There are many wonderful reasons to take up the art of gardening. Whether you prefer to dabble in vegetables, flowers, or herbs, the information in this selection of useful gardening tips and tricks is sure to put you on the path to a healthy, productive garden and a noticeably greener thumb.
If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don’t require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.
To save space in your garden, try planting your crops in blocks rather than in the traditional rows. Rows end up leaving too much space between plants for needless pathways. Blocks help keep plants tight together without sacrificing production. Small variety kitchen vegetables do best in blocks that are arranged in a wide bed.
Wait for the right moment if you plan on dividing a plant. Leave perhaps two years to grow and divide it at the end of the season when it looks at its best. If your plant shows signs of diseases or has areas with fewer leaves and flowers than others, it is too late.
Don’t grow food no one will eat. Just because you can grow something, doesn’t mean you should. If your kids don’t like spinach now, fresh spinach from the garden isn’t going to change that and much will go to waste. Consider what you and your family like to eat and then determine your garden accordingly.
If you want your garden to be successful, focus on your soil. In order to protect your plants from unwanted pests, it is essential to have healthy soil. It will nourish your vegetation and help them grow into strong plants that are able to fight off disease and damage from bugs.
When you are trying to decide your plant watering schedules, make sure you are testing your soil regularly. Persistent over-watering is just as likely to kill your plants as under-watering. An easy way to check is to put your fingertip in the soil, if it is moist, do not add water.
Aspirin water has disease-prevention properties that can protect plants. One and a half aspirin, dissolved in two gallons of water, can be a great addition to your plants. Spray the plants with the aspirin water to assist plants in battling disease. Your plants should be sprayed one time each three weeks.
One of the best ways to be successful at organic gardening is to plan early. The best laid out plans for an organic garden, always make for the most successful garden. Plan what you will plant early on and be sure to have back-up vegetables ready to plant when short-lived plants, like lettuce and spinach, are done for the year.
Work properly in your garden. Keep all of your tools together; do not waste time looking for them! Have all of tools you will need for the day before you head out your garden. When you are finished, put them away neatly for the next time. It may be necessary to don a tool belt or cargo pants with extra pockets.
When watering it’s important to make sure that the water reaches all the way to the bottom of the soil. Roots that are grown closer to the surface are more likely to get damaged, and in turn produce plants that are less hardy and more susceptible to damage. By pouring water only on the top layer, the roots are forced to grow upwards and become shallower.
Consider building raised beds. If you build your own raised beds, you can choose the perfect size for your garden, and you can fill it with a type of soil that is suitable for what you intend to grow. Since there will be little soil compaction, there will be more oxygen in the soil, and water drainage will be much better. The soil in a raised bed warms up much earlier in the spring, increasing the growing season.
If you need to protect your plants in your organic garden from frost either early in the season or at the end of the season, here’s a great frugal way to cover them. Milk jugs, soda bottles and other plastic containers you can find around the house are perfect to protect your precious plants from the harsh frost.
Be careful when you are moving your plants from plastic containers to the soil. Plants often will end up with bound roots when they have spent too much time in plastic. Turn the plastic container upside-down slowly and tap gently to remove plant. Avoid damaging the plants delicate root system.
Choose the correct spot for growing organic vegetables. An organic garden needs to be self-sustaining, with the ability to defend itself from damage. This defense is promoted by four factors: water, sun, soil and air circulation. Choose a sunny spot, preferably with both morning and afternoon sun. In humid areas, morning sun is important to dry dew quickly, avoiding fungus. If your soil is clay or sandy, amend it with peat to improve water retention and drainage.
Keep this information in mind as you plan your next gardening project, whether it is an elaborate landscaping arrangement, fragrant herb garden for cooking, or a vegetable patch that will grow healthy and delicious crops. You need not be a master botanist to succeed in your gardening efforts, but this article is certainly a good start.