Besides serving as a hobby, gardening can help you to save money, as well as, creating a more beautiful home. Whether you want to plant flowers, vegetables, fruits, or all three, there are definite benefits to starting a garden. Read this article for some tips on how to successfully maintain a garden and reap the benefits.
Design your garden so that your harvest is staggered over as long a season as possible. Use cold-tolerant root crops and greens in the fall, for example, and plan to pick and preserve early strawberries in June. This way, you will have the space and time in your life to store everything you grow.
When the vegetable season is over, grow a shoulder season crop if possible. Fruits like strawberries or raspberries bear fruit very early or very late in the season before or after the summer vegetable crops take over and can be planted. Raspberries can be planted to bear fruit in the fall and strawberries can be planted to bear fruit in the spring.
Check for weeds often in your garden as they will leech nutrients from the soil. Weeds can grow at a high rate of speed and overwhelm the resources available to your plants. Take the time to check for weeds at least twice a week to catch them while they are new shoots.
It is important that you not forget to water your garden on a regular basis, especially when it is hot. If your plants do not get enough water, roots stay near the surface which can kill your plants or cause them to take even longer to grow. About an inch of water a week is sufficient.
A useful solution to keep pests like bugs and flying insects away from your garden is to put basil, garlic or parsley plants as trim plants around your garden. These plants have the ability to deter pests, while still being quite useful in your kitchen! If a splash of color is more your style, marigolds have a similar effect.
When using fertilizer, moderation can be the key to success. While it’s true that using a fertilizer can enhance your garden’s productivity, it’s better to apply it sparingly. An overdose of fertilizer can cause excessive growth of the plant’s foliage with stunted development of the fruit or vegetables thereby reducing your harvest.
Pay attention to the temperatures in your garden. When it is early, or late, in the season there is a chance that your plants could be exposed to frost. Freezing temperatures will cause many plants to die, and some that live will not produce at the level they would have otherwise.
Don’t plant your seedlings or young plants too deeply. The top of a root ball of a large shrub or tree seedling should be just above the soil level, and then covered up with mulch to protect it. This allows the roots to breathe and keeps the tree or shrub healthy.
Recycle your coffee grounds and use them to acidify the soil for all of your acid loving plants. Plants that like an acidic soil include roses, tomatoes, cyclamen, violets, gardenias, begonias and hibiscus. Apply the grounds approximately one quarter inch thick for the best results. If you don’t care for coffee, leftover tea will produce the same results.
Recycled newspaper can be used in the garden. Newspapers are an eco-friendly addition to your garden that can keep weeds at bay and help your soil retain important moisture. Simply wet some newspaper, and place it around the bases of your garden plants. Sprinkle with soil to ensure the paper does not blow away. It will smother any weed seedlings trying to emerge and help the soil hold onto its moisture.
If you find that your garden is producing more vegetables than you can eat, you might try finding recipes that call for the produce in different stages of maturity. For example, if you anticipate that you’ll have more squash than you need, you can harvest the squash blossoms. This makes your garden more diverse in its offerings that you can enjoy.
Irrigate your garden efficiently. Use a type of soaker hose so that you don’t need to do individual waterings with the hose nozzle, or be refilling a watering can constantly. Keep water pressure on your hose low so you don’t harm fragile plants. Let your soaker hose run for a few hours while you do other things.
Water efficiently to promote plant growth and cut down on the water bill. Watering at night or early in the morning is the most efficient time to water. The heat and the sun makes the water evaporate before it soaks it in. Watering closer to the ground will also minimize evaporation permitting your plants to receive the maximum amount of water.
One way to slowly-water your plant is by using a plastic bottle, such as a 2-liter soda bottle. Punch a few small holes in the bottom of the bottle, fill it to the neck with water and replace the cap. Place it in the soil and use the cap to regulate the flow of water.
While growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you money on produce and cut grocery costs, growing flowers can give you a sense of pride. Watching something grow when you have taken care to protect it, can make you feel useful. Remember the tips in this article to start your own garden today.