Are you getting into gardening for the first time in your life? You probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that beginning to grow your own garden for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help make growing your own garden a bit easier.
If frost has killed your pumpkins before they’ve had a chance to turn orange, it’s not too late to save them. Cut the pumpkins off the vine, leaving a minimum of 4 inches of the vine on the top of the pumpkin. Wash them thoroughly with water mixed with a small amount of bleach to prevent the development of mold. Bring them inside, and place them in a warm, sunny location, turning them occasionally so the sun can reach all the green areas of the pumpkin. Within a few weeks or less, you’ll have bright orange pumpkins to carve into jack-o-lanterns or use to make homemade pumpkin pie.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
Check your store bought soil for pests. If you buy from big home improvement stores, your soil may have pests such as aphids. To kill the insects and their larvae, put the soil in a metal baking pan and place it covered in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool before using.
Collect your dirt for a soil analysis to see the nutrients your soil needs. You can get this tested at a local university’s agriculture department, usually for a fee. The fee is well worth it usually because then you will know what nutrients your dirt needs to have a garden that is successful.
Clean up your garden at the end of the growing season. If you clean up your garden when the growing season is over, it will improve the appearance and make less work for you the following year. Remove dead or damaged branches on trees and shrubs, get rid of weeds before they go to seed, and rake any leaves from the lawn. Remove old annual plants and cut perennials to the ground if they normally die back in the winter. Any plant material that isn’t diseased can be put in the compost pile.
As you have seen, gardening is not as scary as it may appear. Just think of all of the benefits it has to provide you with in regards to health and food. The above list of tips should have given you a good starting place, so that you can start growing smarter.