Have you ever tried to grow your own vegetables in a backyard garden? With the growing trend to become self-sustaining and lead a “greener” lifestyle, many people have found ways to provide their own vegetables, fruit and eggs, right from their own backyard efforts. Living off the land is not as difficult as you think, it just takes a little bit of knowledge, some space and a couple of seed packets to get started.
Choosing a tree. When buying a container-grown tree, remove it from the pot and examine the roots. Don’t buy a tree that is pot-bound with a mass of congested roots, or one that has roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. Make sure that the container has been thoroughly watered, and check for any yellowing leaves or dead branches.
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.
Use both well-matured compost and mulch in your garden. Compost will naturally help plants grow faster, taller, and healthier, and increase the yield of your vegetables. Mulch helps prevent the growth of weeds. Mulch also shades the ground around the roots of your plants, protecting them from heat and conserving water.
A key element to having a great garden is to fertilize it. There are many different types of fertilizers available at most home stores, but what works for different types of gardens varies. Manure is a great choice, but it does smell. A commercially produced manure will have no pathogens to contaminate the vegetables in the garden. Some people swear by chemical fertilizers, yet they are not an organic way to grow.
Don’t buy plant pots. Commercial plant plots from the garden center can be very expensive, anything from $5 to $100. Any container with a few draining holes pierced into the bottom of it can serve as a plant pot, so to save a lot of money, start recycling food containers today.
To make sure your garden looks great from season to season, plan ahead. Make sure your garden includes both annuals, biennials, and perennials so that you can always count on something blooming. Before you plant any flower, think about what you want for your garden in the next year or two.
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.
Just think of the beautiful harvest you can add to your dining table from your garden. Not to mention the environmentally friendly impact of growing your own food. Maintaining a personal vegetable garden can provide food at low cost to your family — and wait until you savor the amazing taste of vegetables, picked straight from the plant. Store-bought produce never tasted this good!