Dig up a spot of dirt, add a splash of water, drop in a seed or two, and “voila!” you have a garden. In some ways, gardening is that easy. On the other hand, it’s understandable why you might have many questions about how to make your garden grow as beautifully and productively as possible. This article has many tips and guidance points to help you start your garden and enjoy a bounty at harvest time.
A good tip of what to plant in the garden is to plant high-value crops. Value is a subjective term, but plant the things that are most costly to buy, as long as they are suited to the climate. The whole garden does not have to be devoted to this, but if an area is earmarked for this type of crop, it can save money in the coming season when prices are sky high for certain crops.
When powdery mildew appears on your plants, you should not rush out to purchase a costly chemical treatment. Put a little baking soda and some dish soap in water. Spray this solution on plants once weekly until the mildew is gone. Baking soda is safe for use on your plants and is a gentle, but effective way to care for your plants.
Transplanting plants and bringing them indoors can protect them from harsh winters. Your best bet would be try to save the best or most hearty plants. Carefully dig up the plants, using caution not to disturb the roots, then transfer into a pot.
Water your potted herbs! Keep potted herbs well watered, but don’t over-water, which is a common mistake. Sage, thyme, rosemary and tarragon aren’t that bothered by a somewhat dry environment. On the other hand, mint, chives and parsley require constant moisture. Make sure that the container has adequate drainage holes, and place a layer of gravel in the base of the pot as a drainage layer. This ensures that the water doesn’t flow straight out.
Create an illusion of space. If you have a small garden, use color to create an illusion of more space. A background of blues, grays, pinks and mauves will create a misty effect, giving you the feeling of depth. If you use a bright color in the foreground such as red, this will emphasize the effect, as it draws the eye forward.
An old wagon can help save time as well as your back. Instead of constantly having to retrieve your gardening tools as you work your way around your garden, commandeer an old child’s wagon. An old wagon works as well as a garden cart, and can often be obtained free or very cheaply if you get it used.
Have a good stretch before starting gardening work. A good five to ten minute stretch will help loosen the muscles and get the heart rate up. The bodies’ muscles work better and are less prone to injuries when properly warmed up. Walk around the garden a few times and do a few simple stretches and the time in the garden will be a more enjoyable experience.
A wheelbarrow and kneeling bench or stool are smart investments for your garden. Using a large portion of your time near or on the ground working on your garden puts a huge strain on your knees; therefore, having a portable, lightweight garden stool will greatly assist you in making gardening easier on them. Gardening also typically involves transporting bags of topsoil, fertilizer and other heavy items, so using a wheelbarrow to make these tasks easier is a sound investment for your garden, and your back.
Protect your seeds from fungus with natural products. You can use milled sphagnum moss to protect all your plants. If your seeds need light to grow, sprinkle the moss first and then place your seeds. This solution is much better than any chemicals you can find in a store and will protect your seeds efficiently.
A great rule of thumb to follow when planting an organic garden is less is more. While you’ll want to plant a little more than you think you will need in case of rot or pests, you don’t want to overdo it because you’ll end up with much more than you can handle.
Fertilize your soil with organic compost. Organic gardeners tend to fertilize their soil twice in one season: once prior to planting, and then again in the middle of a growth cycle. The best fertilizer to use is an organic compost, as it releases nutrients slowly unlike chemical fertilizers, which release nutrients in one go and then lose their effect.
Take some time to build your own garden. Plan out how everything should look and where you want to grow certain plants. Try landscaping your own yard. It can also help return so much of your original investment, along with being an great way to make sure your plants have a proper place to grow.
Try not to get too rough in the dirt of your organic garden by avoiding any frequent or deep cultivation. This can damage the plants’ roots, dry out the surrounding soil, disturb any healthy soil organisms, or even bring weed seeds to the surface where they will germinate and grow into pesky adult weeds.
Don’t forget to read your seed packets! They give general information specific to the plant about when to plant, how much sun is needed, how long from planting to harvest, and how far apart the spacing should be. Seed packets from some sources even go into detail about the history of the plant and may even have a recipe.
When buying plants, take a look at the roots. For the most part, healthy roots are white or light pink in color. Black roots can be a sign of root rot for all but a select few varieties. Healthy roots will equal a hardier plant, and a more successful addition to your garden.
Gardening, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, is usually more involved than simply combining dirt, water, and seeds. Gathering useful tips and advice, like the ones you learned here, will help you reap the rewards that can come from creating and managing your own successful garden, and truly enjoying the fruits of your labor.