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.
Design your garden so that your harvest is staggered over as long a season as possible. Use cold-tolerant root crops and greens in the fall, for example, and plan to pick and preserve early strawberries in June. This way, you will have the space and time in your life to store everything you grow.
When the vegetable season is over, grow a shoulder season crop if possible. Fruits like strawberries or raspberries bear fruit very early or very late in the season before or after the summer vegetable crops take over and can be planted. Raspberries can be planted to bear fruit in the fall and strawberries can be planted to bear fruit in the spring.
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.
When you need to control weed growth, choose your weed killer carefully, and always follow the directions. Many weed killers have chemicals that are harmful to people if they are not applied properly. They are especially harmful to young children if the children play around an area that has recently been treated.
In addition to enhancing the appearance of your home with flowers and saving money by growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, you now have another reason to take up gardening. Studies have shown that stress and blood pressure levels are significantly reduced when people view nature and plants. Gardening is a great source of pleasure for many people and the end result is one that can help them live a longer, healthier life.
Store your seeds well. If you do not store your seeds properly, they will not last long. A great place to store your seeds in a dark spot that is cool and has low humidity. You could even use a refridgerator. You can use zip bags to hold the seeds themselves.
Try using a natural weed killer that does not contain harsh chemicals. Spray weeds with full strength white vinegar to kill them, and reapply as necessary if you see any new growth. Vinegar can also kill plants that you want to keep, so make sure not to spray it on weeds that are growing in the middle of other plants you do not want to kill.
Grow plants from seed rather than purchasing plants from a nursery. It can be tempting to purchase plants that already have a head start, but it is usually not necessary. By growing from seed, you could find yourself landscaping your yard for under $50.00 worth of different plant seeds, rather than spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars at a plant nursery.
If you are gardening in containers, be sure each container has a drainage system to prevent water from pooling. Lining the bottom of a container with small rocks or pebbles can also help with water drainage for container gardening. Allowing water to sit for extended periods can rot the root system of your plants.
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.