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.
Select perennials to reduce the amount of care your garden requires. Plants that return year after year usually require only a modicum of weeding and pruning. Edible perennials, such as asparagus, rhubarb, and sorrel, can provide an excellent salad addition for your household without causing too much work for you.
Make use of rain buckets and barrels around your home. You can later use this collected rainwater on your garden to grow healthier plants, while saving the planet. This method also reduces your water bill, as you can’t be charged for using the water that runs off your roof!
Use a solution made of a combination of alcohol, water, and vinegar to remove the salt deposits that may accrue in clay pots. Spray it on the the pots and scrub away with a brush, preferably plastic. This allows you to continue to reuse those clay pots! Make sure the pots are dry before using them though.
Start a compost bin, and enjoy nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use for your vegetable plants, herbs, flowers and more. Food scraps and peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, newspaper, paperboard, yard waste and other organic matter are perfect additions to your compost bin. Keep a small bucket or bag in your freezer as an odor-free way to collect kitchen waste, and empty the container into the outdoor bin when it is full.
Make your own kneeling pad. Working on the ground can be very hard on your knees. A kneeling pad provides much needed cushioning, providing comfort as well as protecting your joints. If you do not have one on hand, simply find a piece of foam or an old pillow that is two to three inches in depth. Cover it with plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag to protect it from dirt and moisture and enjoy comfortable cushioning while you garden.
To keep your dog out of your garden, spray old perfume, aftershave, or other scented items in the grass around it. This will mask any scents that might attract your dog and make your garden less interesting to him.
Evergreens are best planted at least four weeks before the ground freezes. This will allow the tree to establish some roots before the soil freezes in the late fall. Evergreens do not drop their leaves in the fall, but continue to lose moisture, so it is important to get them in the ground well before the first frost.
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.