Solid Advice For The Garden EnthusiastDig up a spot of dirt, add a splash of water, drop in a seed or two, and "voila!" you have a garden. In some ways, gardening is that easy. On the other hand, it's understandable why you might have many questions about how to make your garden grow as beautifully and productively as possible. This article has many tips and guidance points to help you start your garden and enjoy a bounty at harvest time.
A great gardening tip is to do all your gardening work minus the watering early in the morning. Sometimes working in the garden can take several hours and it behooves one to not do this at the hottest time of the day. This will help prevent heat related illness like heat stroke.
Always grow what works in the right area. If cabbage does not work in one climate, but carrots do, then it is a robust carrot crop that needs to be planted and the cabbage crop should be small. Talk to the neighbors and see what is working for them to maximize the output of your own garden.
Protect your seedlings from frost with clay pots. Early spring is a perilous time for a new garden. You want to get your plants going as soon as possible to ensure plenty of grow time, but a single frost can wipe out your fragile seedlings. To protect your tiny plants from frost at night, simply place a small, upside down clay pot on each seedling. They will insulate from the cold and protect from the wind.
Make sure your pot is the right size for your plant. If the pot is too small, the plant's roots may not have enough room to grow. The roots will become "root bound", stop growing, and begin to suffocate. The size of the root system can determine the size of your plant and yield.
Slide your fingernails against a bar of soap to prevent dirt from getting under your nails. The dirt doesn't necessarily hurt you, but you will save time and effort when cleaning your hands later. Instead of having to dig underneath your nails, you can just use a nailbrush to quickly remove the soap residue.
Get your soil professionally tested. The small upfront cost of soil testing will pay for itself many times over. By knowing exactly what type of soil you have as well as what nutrients are present will give you important information for a successful garden. Once you are aware of deficiencies, you can take steps to amend the soil and get your garden off to a good start.
A helpful solution for getting rid of a few slugs in your garden is to set out a container of beer. Just take a small plastic cup or container (plastic margarine bowl works great) and tuck it down into your garden beds near the area where the slugs are known to appear. Be sure the lip of the dish is level to the ground and then fill it with beer. The beer attracts the slugs into the dish where they will drown. You will have to dispose of the slugs and reset the beer "trap" every couple days, but your slugs will disappear.
Treat your flowering bulbs correctly after they finish blooming and they will return again next year. Allow the foliage to remain for at least eight weeks after flowering to ensure that your bulbs are able to photosynthesize enough food for the following season. Removing the leaves earlier could result in weak flowers or no flowers at all the next year.
Try using a natural weed killer that does not contain harsh chemicals. Spray weeds with full strength white vinegar to kill them, and reapply as necessary if you see any new growth. Vinegar can also kill plants that you want to keep, so make sure not to spray it on weeds that are growing in the middle of other plants you do not want to kill.
When watering plants use recycled water, but avoid re-using water from sources such as baths, washing machines, or dishwashing. These water sources may contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into your vegetables such as nitrates and phosphates. This water may even contain pathogens that could harm you or your plants.
If you follow the above advice, your plants will be happier and so will you. It doesn't matter whether you're a home gardener with a tiny container garden or an ambitious community gardener who wants to feed a family with what you grow. The tips like these can help make sure you reach your gardening goals sooner rather than later.