Tips On How To Maintain A Good Garden

Many of us would love to have a garden to tend to and to look at, but our lives are simply too busy. Growing a garden can give you a great sense of pride, not to mention that it can save you money and help you to get healthy. Find out in this article how to quickly grow an organic garden that you’ll be proud of.

Select perennials to reduce the amount of care your garden requires. Plants that return year after year usually require only a modicum of weeding and pruning. Edible perennials, such as asparagus, rhubarb, and sorrel, can provide an excellent salad addition for your household without causing too much work for you.

Consider using your car to dry your home-grown herbs. Simply lay a sheet of newspaper across the backseat and spread out your herbs on it, then roll up the windows. Your herbs will dry quickly in the low-humidity heat of your car, and the interior of your car will have a fresh, herbal scent.

Keep a garden journal and take photographs of your garden as it grows. It’s easy to start the season with high expectations for your gardening. But as the time wears on, it’s just as easy to lose steam. A journal and photos can help inspire and engage you along the way!

For a natural way to control aphids, populate your garden with ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids and scaly bugs. They are pretty to look at, and they are beneficial to your garden. They do not eat flowers, so you can safely use them on your flower beds. This is a good alternative to using commercial pesticides.

During the hot season, water your lawn a couple of hours before the sun rises. If you water during the day, much of the water will evaporate before it gets a chance to be absorbed into the ground. When you water before the sunrise, the water will have a chance to go deep into the soil, allowing the roots to absorb the water.

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.

If you have clay soil, the most important thing to do is work it over and amend it with some type of compost. Plants tend to do well this type of soil once they are established, as they can sink their roots deep enough into an area that never dries out. Conversely, plants in lighter soil need watering constantly. Remember to place an organic mulch on the surface, which will stop the surface from baking in the summer.

Remember to mulch before the first freeze. Spread compost or shredded leaves around the garden, mulching under shrubs, hedges, roses, and on top of the crown of any tender perennials. A layer of compost spread on bare ground will help to protect any bulbs, corms or plant roots. By springtime, this compost will have been taken into the ground by worms, and your soil will be full of nutrition, ready for new planting.

Experiment with color pairings. Purple and yellow work very well together, and can be used to create either a warm or cool effect. For a warm effect, use more yellow flowers than purple, conversely, using mostly purple flowers will give you a cool, soothing effect. A mixture of tall purple delphiniums or penstemon, and lower growing yellow achillea gives a spectacular display.

You should put chives around flower beds as it is a natural insect repellant. Flies, aphids and other pests are easily repelled using simple herbs like chives. Chives can be grown or can be purchased as any grocery store. Place a generous amount around the roses and notice the bugs stay at bay.

Take steps to protect earthworms in your organic garden. Till your soil minimally, as tilling can kill earthworms. The best tilling depth is 3 to 5 inches. Avoid using chemical fertilizers because they harm the micro-organisms in the soil, decreasing earthworm activity. Be sure that the soil never dries out too much, but at the same time avoid over-watering. By maintaining these soil conditions, you will notice your earthworm population increasing rapidly!

Integrate low-growing strawberries into your yard’s landscape. Instead of setting aside fruit plants in a separate area, choose strawberries, such as alpine varieties, to use a ground cover that doubles as a fruit garden. These spreading, low-growing plants look attractive and grow well in areas that have a lot of sun.

Not to mislead you in the opening, but “quickly”�doesn’t mean you will get a harvest in a matter of days. Quickly here means that you will be able to learn about how to grow a proper garden in a timely fashion. Studying these tips and using them for your organic garden will definitely increase your odds of success.

Need Advice On Organic Gardening? Read On

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.

Salvias Down South: Tough Texans that Look Hot

A little bit of a hot color warms the garden landscape; a lot sizzles. Salvias that are red, orange, salmon and intensely pink make eyes snap to attention when grown en masse or as highlights complementing cool-colored perennials. Texas is home to a number of tough, drought-resistant species that can make a garden look hot. In this article, Flowers by the Sea focuses on nine to light up southern landscapes.
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Bring Your Garden To Life With These Top Tips

Planting and caring for a garden is one of the most enjoyable hobbies a person can do. Gardening newcomers usually need a lot of help to get started and even seasoned gardeners need some help from time to time. Check out the advice in this article for useful information on gardening that you can use today.

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.

Having beautiful bulb plants is fun while it lasts, but once they have bloomed you are stuck with bulb foliage that is not very attractive. Try to plant bulbs among plants that will grow up and over faded bulb leaves. This way, once the lilies or daffodils are spent, the old foliage will be hidden by the new growth of other plants.

Create a record journal for your garden. Keep track of when you planted your seeds, when they germinated, how many grow to full size, the yield, etc. You will have more knowledge about your plants and a good idea of how successful your methods are. Use this information for your next grow cycles.

Make a profit off of the garden by selling micro crops. There is a huge demand for micro crops from restaurants and organic markets who are willing to pay a premium for these fresh vegetables. Specialty mushrooms, baby corn, rare herbs and other micro crops are in very high demand, and can earn a gardener upwards of fifty dollars a pound or more.

Create a non-toxic treatment for black spots on roses. Combine one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of vegetable oil and one drop of liquid detergent in one gallon of water and shake. Fill a spray bottle with this mixture and when the humidity rises, spray your roses down – making sure to get both sides of the leaves.

Aid them by dumping any leftover water from steaming vegetables over them. You should also try using a bit of coffee grounds or tea to increase the acidity of the soil for your gardenias or your rhododendrons. Herbal chamomile tea is an effective, affordable treatment for fighting fungi.

Try planting a ‘one-color’ garden bed. While this takes quite a bit of work, due to the limitations of the color palette, it can create a very striking visual. The emphasis is placed more on shape and structure, and it is especially helpful in a small garden, as it makes the area appear much larger. Remember that ‘one-color’ doesn’t mean a single shade. Use all shades in the color palette. For example a blue garden can feature flowers in shades of blue, purple and mauve.

Give your garden a boost with instant color. If your garden is looking a little dull, a quick trip to your local nursery will do the trick. There, you will find colorful annuals and perennials in full flower, waiting to be planted into the ground, a window box or a hanging basket. This is especially handy if you are entertaining, and you need to brighten up the yard, or if you are trying to sell your house. Spots of color help to make a home look inviting and cheery.

Economize when watering. When watering your garden, try to water using a vessel instead of a hose: this way you will be able to direct the water straight to the roots. Using a hose means that a lot of water will end up on the leaves, and may evaporate before it has a chance to reach the soil. Only water in the early morning or late evening, as this can help to reduce evaporation. Whenever you plant something new, it will require constant watering to become established, so if possible, put off new planting until the Fall. This way, nature will be able to do much of the watering for you.

One of the best ways to be successful at organic gardening is to plan early. The best laid out plans for an organic garden, always make for the most successful garden. Plan what you will plant early on and be sure to have back-up vegetables ready to plant when short-lived plants, like lettuce and spinach, are done for the year.

Working in the garden is a very enjoyable activity for most people. Many gardeners, whether they are new or experienced, need help and advice to get the best out of their gardens. Following the advice in this article can help anyone improve their garden and increase their satisfaction of working in the garden.

Handy Tips For Learning To Garden Organically

An organic garden requires time, effort and patience to yield amazing results. Good organic gardening techniques can be very useful in this context. A good understanding of organic gardening is needed to grow healthy plants. Use the following tips to create a flourishing and very rewarding organic garden.

Combining different selections of plants in a garden area holds the interest and adds to the enjoyment of the viewer. Merge contrasting plants to craft interesting combinations. Add big leaf plants with fine leaf plants and combine them with plants different in texture and color to create the most eye catching and interesting landscape garden.

Run your fingernails across a bar of soap before you go out to weed or plant in your garden. The soap that collected under your nails will prevent the collection of dirt while you work. Afterward, a simple scrub with a nail brush will remove the soap and leave your hands clean, with much less effort.

Don’t assume that insects are to blame for all plants ailments. There are many things that can affect the health of a plant. The PH of the water you are using, the location of the plant (under shade vs direct sun), the amount of soil in the pot and several other reasons can be a determining factor.

Make a do it yourself twine holder by grabbing a rolled up length of twine and putting it into a small clay pot. Pull a small portion of the twine out the drainage hole and flip the pot upside down. You will always know where your twine is instead of digging around for it in a toolbox or shed.

Make sure to protect your tender shrubs from the elements. If you’ve got tender shrubs which are potted, you need to protect them from cold weather. Join them together at the top, and use a blanket or old sheet to cover them. Covering your foliage in plastic will let the air in – and may lead to decay.

When you’re picking vegetables from your garden, choose to harvest them when they are at the peak of ripeness for the best flavor and the most nutrition. It is best to pick vegetables and fruits in the early morning, because they are still full of moisture and nutrients. With only a few exceptions, anything that you’re not going to use right away can then be preserved by chilling in the refrigerator.

Pay attention to the temperatures in your garden. When it is early, or late, in the season there is a chance that your plants could be exposed to frost. Freezing temperatures will cause many plants to die, and some that live will not produce at the level they would have otherwise.

Sometimes you will need to re-pot your plants. One good way to check if your plants need re-potted is to turn them over and look at the bottom. If you see many roots, it is time to get it into a new pot. If you see few roots, you may not need to disturb the plant.

There are many common household items that can be used to good effect in the garden. Try using duct tape to remove aphids from the leaves of infested plants. Wrap the tape around your hand, sticky side out, and press it to the leaves to remove the aphids. A lint roller can be used for this tasks as well.

Deter bugs without pesticides with careful planting. Planting marigolds along the edges of your garden, or planting garlic, parsley, and basil within your garden can repel bugs without resorting to harsh chemicals. These plants give off strong scents which are unappealing to most insects. With these in your garden, pests will steer clear.

Use groundcover to fill in bare areas of soil. Groundcover plants are very effective for ‘tying’ larger plants together and keeping weeds to a minimum. The earth needs to be well-cultivated, weeded and well-fertilized before you plant anything. In order for the plant to become well established, water thoroughly during dry spells and remove any weeds that may pop up. Fast growing groundcover plants include creeping thyme, sedum, ajuga, golden oregano, heuchera, lamium and vinca.

Use your coffee grinds in your garden if you are an organic gardener and coffee lover! You can use coffee grounds to make a perfect mulch with just the right amount of acids. It is a wonderful way to compost in a environmentally friendly way.

It is important to drink water when gardening. You will be out in the sun and it is very easy to get dehydrated very quickly. You can easily take a water bottle out to your garden with you so that you have the water on hand to sip on throughout the day.

Organic gardening will help you create a truly fresh and nutritious garden. The gardening process itself requires hard work and dedication, but the end results are worth the effort it takes to grow an organic garden.

Getting Started: Salvias for the Midwest

Severe winter chill and summer heat coupled with extreme humidity are challenges that gardeners face in the Midwest. Many Salvias are excellent choices as long-blooming annuals in the region while others — ones that can withstand cold winters — are reliable perennials. Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery explains the confusing Midwest boundaries from Ohio west to Kansas and North Dakota south to Missouri. It talks about the range of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones in the region and the kinds of sages that grow best there.
Flowers by the Sea

Useful Advice For Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is gaining in popularity because more and more information is coming out about the harmful effects of pesticides and garden chemicals. If you want to learn more about organic gardening, do some research into the various things you can do. You can begin by reading some of the advice here.

Use organic matter in your garden. When you remove a plant, fill in the soil with organic matter so that the soil can renew itself quickly. You can use a small quantity of organic matter if you notice that some of your plants do not look healthy, or to prepare the soil at the beginning of a new season.

Try and start your gardens as early as possible and keep them as late as possible to maximize the amount of crops you’re able to produce. You can use things like cloches, cold frames, and tunnels to start gardening a month or more in advance. You can also use row covers in the fall to extend your harvest season.

If you are going to be doing a lot of work in your garden very close to the ground, such as weeding or planting, use a garden stool or pad to protect your knees. This will make it easier to get back up again and move once you finish, and will also reduce bruising on your knees.

Use your leftover pasta water in your garden! Plants are big starch fans and thrive with water that contains higher levels of starch, like the water left over after you boil pasta or potatoes. Make sure, though, that you let the water sit until it reaches room temperature prior to watering your plants with it!

Make sure that you prune your trees regularly. Dead wood on trees can attract pests that can infect your trees. Also, when you trim back small branches on a tree, it will increase the airflow between the branches and allow the larger branches to develop more. This will result in a stronger and healthier tree overall.

Don’t plant large shade trees in your yard between the curb and the sidewalk. Large trees have powerful root systems. These roots will crawl under the sidewalk, lifting and breaking the sidewalk pavers. The sidewalk can’t be repaired properly without removing the tree roots, which would damage the tree. Smaller ornamental trees will do less damage.

Plant evergreen shrubs. Certain shrubs can provide triple duty throughout the year: they bear leaves year-round, produce flowers, and sometimes have ornamental fruit that attracts birds and other wildlife. This makes them very desirable in any landscape design. Excellent varieties are Berberis, Holly, Camellia Japonica, Ceanothus, Viburnum and Skimmia. Most will survive in any conditions.

Fall is the time of year to start planting those bulbs that produce the beautiful flowers that herald the beginning of spring. These types of spring flowers are easy to grow and can reward you with many years of gorgeous blooms. These bulbs need to be planted a few weeks before the first hard freeze in order to get their root system growing so they can survive the cold winter.

To save money on seeds, only use a small portion of the packet. In most cases, only a pinch of seeds are necessary, and seeds can easily be stored for the following year. You can also try splitting seed packets with your neighbors and friends. This is a great way to garden on a budget.

Water new plants daily or every other day. When you first start plants in new soil, you need to tend to them very carefully. Plants experience a shock when they are in a new environment. Making sure they have enough water will go far in giving them the best chance to thrive in your garden.

When growing plants indoors it is important to make sure that the pots have good drainage holes. If the pots do not drain it could cause your plants to drown when you are watering them. It is possible to find pots with great drainage holes for affordable prices if you take the time to do some comparison shopping at the end of summer.

Choose silvers and grays to lighten up the garden on dull days and shine in the moonlight. While most gray-leafed plants are attractive enough to hold their own in the garden, they are often used due to the effect they have on surrounding colors. They make pastel colors look brighter, and tone down the effect of vivid colors. Most plants with silver or gray foliage are native to the Mediterranean, therefore requiring little watering in the dry months. The best known silver and gray plants are dusty miller, lychnis, silver lace and artemisia.

Organic gardening is not difficult to do if you know the methods. It will take some experimentation to find the right combination of plants, amendments and techniques to use, in order to produce the best results in your garden. Continue to gather ideas from reading and from seasoned organic gardeners. Before long, you will have a beautiful and healthy organic garden.

Salvias Down South: Southern California Butterfly Favorites

Wildscaping a butterfly-friendly garden in Southern California is an act of kindness, especially toward imperiled species. Gardeners from Santa Barbara southward may want to group coastal sage and chaparral plants in their butterfly gardens, because those are among favorite sources of nectar for adult butterflies and host plants for caterpillars. Sages are popular nectar choices. Plants, such as Milkweeds and Impatiens, that work well both as nectar providers and caterpillar hosts are important additions.
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