Gardening Tips for Green Thumbs and Newbies Alike

DSC03914When done well, gardening can be a very rewarding activity. Nothing beats the flavor of a tomato you’ve grown yourself, or the scent of your own flowers. Whether you’re just starting out as a gardener or you’ve been growing things your whole life, there’s always something new to learn. Here are a few tips any gardener can use.

To make the most of the water you use, be sure to water your plants first thing in the morning. Doing this makes your water less likely to evaporate, and allows foliage to dry quickly. This reduces the risk of many common diseases, and will help your plants grow to be strong and healthy.

If you can’t get mulch for your soil, use wet newspapers. Damp newspapers around the base of your plants will help hold moisture in the ground and protect your plants’ root systems from heat and sunlight. Newspaper is biodegradable, so it will eventually degrade and actually add more nutrients to your soil.

A great gardening tip is to water your garden at night time. This ensures that the heat of the sun does not cause the water to evaporate, allowing for maximum absorption. This will help your plants get the appropriate amount of water they need in order to grow.

Save the water when you cook pasta for use in your garden. If you have ever boiled pasta in water, you have seen the cloudy state of the water when you drain the pasta. This water is loaded with starch, which is quite nutritious for plants. Make sure to let the water cool thoroughly, as hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.

It isn’t necessary to have a huge back yard or large space in order to be a gardener. It is even possible to have a small garden somewhere like an apartment. If you live in a smaller space you will want to look into the possibility of having a potted garden in your laundry area.

When it comes to deadheading blooms, wait to remove the faded blooms until the bloom is completely finished. Leave on as much foliage as possible so that the leaves can continue to feed the plant. When the foliage begins to fade, cut out the dying or discolored canes of the plant so that rot or disease does not set in.

Keep your gardening tools organized. You do not want to trek out to your garden, only to realize you do not have everything you need with you and need to hunt your tools down. Keep small tools in a tool belt that you can grab and throw on easily or keep them in a 5-gallon bucket that you can carry out to your garden, quickly.

Gardening doesn’t have to stop in the spring. Planting in the fall can help you have a beautifully vibrant garden once the winter snows melt away. Some plants that do well being planted in the fall include chrysanthemums, kales, and asters. Another benefit of planting in the fall is that bulbs need less fertilizer and watering, saving you some additional costs.

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.

The best way to improve your soil is to amend it with different substances, depending on the type of soil you have. Most plants thrive in loamy soil, so adding organic mulches, such as peat moss or hummus, will add nutrients and improve the soil structure. Grass clippings are another material to add that will decay slowly into the soil and add valuable nutrients. Just make sure the grass doesn’t have pesticide residue on the blades that might harm plant roots.

A great tip to consider in regards to gardening is the fact that only plants that are potted or in baskets will need to be watered on a daily basis during the hottest weather. The plants in soil will have access to moisture that takes a lot longer to dry out. This is important to avoid over and under watering.

When removing and replanting perennials, it is important to replenish the soil as well. If you remove a large number of perennials, and then replant them without adding additional compost and soil, the bed will be lower, reducing drainage and air circulation. Also, the compost will replace nutrients that have been used up by previous growing seasons.

As with any pastime, your gardening will benefit if you continually educate yourself. No matter what your skill level is, you can always learn something new that will make you a better gardener. Put some of these ideas to work, and soon your garden will flourish more than it ever has.

This entry was posted on March 22, 2013. Bookmark the permalink.