There are many wonderful reasons to take up the art of gardening. Whether you prefer to dabble in vegetables, flowers, or herbs, the information in this selection of useful gardening tips and tricks is sure to put you on the path to a healthy, productive garden and a noticeably greener thumb.
Be realistic about the types of plants you can grow in your garden. If a particular plant has failed you in the past, don’t try it again. You need to right kind of climate, soil, and sun/shade ratio for certain plants. If you don’t have it, no amount of effort will make those plants a success. Choosing realistically will increase your yield while decreasing your effort.
Growing compost piles are a great alternative to buying traditional fertilizer. Compost piles are composed of organic material that slowly deteriorates making a nutrient-rich soil. It presents both a great way of ridding yourself of banana peels and other organic compounds, while providing your plants with a nitrogen rich mixture that will promote increased growth.
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.
If space is an issue, try vertical gardening. Even with the limited space of condos and townhouses, many people have thriving gardens in the small area they have using vertical gardening. By using trellised gardens one can grow pole beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a small place during the summer, and in the fall a wide variety of greens can be grown in the same space.
Use foliar feeding to help shocked or struggling plants recover. Plants can consume nutrients through their leaves quicker than through their roots. If they are having trouble getting nutrients through their roots, spray their leaves with liquid food. Be careful not to overfeed them this way. They may need to feed only twice a month.
Recycle your old pantyhose for garden use! Pantyhose make exceptional garden ties as they are very malleable, very strong and yet extremely soft, so they won’t saw into the plants you are tying up. Best of all, since you are recycling, this solution is another great way to save money.
After a long day of gardening, clean those dirty hands with a breakfast treat. Create a mixture of oatmeal and water. Make it thick! Use the mixture as an abrasive to get the dirt out of your skin and from under your fingernails. Follow it up with your normal soap and water wash to get any lingering dirt off.
Give your plants an appropriate amount of water to optimize growth and plant health. Different varieties of plants require varying amounts of water so you cannot water your entire garden at the same rate. Instead, determine how often each type of plant needs water and how much before planning your watering schedule.
Tie strips of mylar balloons to the branches of your fruit trees just before harvest time. These flapping, shiny straps will frighten away birds and small mammals, protecting your fruit. Just be sure to remove them after the harvest, because if they blow loose, animals may eat them and become ill.
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.
The best time to plant deciduous trees are in the summer and fall. The best way to tell if it is a good time to plant these trees, is to look at the new growth and notice if has hardened. It is best to plant the trees before the ground freezes to reduce transplant shock.
Keep this information in mind as you plan your next gardening project, whether it is an elaborate landscaping arrangement, fragrant herb garden for cooking, or a vegetable patch that will grow healthy and delicious crops. You need not be a master botanist to succeed in your gardening efforts, but this article is certainly a good start.