Most people appreciate a well-maintained garden that is full of life and color. Unfortunately, gardening can be complicated, time consuming and expensive. However, by increasing your knowledge of gardening techniques, the past time can become very enjoyable and relatively inexpensive. This article contains some essential gardening tips, advice and ideas.
Slug-proof your garden with smart perennial choices. Creatures like snails or slugs can destroy a plant in a single night. These pests gravitate to young perennials with smooth, tender, thin leaves. There are some perennials that do not appeal to slugs, such as those with leaves that are hairy and tough with a bad taste. Selecting an unappetizing perennial, such as campanula or heuchera, will help stop them from being eaten.
When you boil or steam vegetables for cooking, let the water cool and then use it to water your garden. Not only does this reduce your overall water usage, it provides a useful source of nutrients to your place. Your potted plants, especially, will appreciate the extra nutrients provided by your vegetable water.
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.
A key element to having a great garden is to fertilize it. There are many different types of fertilizers available at most home stores, but what works for different types of gardens varies. Manure is a great choice, but it does smell. A commercially produced manure will have no pathogens to contaminate the vegetables in the garden. Some people swear by chemical fertilizers, yet they are not an organic way to grow.
Vegetable water makes a wonderful fertilizer. Next time you boil or steam your vegetables to eat, set aside the cooking water. This water is chock full of nutrients, and will provide a nice, nutritious boost to your garden. Make sure the water is thoroughly cooled first hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.
If you spend a lot of time taking care of your garden, get yourself a gardening wheelbarrow. You can put all the gardening supplies that you need on the wheelbarrow and easily push it around to various parts of your garden. This will save you time from looking for various supplies every time you need to tend to your garden.
Do not give your garden too much fertilizer. Providing fertilizer to your plants allows them to better make food from sunlight. Too much fertilizer, however, can cause your plant to grow too fast, which prevents it from fruiting or flowering. The excess chemicals left in your soil can wash away and pollute the local ground water.
Sometimes you will need to re-pot your plants. One good way to check if your plants need re-potted is to turn them over and look at the bottom. If you see many roots, it is time to get it into a new pot. If you see few roots, you may not need to disturb the plant.
Fall is a great time of the year to plant a fall vegetable garden. The mild temperatures of autumn are fantastic for cultivating fast-growing, cool-season vegetables such as spinach, radishes and lettuce. Growing an autumn garden does require some planning since you need to harvest your salad crop before the first frost. By looking on the seed packet, you will find out how long it takes for your plant to be mature enough to harvest. Since plants grow more slowly in the shortened days of fall, add two weeks to the time listed on the seed packet. If the total number of days is 45, make sure you plant your fall crop at least that many days before the time that the first day of frost typically occurs in your locale.
Choose certain plants for shady areas. All plants need light to survive, but not all of them require bright sunshine. Woodland natives, for example, are happiest when given a little protection from the sun’s rays. Be generous when enriching the soil if the plants are under a canopy of trees, as they are competing for the food supply with the big guys! Ajuga, anemone, foxglove, cyclamen, hosta, viola and allium all enjoy a shady area.
Choosing colorful perennials for your garden will make a bold statement and will give you much satisfaction throughout the season. Some perennials with interesting foliage are the lungwort, Japanese painted fern, and the hosta. These plants are very attractive and thrive for many months. There are many varieties of perennials to choose from, just go online and search for perennial plants that remain beautiful for many months out of the year.
Mixing a variety of plants at different heights is how you can make a very interesting English garden. If you use plants that grow vertically at the same rate, you will end up with some flat, boring, uniform looking beds.
Give your garden a boost with instant color. If your garden is looking a little dull, a quick trip to your local nursery will do the trick. There, you will find colorful annuals and perennials in full flower, waiting to be planted into the ground, a window box or a hanging basket. This is especially handy if you are entertaining, and you need to brighten up the yard, or if you are trying to sell your house. Spots of color help to make a home look inviting and cheery.
As stated in the introduction to this article, gardening can be complicated, but by applying some of the advice contained in this article, you could be on your way to designing, creating and cultivating your dream garden. Alternatively, maybe the tips above have expanded your gardening knowledge and inspired you to volunteer to help with some community gardening projects.