Gardening is not just a popular hobby for those who own property, but a family activity and even a profession for some. As with any endeavor, gardening is a lot easier if you know a few things before you get started. Read on to learn some pieces of advice sure to make your thumb a little greener.
Plant your garden in stages. Put in a new vegetable every week, or plant vegetables with different maturation speeds when you do your planting. This helps prevent you from having a large harvest all at once, and will better allow you to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labors.
You can get most of the gardening tools you need second-hand. Visit yard sales and estate sales near you to look for gardening tools at a very low price. You can also visit online trading or donation groups to trade items you have for gardening tools, or even to find find free tools.
Test your soil before purchasing fertilizer. Fertilizers provide essential nutrients to plants, such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. However, fertilizers can be very expensive. By testing your garden soil to see which nutrients it is lacking, you can avoid spending extra money on a complex fertilizer, and instead purchase a fertilizer containing only the nutrients that your soil requires.
To be sure a tree doesn’t become a problem with age, think of what size it will become before you plant it. The perfect place for a sapling may not be a great place for a tree several years down the road. You should be especially careful not to plant a tree too closely to your house, as the roots can cause damage.
Make your own compost ahead of time rather than purchasing it. Adding compost to your garden gives your plants a needed boost to grow successfully. Begin saving your grass cuttings, raked up leaves, egg shells, and skin from fruits and vegetables in a sturdy bin 6 months prior to your gardening season. Your compost will then be ready to mix in with your dirt on planting day.
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.
Brighten up your winter garden with trees that have interesting bark. A winter garden can tend to look bare and drab, especially if you live in a very cold climate. Three good choices are a paperbark maple, silver birch or scarlet willow. This will make a quite noticeable difference to the look of your garden.
If you want to make plant markers from objects you have around the home, try using old window blinds. Cutting up your old blinds will let you make markers that are almost identical to the ones you’d buy at a store. They’re very durable, and should easily be able to survive bad weather.
Make sure you read the labels on any weedkillers or pesticides that you use in your garden. Follow the directions closely. Using too much of a chemical can be dangerous to your health and the health of your garden. Failing to read the label might also mean that you get the wrong chemical for the problem that you’re having, polluting the ground around your garden for no reason.
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.
Pay attention to the time of year that your plants bloom before you start pruning them. If you prune your flowering shrubs and trees while they have buds on them, that plant won’t flower that year. The best time to prune is just after the last season’s blooms have faded.
Pay attention to zones when choosing plants for your garden. Most plants will come with the zone marked. This is also true of seeds. Make sure the zone corresponds to your growing zone. Though plants may grow outside of their usual zone, they are less likely to be hardy plants.
To rid your plants of red spider mite, use old coffee grounds. Take the grounds and mix them with water in a spray bottle. Head over to your plants and spray all the infected areas. The caffeine in the grounds will help your plants fight off the spider mite, and unlike many other caffeinated beverage, there’s nothing in coffee grounds that will harm your plants.
You were told in the opening of this piece that if you read on, you would learn a few things about planting and growing. Hopefully, that has taken place and you are ready to go out in the yard and plant some seeds. Keep in mind what you have learned, and you’ll have fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers in no time.