Whether you are green fingered or black thumbed, adding a garden to your home can add value to your property, when it comes time to resell. Not only that, the hobby of gardening can be a relaxing stress-buster when required. Below are some ideas on how to turn your back yard into a little green piece of paradise.
Use groundcover perennials in sunny areas. Groundcover perennials can be used as an alternative to grass where there is minimal foot traffic, or in an area where grass is difficult to maintain, such as on a slope. They are also handy in between larger perennials, as they help to suppress weeds and keep the soil moist and cool. Good choices for groundcover perennials are creeping thyme, ajuga, various sedums, alyssum and armeria.
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.
If you want something fun to do that will benefit you in the kitchen, try growing some herbs in your window. Some herbs may not take kindly to this, but many will! In this way you have some herbs always fresh and handy, and they add a nice touch to the house.
Save money by drying the seeds from your annuals to plant next year. Petunias, zinnias and impatiens are just a few of the flowers from which it is easy to extract and save seeds. You will have to extract the seed pod from some flowers, and wait for it to split open. With others, such as marigolds, you will have to open the flower and extract the seeds yourself. After extracting the seeds, let them dry for at least a week. Place them in a jar with a rubber seal, and add silica gel pouches to keep them from absorbing moisture. Store them in a cool, dry location until you’re ready to plant them next year.
When growing potatoes, make sure you choose a variety with a starch content that corresponds with the way you’ll be cooking them. The more starch there is in a potato, the drier and flakier it will be when cooked. Potatoes that are good for mashing have approximately 7% starch. These potatoes cook quickly and retain a high moisture content, so they’re easy to mash. Baking potatoes have a starch content between 15% and 18%, and frying potatoes have the highest level at 22%.
If you have room, consider putting in a raised bed in your garden. A raised bed prevents soil compaction from people stepping on the soil. Raised beds also provide better drainage for your plants, allowing roots to breathe better. Another advantage is that you can control the soil quality better in a raised bed.
If you are a first time gardener, it is important that you follow all of the instructions on all of your tools and chemicals. If you do not do this very simple step, you can end up causing skin irritation problems that are very painful. For your own safety, take the time to read and follow the instructions.
When planting a new rose bush, be sure to prune the canes to about eight inches before you plant the rose in the ground. Also, remove decayed wood at the ends of the canes. Pruning a new rose will encourage it to grow more quickly. Keep in mind when you are pruning, try and cut the canes at a 45-degree angle to help the plant to shed water.
Composting for organic gardening reduces the need for fertilizers, is a form of herbicide, can help prevent plant diseases and helps impact the environment in positive ways. Composting is a source of nutrition for insects, helps with soil erosion and reduces waste sent to landfills. It is wonderful for the health of the environment in general.
Hang shiny silver objects throughout your garden. These can act as natural pest deterrents; no need for chemicals. The reflections can disorient flying pests such as aphids that require the sun to direct their flight, and may frighten off larger pests such as birds, and even rabbits or deer.
Make sure your seeds have enough room to grow. It is fine to have many seeds in one container before they sprout, but you will have to replant them as they grow. Use containers that are actually big enough for one plant, and avoid having more than one plant in each container.
You should work efficiently, instead of working hard in your garden, to simplify things. Wasting time finding tools is inefficient gardening. Prepare them all ahead of time and have them handy before you need to garden, and then put them back in their place when done. Get yourself a tool belt, or wear pants with many pockets.
Make liquid fertilizer from your compost. By adding a little bit of water to the biological decay, you can harvest the nutrient rich concoction and spread it on your plants in an efficient way. By fermenting the compost with about an equal amount of water can give you a great form of liquid fertilizer that will help promote growth without negative side effects or toxic run-off.
These hints should have given you an idea on how to begin adding a garden to your property. Always remember that in order for the garden to always look its best, regular care and maintenance is required. However, with a little effort it is easy to produce an area that you can be truly proud of.