to. Some things to plan out include where to put the garden in your yard, what you want to grow, and whether to start from seed or plants.
Make sure to pick the right seeds for your location and zone. Certain crops grow better in certain locations. Seed packets usually have information regarding USDA zones. Information regarding USDA Plant Hardiness Zones is also available online. A good example of this is growing oranges in warmer climates and apples in cooler climates.
To kill off aphids on rose plants, spray them with a powdered milk and water mixture (1/3 cup powdered milk to one quart water). When the mixture is sprayed, the aphids get caught in the liquid and eventually die. Every few weeks spray down the roses with water to rinse off the mixture and reapply it if needed.
To spice up a dull garden, try using climbing plants. A climbing plant can add visual interest to a fence or tree and are a great way to hide any unattractive structures. As an added bonus, most climbing plants are very low maintenance. Kiwi vine, climbing snapdragon and morning glories are all great choices.
When gardening, it is important that you protect your ears. If you can not hear someone around you while you are working with machinery, than the sound can be damaging to your ears. An easy way to help alleviate this problem is to wear ear plugs when using loud machinery.
As with any pastime, your gardening will benefit if you continually educate yourself. No matter what your skill level is, you can always learn something new that will make you a better gardener. Put some of these ideas to work, and soon your garden will flourish more than it ever has.