Many people think gardening takes a lot of time and work. This is not always the case! There are types of gardens to suit all climates and lifestyles. In many places, native plant gardens require little water and will attract beautiful butterflies. Even if you have only a small yard, or no yard at all, you can grow herbs and vegetables in pots. This article provides some helpful tips for home gardeners.
When planting next season's vegetable garden, it is important to rotate some of the crops. For example, potatoes and tomatoes should be planted in a different spot because they are both prone to the same diseases. Keep your vegetable garden healthy and thriving by learning which crops need rotating and why.
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.
Consider using your car to dry your home-grown herbs. Simply lay a sheet of newspaper across the backseat and spread out your herbs on it, then roll up the windows. Your herbs will dry quickly in the low-humidity heat of your car, and the interior of your car will have a fresh, herbal scent.
Before planting anything, clean up as much as possible the area where you plan on having flowers or any other delicate plants. Remove all the weeds and the grass if you think it is necessary. Your flowers should not have any competitors for the nutrients they need while they grow.
Climbing plants make a strong addition to walls, fences or other free-standing structures. Plants that climb are extraordinarily versatile, and can help hide an unsightly wall or fence, usually within one season. You can direct them over certain branches or boards, or you can send them through plants you already have. There are those that have to be fixed to a support, but others will find a surface to cling to all on their own through twining stems or tendrils. There are many varieties you can choose from. Honeysuckle, climbing roses and jasmine are among the best.
Feed your plants. The way your plants are growing can tell you what nutrients are lacking and need replacing. Some plants take up a lot of nutrients early in the growing season and quickly need a new supply. Look for signs of deficiency such as yellowing leaves and stunted growth. Feed the plant with a general purpose fertilizer, unless it has specific requirements. Foliage plants, for instance, prefer a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.
Do not allow the garden to go without water. Many people have unrealistic expectations of watering the garden after work everyday, but life gets in the way and that is the end of the garden. Install a sprinkler system to ensure the garden gets enough water. Although this does add expense to the garden, the convenience of it is well worth the money.
To discourage garden pests of the rodent variety from eating your beautiful perennial flowers and tasty vegetables, brush your dog or cat and use bits of the accumulated hair near the base of the plants being bothered. Garden rodents such as moles, gophers, rabbits and chipmunks can smell a predator and while your little Yorkie may not look like much of a threat, it only takes his scent to ward off the garden troublemakers. Don't have a dog or cat to brush? Volunteer to brush a neighbor's pet for the cause!
Think about leaving some areas of your lawn uncut. Long grass provides a great habitat for beetles, young amphibians and grasshoppers. Grass is also an important food source for some butterflies and caterpillars. Gardens without wildlife would be very sterile environments, and most plants can't reproduce without the help of wildlife.
Easily dry herbs using your car. Your car is the perfect place to dry herbs, providing a safe, dry, and warm location. Simply place some newspaper or other protection on a car seat, and arrange the herbs in a single, even layer. Make sure the windows are rolled up, and close up the car. Your herbs will be dry and ready to store. Length of time will depend on the temperature, but can be as little as an hour or two. As a bonus, your car will smell wonderful!
Once you begin gathering produce from your garden, share it with your friends and family. It is extremely satisfying to give them a gift containing something that you made with your own hands. Seeing the pleased reactions of the recipients, also motivates you to continue working hard on your garden.
Try planting a 'one-color' garden bed. While this takes quite a bit of work, due to the limitations of the color palette, it can create a very striking visual. The emphasis is placed more on shape and structure, and it is especially helpful in a small garden, as it makes the area appear much larger. Remember that 'one-color' doesn't mean a single shade. Use all shades in the color palette. For example a blue garden can feature flowers in shades of blue, purple and mauve.
You need to remember to drink plenty of water while you are gardening. Many people forget to keep up with their water intake because they do not think that they are doing a strenuous activity. Gardening may not always be strenuous but extended exposure to the sun can lead to dehydration and drinking plenty of water is one way to prevent it.
Whether you want to grow your own food or herbs, provide a habitat for wildlife, or just like to stop and smell the flowers, almost anybody can make a garden, even in small spaces. Use the knowledge gained from this article to make the most of your home garden, whatever type it may be.