You don’t need to have a green thumb or a huge amount of space to garden successfully. Whether you have a small plot or a small area, you can quickly turn the space into a thriving green expanse with a little dedication and basic gardening know-how – that’s where Mail Online Best Buys comes in.
The garden you create is for your enjoyment. You can plant whatever you want; flowers, vegetables, berries or fruits. Some people like to attract feathered friends to the landscape or hope to create a mecca for bees or butterflies. Others want to live a sustainable lifestyle by growing their own food.
However, some people just like to soak up the beauty of Mother Nature with a lush yard filled with plants. Whatever your goal, you can be successful with a few essential gardening tips.
Tip 1: start small
The first step in creating your garden is deciding what to grow. If you want to grow food for your family, consider your favorite fruits, vegetables, or herbs that your family enjoys. If you are planning a vegetable garden, you can also plant a few flowers to encourage pollinators.
Always make sure that your best plant choices will grow in your area. You will want to determine the gardening area in your area while also estimating the dates of the first and last frost. Typically, you can locate this local information on the internet or talk to gardeners around you to determine the best crops to grow.
Ideally, you should start small the first season until you are familiar with gardening. The following season, you can continually extend to grow even more plants. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed at first.
Tip 2: Check your soil type and plant accordingly
One of the most overlooked aspects of gardening is soil testing. Plant growth depends on the pH of the soil. Some plants thrive in an acidic environment, like blueberries and azaleas, and others, like cabbage, cucumber, and cauliflower, prefer alkaline soil. A soil test kit measures the pH of the soil using test strips that provide a scale from 1 to 14. Soil below 7 is acidic and soil above 7 is alkaline.
As a general rule, the majority of plants prefer numbers in the middle of 6.2-7.2 for optimal growth.
In addition to the pH, a soil test also shows what is missing in the soil, so you can add amendments to remedy the problem. There is a wide assortment of soil tests available under a variety of brands. A soil test provides analytical results immediately. You can also buy soil testing devices that measure soil pH and moisture, as well as light.
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Gardening takes a lot of dedication, time and money. And we often find ourselves struggling in one or more of these departments. But what if it doesn’t have to be like this? The good news is that Groupon is here to make a difference and help make gardening affordable for everyone.
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Tip 4: Make your own compost
Home composting is remarkably easy, and your plants will reward your efforts with dynamic growth. There are many misconceptions about composting, such as its mess and smells. However, a well-done composting doesn’t smell bad, but gives off a robust earthy aroma.
You no longer need to have a messy compost pile hidden in the corner of your garden. These days, you can buy easy-to-use and affordable compost bins and cups that you can roll around your landscape. Some compost bins attach to the ground to serve as a garden bench. You can even buy compost bins to promote vermiculture, which is the natural decomposition of wastes using worms to create rich vermicompost.
To make your own compost, you’ll simply drop some organic material in the compost bin and let nature take cover. Use kitchen scraps such as vegetable and fruit peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, clippings or leaves. Never use bones or cooked food. Composting is a great way to recycle garden and household waste in an environmentally friendly way. You can then use the valuable nutrients from the decaying ingredients to nourish your garden plants in an organic and healthy way.
Check out our full explanation on how to make your own compost.
Tip 5: keep track of what grows each season
Each season gardening is a moment of discovery. You will want to keep a record using a garden journal. Garden journals allow you to keep your garden successes organized for future reference. The how-to book provides you with a full year summary typically organized by month or divided into four gardening seasons – winter, spring, summer, and fall. Here are some notes to include in a gardening journal:
- Record plants and their different characteristics
- Enter the types of seeds planted
- Sowing dates
- Note any pests, weather changes or diseases
- Add cultivation and propagation steps
- Note the flowering and harvest periods
- Keep a detailed list of all the perennials, fruits, bulbs, vegetables, herbs, vines, shrubs, and trees that grow in the garden.
The purpose of a gardening guide is to remember a successful grow and expand your knowledge so that you can improve your horticultural practices for years to come. Gardening is all about studying the world around you and noting the impact on the plants you grow. With a garden journal, you will have all the useful information at your fingertips for future reference.
Tip 6: Make sure you have all the basic equipment on hand
The hobby of gardening requires a few basic tools. Below are seven best gardening tools you’ll want to have on hand to make any landscaping task easier.
Gloves: One of the most important to have in any gardener’s arsenal is a good pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands and fingernails from stones, thorns, bugs, and other abrasive objects. Additionally, prolonged use of gardening tools can damage your bare hands from pressure and friction.
Shovel and / or spade: Whether you choose both or just one, a shovel and shovel are great gardening tools to have on hand. You will use them for transplanting, planting and weeding. Most are designed for comfort with ergonomic, easy-to-grip handles.
Weeder: A weed killer is a small, handy device that features a forked end to easily dig up weeds and individual roots.
Shears: A pair of sharp pruning shears allows you to cut through broken or damaged stems and branches. You can also prune shrubs such as roses. The shears provide a clean and concise cut.
Wheelbarrow: You can haul tools, compost, soil, and plants around the yard using a wheelbarrow.
Rake: Clean up clippings, leaves and trash with a rake. You can also level the seedbeds with this garden tool.
Ground knife: The versatile earth knife makes it easy to plant herbs, flowers, bulbs and vegetables. You can also use it to cut roots, twines, ties, and remove stones. One side of the device is a serrated blade and the other side is smooth and sharp.
So this is it ! With so many easy-to-follow tips, learning to garden has never been easier. And with summer in full swing (though the weather doesn’t seem right right now), there’s never been a better time to get to grips with gardening 101.
Recommended reading: Where to buy compost