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.
A tip to prevent dirt from accumulating under your fingernails while working in the garden, use a bar of soap before starting. Rake your fingernails across a bar of soap and it will seal the undersides of your nails so that dirt will not collect beneath them. When you are finished in the garden, just use a brush to scrape the soap from beneath them and your nails will still be sparkling clean.
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.
Try to grow only as much as you can use in your garden. After eating fresh vegetables, storing, freezing, and giving away to friends and family there is only so much that a person can use. Do not plant fifty tomato plants unless a vegetable stand is in your future because all those tomatoes will rot on the vines and will not be used.
Plant bulbs in your garden if you want flowers through spring and summer. Planting and growing bulbs is very simple, and once planted the bulbs will grow for years. Include a variety of plantings to get a full season of flowers, from early bloomers to late-season varieties.
Invest in a electronic PH tester. Avoid liquid PH kits (the color coded ones) as they tend to be less accurate. It is very easy for first time users to botch readings. Also, do not use soil PH test kits as they are unreliable and are not intended for home use.
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%.
There are many common household items that can be used to good effect in the garden. Try using duct tape to remove aphids from the leaves of infested plants. Wrap the tape around your hand, sticky side out, and press it to the leaves to remove the aphids. A lint roller can be used for this tasks as well.
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.