Growing plants to eat or just to admire can be an incredibly rewarding experience. These benefits don’t come without difficulty, though. A number of variables, including environment and nutrition, need to be just right for best results. These tips will put you well on your way to the coveted green thumb.
Use a mixture of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water to get rid of salt deposits. If you are having a problem of salt buildup on your clay pots, mix equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Spray on the deposits and they will wash away with ease. Make sure to let the pots dry thoroughly before use.
Use slug-proof varieties of perennials wherever possible. Snails and slugs can do irreparable damage to your garden in a single night. Young plants with susceptible leaves are favorite meals for slugs, including those with smoother or thinner leaves. Some varieties of perennials are not preferred by snails and slugs, particularly perennials that have hairy, tough leaves or a taste that isn’t appetizing. Examples of these include euphorbia, hellebourus and achillea. Others you may want to consider are campanula and heuchera.
Run your fingernails across a bar of soap before you go out to weed or plant in your garden. The soap that collected under your nails will prevent the collection of dirt while you work. Afterward, a simple scrub with a nail brush will remove the soap and leave your hands clean, with much less effort.
To protect your crops from being ravaged by pests such as deer and other nuisance animals, be sure to fence your garden securely. A good fence will also keep other people from trampling your crops, or worse, stealing them. If you have burrowing pests like gophers, you may want to use raised beds for your vegetables.
No gardener really enjoys weeding, but it is necessary. Using weed control cloth can make your job a lot easier. Lay down strips of cloth between your rows and you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of trouble. It may not look quite as nice, but your body will appreciate it.
Use water efficiently as possible. One of the most precious resources in the world today is fresh water. It just cannot be wasted, so the use of mulch and soaker hoses are an efficient way to minimize the impact of the garden on the water supply. Consider having a rain barrel near the garden to capture and save rainwater for a minimal impact garden.
Get rid of any garden pests immediately. Garden pests, such as red spider mites, ants, whitefly, and aphids, can infect your plants with various diseases, so if you notice any of the plants in your garden dying or failing to thrive, check for pests first. To get rid of garden pests, invest in a good pesticide.
Is your thumb green yet? People don’t become master gardeners overnight, so don’t stress if it isn’t. That said, following the time-tested advice offered by the above tips will certainly help you grow a splendid garden with vibrant plants that can both wow guests and feed your family.