Growing plants to eat or just to admire can be an incredibly rewarding experience. These benefits don’t come without difficulty, though. A number of variables, including environment and nutrition, need to be just right for best results. These tips will put you well on your way to the coveted green thumb.
The fall season has arrived and the task of emptying our container gardens is at task. However, instead of storing your clay pots in a garden shed for the winter season, why not replace the summer annuals with edible fall vegetables. Having mums in your favorite clay pot signifies fall, however, consider adding alternative edible plants like leafy lettuces such as arugula, endive, bok choy and radicchio. When it is time for a quick salad, simply snip a few leaves, and you will instantly have delicious ready to eat salad.
A key element to having a great garden is to fence it in. In many areas the wildlife will consume the fruits and vegetables as soon as they sprout, yielding little or no harvest. A good fence will not only keep out the wildlife, but it will keep out the neighborhood children from playing ball and pets from digging.
An excellent way to store the goodies from a homegrown garden is to freeze them in small batches. Using small sealable plastic bags and cutting small amounts of fresh vegetables every few days will help store the extras from the garden. Just bag and toss in the freezer and the packets can be added at any time to soups and pastas year round.
Use an egg carton to start your seedlings early. Egg cartons are cheap and easy to obtain, and can contain enough soil to get a plant started. Once you’re ready to plant, you can simply rip the carton away from the seedling without damaging the root ball and place the whole soil ball into the ground.
Start your peas in a protected indoors environment rather than outside. When you plant them indoors first, the seeds will germinate better. Seedlings raised indoors are hardier, too; they can stand up better to diseases and insects. Take the seedlings outdoors once they look strong enough.
If you have a vegetable garden, it can be quite difficult to decide what to do about pest control. It is wise to limit the use of harsh chemicals, because the vegetables will be eaten. There is only one way to effectively control pests in your garden, and that is to stay vigilant in your efforts. If you find any unwanted pests, try removing them by hand.
Bulbs produce beautiful flowers in your garden year after year. To achieve the most blooms, plant your bulbs as soon as temperatures in your area begin to cool in the fall. This is usually August in zones 1 to 4 and September in zones 4 to 7. Those in southern climates will have to chill their bulbs before planting.
If you order roses and they arrive in the mail, be sure to get them in the ground as soon as possible. If you can’t, be sure to keep them in a damp container and cool. They will be fine if you stick them in a bucket of water for a few days before planting. Just be sure not to let them dry out because that can kill the plant.
Create a series of garden ‘rooms’. The days of a square lawn with a surrounding border are long gone. A garden can offer so much more, by creating different areas to explore. A patio area is simply an extension of your indoor living space. Add an arbor at the end of the patio, leading to another outdoor room. This can be a play area for children, or a small vegetable or herb garden. Create seating areas under a tree or nestled in between shrubs. Add an element of surprise, such as a unique sculpture or piece of large pottery. Let your garden reflect your personality!
Making your own compost for organic gardening is extremely simple and easy to do. It provides soil of gardens with rich nutrients and keeps soil cool during summer months. You can use kitchen waste, sawdust, aquarium water, coffee grounds, tea leaves, rabbit or hamster droppings, a thin layer of lawn clippings, spices and eggshells in your compost.
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.
Is your thumb green yet? People don’t become master gardeners overnight, so don’t stress if it isn’t. That said, following the time-tested advice offered by the above tips will certainly help you grow a splendid garden with vibrant plants that can both wow guests and feed your family.