Gardening, be it for shrubs, trees, flowers, or vegetables, can be a very relaxing and rewarding activity. The smell of the dirt under our fingers as you plant seeds and pull up weeds, the thrill of the watching the tiny plants start to come up, and the pleasure you take in the results of your efforts, all make gardening an affordable and pleasurable past time. here’s a few useful pointers.
Take the time to know your soil. Get it analyzed. This will let you know what is in your soil and in what areas the soil may be deficient. You can then buy the missing nutrients to add into your soil which will help maximize your crops! Many local universities that have agriculture departments have the ability to test your soil for a small fee.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
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.
Try growing crops that are easy to store or store themselves. If handled properly and gently, given the right amount of time to cure, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, squash, dry beans, or shallots will keep for a very long time in a cool, dry place. No canning or freezing required. This will ensure having fresh vegetables from the garden all winter long.
The best gardens will evolve from original seeds rather than transplanted items. When planting a garden, the best way is to initially start with seeds. Very few nurseries recycle the plastics that they use as containers for their plants, so the majority of these containers are thrown away and dumped in landfills. Therefore, it is better for the environment to plant a garden with seeds or to find a nursery that packages its plants using organic materials.
The easiest way to dry out herbs is by laying newspaper across the backseat of your car and arranging the herbs in a single layer on top of it. The herbs will dry quickly in warm weather, your car will smell remarkably fresh, and cleanup is a breeze.
Gardening is a pastime that really gives back. It brings benefits to ourselves, to our family, and to our planet. So, turn your thoughts to outside, and to the pleasure to be had by tending our own piece of the earth, and work on that garden!