Dig up a spot of dirt, add a splash of water, drop in a seed or two, and “voila!” you have a garden. In some ways, gardening is that easy. On the other hand, it’s understandable why you might have many questions about how to make your garden grow as beautifully and productively as possible. This article has many tips and guidance points to help you start your garden and enjoy a bounty at harvest time.
When planting next season’s vegetable garden, it is important to rotate some of the crops. For example, potatoes and tomatoes should be planted in a different spot because they are both prone to the same diseases. Keep your vegetable garden healthy and thriving by learning which crops need rotating and why.
For planting spring bulbs in the winter, decide where you want them to go and dig individual planting holes at the correct spacing. Place some small four inch plastic pots inside the holes with the rims slightly exposed and fill with soil. When spring comes, planting the bulbs is a breeze. Just remove the pots and place the bulbs in the empty hole. Fill the hole with the soil that was in the pot.
A key element to having a great garden is to fence it in. In many areas the wildlife will consume the fruits and vegetables as soon as they sprout, yielding little or no harvest. A good fence will not only keep out the wildlife, but it will keep out the neighborhood children from playing ball and pets from digging.
If space is an issue, try vertical gardening. Even with the limited space of condos and townhouses, many people have thriving gardens in the small area they have using vertical gardening. By using trellised gardens one can grow pole beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a small place during the summer, and in the fall a wide variety of greens can be grown in the same space.
Do not kill the spiders in your garden. Spiders prey on other insects and can keep unwanted bugs under control. They are a natural source of control for common garden pests. When you see a spider, you should leave him alone to do its job. This will reduce your need for insecticides in your garden.
Dish washing soap can repel insects. If you find insects ravaging your garden, fill a spray bottle with water and add a squirt of dish soap. Spray the foliage of your plants and watch the insects flee. They will leave your garden alone until the soap washes away. Simply reapply as needed.
Tie strips of mylar balloons to the branches of your fruit trees just before harvest time. These flapping, shiny straps will frighten away birds and small mammals, protecting your fruit. Just be sure to remove them after the harvest, because if they blow loose, animals may eat them and become ill.
To give your plants all the iron they need, bury old, rusty pieces of steel in your garden. Damaged steel should break down quickly, allowing the soil to absorb iron from it and feed it back to your plants. This is also a useful way to get rid of junk that might be clogging up your garage.
Repel leaf-eating insects with chili pepper. If your plants’ foliage is being ravaged by hungry insects, add one tablespoon of red chili pepper or hot mustard to one quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray the foliage evenly, making sure to get the undersides of the leaves too. One taste of this spicy spray will send bugs on their way.
Spray fragrances such as old perfume or aftershave on grass around your garden to help keep your dog away from the plants. This covers up the smells that bring dogs to gardens in the first place, which means dogs are less likely to enter the garden.
Experiment with color pairings. Purple and yellow work very well together, and can be used to create either a warm or cool effect. For a warm effect, use more yellow flowers than purple, conversely, using mostly purple flowers will give you a cool, soothing effect. A mixture of tall purple delphiniums or penstemon, and lower growing yellow achillea gives a spectacular display.
Wearing gloves to protect your hands is very important. It is very possible to get cut on something that is lodged in the ground if you do not wear gardening gloves. The best time to buy gardening gloves is at the end of summer when all of the gardening supplies have been put on clearance.
Mix old or rotted food into your soil. Rotting food is just a sign that it’s decomposing due to the bacteria that breaks down the starches and fats in the food. The food that you don’t eat can provide your plants with a boost to their nutrition. Because the food is decomposing, the plants are even better equipped to strip vital nutrient it.
Collecting and recycling rain water is a great way to save money and help your garden bloom. Rain water is generally cleaner and freer of pollutants and contaminants than ground water or city water. Collect the rain in rain barrels or cisterns so that you can use it whenever it is needed.
Gardening, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, is usually more involved than simply combining dirt, water, and seeds. Gathering useful tips and advice, like the ones you learned here, will help you reap the rewards that can come from creating and managing your own successful garden, and truly enjoying the fruits of your labor.