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Key Strategies For Getting The Most Out Of Your Garden

What if you could create an oasis of calm in your own backyard? Mother Nature has blessed us with trees, grass, flowers and many interesting and exotic plants that can add beauty, tranquility and serenity to your yard. There is something about being surrounded by nature and living plants that soothes the soul and relaxes the mind. Start small and choose a few plants that complement your yard, then start building your own private oasis to access any time you want.

To save space in your garden, try planting your crops in blocks rather than in the traditional rows. Rows end up leaving too much space between plants for needless pathways. Blocks help keep plants tight together without sacrificing production. Small variety kitchen vegetables do best in blocks that are arranged in a wide bed.

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.

Finished compost can be soaked in water to create a potent brew for various gardening needs! This compost tea becomes a high-protein solution, rich in necessary nutrients you can use for foliar feedings, your backyard garden or even the plants that you keep indoors. Just another advantage of compost you can put to good use!

If you like to plant flowers that produce a lot of fragrance, consider planting them close to your house. One reason is that you can enjoy the scent whether you are inside or outside your house. Another reason is that the heat from the walls of your house can intensify the scent from your flowers, making them more fragrant.

You can test the viability of your seeds by soaking them overnight. Drop them into a container of water and keep them in a dark place for a day. Check the location of the seeds. If they sank to the bottom, they are usable. If they float the the top, they may be dead.

When choosing plants for your garden, pick plants that are native to your geographic region. Plants native to your region will naturally do well in your garden because they are already adjusted to your climate. When you plant native plants, you will not be surprised by any unexpected results when your plants mature.

As you plan your garden this year, change the layout so that it’s different from where the various plants were located last year. For example, place your tomatoes in the part of the garden where the corn grew last season. This rotation of crops will help keep your soil from becoming depleted of the nutrients needed by each type of vegetable.

Keep your garden fertilized. One type of fertilizer that really helps plants grow is manure, but be sure to utilize a type that is commercially composted to reduce the chances of pathogens. You can choose from many different fertilizers. Do not worry about the kind of fertilizer you end up using but definitely put down something.

Purchase an inexpensive gardening kneeling pad, as well as a wheelbarrow or wagon. Spending too much time on the ground working can be quite hard on your knees, and a gardening stool can help alleviate this, plus make things more comfortable for you. In addition, maintaining a garden typically means moving around heavy dirt and other objects, which makes buying a wheelbarrow a very smart purchase.

So you have finally decided you want to plant a garden. One of the first things you will want to do is to find out if you have good or bad soil. The only sure way you will know this is to have the soil tested. Many nurseries will test your soil for a nominal fee. Soil with poor health will produce yellow, sickly-looking plants. By having your soil tested, you will know if your soil needs nutrients added or if you need to make adjustments to the pH of the soil.

Do not rush planting seeds in your garden. Begin by adding moisture to the dirt. Then you want to spread your seeds evenly while making sure that they have enough room to grow. Bury them 3 times as deep in relation to the seed’s size. Some seeds you do not want to bury because they require light in order to grow.

That’s all there is to it. Just follow the tips above and you will be able to enhance your existing garden or start a new garden from scratch. You may want to add garden accessories as well, but whatever you do — creating your own garden space creates an instant getaway that you can indulge in any time you feel the need.

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Gardening

Gardening is one of the most rewarding hobbies out there — or at least that’s how gardeners feel. It’s not always the simplest hobby, however, and if you love plants but feel you still have a lot to learn when it comes to gardening, these tips are just for you.

An easy way to transport tools to and from the garden is to use an old golf bag. Many golf bags have a stand built into them so it makes grabbing and organizing the tools a breeze. Use the pockets in the sides of the bag to store all kinds of assorted gardening tools, seeds, and gloves, or just use them to store a refreshing beverage.

If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don’t require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.

Avoid chemicals for pest control. Chemicals are effective but can also damage your plants. You should look for natural methods instead. For instance, you can buy jars of ladybugs and release them on your plants. Ladybugs are natural predators for a variety of smaller insects that eat flowers and other plants.

Are you wondering if you need to water your lawn? One good way to tell is to simply walk across it. If you can see your footprints, you have a thirsty yard. Every week, your lawn should be receiving up to one inch of water. If you live in an area where it doesn’t rain frequently, make sure to give your lawn the “footprint test” whenever you’re not sure if it’s had enough to drink.

For a natural way to control aphids, populate your garden with ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids and scaly bugs. They are pretty to look at, and they are beneficial to your garden. They do not eat flowers, so you can safely use them on your flower beds. This is a good alternative to using commercial pesticides.

Get your kids and grand kids involved with gardening by letting them help you in the garden, and by taking them to nurseries and arboretums. Children generally love being outdoors and will soak up any knowledge you are willing to share about sunlight, water, and soil quality. Gardening is a great way for children to learn about nature and for them to bond with you.

If your favorite flower pot or garden container has a hole or crack where dirt is leaking through, try lining that area inside the pot with a coffee filter. It works great to hold dirt in and keep your walkways and container gardens neat and clean. Try them out on hanging baskets as well!

To avoid injuring yourself while gardening, be sure to do some warm-up stretches before starting your project. Most people may not think of gardening as exercise, but injuries like pulled muscles frequently occur in the garden. You should also be sure to move around and not stay in one position for a long period of time.

Remember to disinfect your garden tools periodically. This important function should not be overlooked. When you cut away damaged or diseased parts of a plant, there can be residuals of the diseased plant left on your tool. If you do not clean your tool, you can spread the disease to healthy plants.

Deter bugs without pesticides with careful planting. Planting marigolds along the edges of your garden, or planting garlic, parsley, and basil within your garden can repel bugs without resorting to harsh chemicals. These plants give off strong scents which are unappealing to most insects. With these in your garden, pests will steer clear.

Remember your climate and don’t plant things that won’t grow in your area. You don’t want to waste time and space by planting seeds that will not do well. Ask other gardeners you know what they are successful with growing. Most gardeners are willing to share any advice they have.

Marigold flowers are quite the powerhouse in an organic garden. As their flowers and leaves decay, the marigold releases chemicals that attract frogs, repel snakes and kill nematode pests that attack many vegetable plants, including tomatoes. Look for ways to let the bright yellow marigold bring brilliant color and decoration to your garden, as it goes to work to protect the health of your plants.

These tips should help you bring your skills at gardening up to match even the deepest, most fervent love of the hobby. Your plants will thank you in the only ways they can for taking the time to follow this advice, meaning that your garden will flourish all the more as proof of your love and dedication.

Hints For Getting More Blooms On Your Flowering Plants

People who start doing organic gardening do so because they don’t like toxic effects of pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, a lot of organic gardening techniques do not cost a lot of money. Read on for some advice about how to work in your organic garden.

Learn how to properly lay sod. Get your soil ready before you lay the sod. Pull out any weeds and break up the soil. Using a light but firm touch, compact the soil until it is flat. Moisten the soil thoroughly. Lay the sod down in alternated rows, keeping the joints set off from one another. Compact the sod down so you form a flat and even surface, then fill in any crevices within the sod by using some soil. The sod needs to be watered daily for two weeks, by which time it will be rooted and ready to walk on.

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.

If you have specimen plants which need warmer climate zones than the rest of your garden, you can easily create a suitable space for them within your regular garden! Just create a shelter with a south facing wall which will become a solar collector, absorbing warmth in the day and releasing it at night, thus providing your specimen plants with the perfect environment!

A good idea when gardening is to keep a record of progress. If it is a journal form or photographic form of recording the progress of the garden is helpful for the years to come. Recording which types of plants work well, which did not work or what types of soil can help future gardens start without any trial and error of previous years.

Try using latex or plastic gloves instead of cloth gardening gloves. Cloth gardening gloves do not block moisture well – a problem when working with moist soil, and they often get stiff, crinkly, and uncomfortable after a few uses. A sturdy pair of plastic or latex gloves, like those used for cleaning, are a much better choice. They protect against moisture, and cleaning is as simple as rinsing them off under a hose and hanging to dry.

To make nutrient fertilizer from stuff you have around the house, look at what you have for breakfast. Both old coffee grounds and tea bags make an excellent fertilizer, especially when it comes to plants that love acid. Eggshells add alkaline to your soil, and bananas are the best source of the potassium that roses thrive on.

To help your tomato plants grow strong stems, blow a fan on them for 15 minutes a day. Exposure to wind is essential to a stem’s development, and giving the plant some extra time to blow in the breeze will only make it stronger. Try using a small, portable fan on a low or medium setting.

To make sure you’re able to fully enjoy your garden, keep it simple. A large garden may sound great, but the work involved can make it a major source of stress. The bigger your garden is, the more time you’ll have to spend weeding, watering your plants, and performing routine garden maintenance. A small garden is easy to care for, giving you more time to appreciate your plants.

To ensure the vitality of your garden, research what plants are native to your area. While imported plants may look lovely, they may have health difficulties growing in your climate. Native plants and produce will easily be able to adapt to changes in the weather, and will keep your garden healthy and strong.

In areas that are very dry, you should plant drought resistant plants. These hardy plants will survive, and thrive, on very little water, and in hot conditions. Many varieties have blooms as beautiful as any high maintenance types of plants. You can even get low-water edible plants for your garden.

Plant ornamental, edible plants as part of your regular yard landscaping. Good plants to start with include rosemary, thyme varieties, sages, oregano and basil. These all look great mixed with perennials, and they will supply you with enough that you won’t need to purchase them anymore – herbs are expensive at the supermarket.

When watering it’s important to make sure that the water reaches all the way to the bottom of the soil. Roots that are grown closer to the surface are more likely to get damaged, and in turn produce plants that are less hardy and more susceptible to damage. By pouring water only on the top layer, the roots are forced to grow upwards and become shallower.

By implementing the advice that is in this article, you can expect to have a healthy, toxic free, productive garden in the very near future. You can also look forward to a rise in the number of wild visitors you receive in your garden.

Getting Started: Salvias for the Rocky Mountain West

High altitude, distance from large bodies of water and powerful chinook winds make the Rocky Mountain West a dry gardening environment even in years of higher than average rain and snow. The region's steep mountains have a major impact on where and how precipitation falls. Instead of a single mountain chain, the Rocky Mountains are made up of 100 separate ranges. Similarly, the Salvia genus contains a broad range of sages, many of which thrive in the climactic extremes of the Mountain West.
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Key Strategies For Getting The Most Out Of Your Garden

For many people, gardening is more than just a hobby. Garden is one of the most relaxing and rewarding parts of their daily lives. Gardening can yield not just beautiful flowers and delicious fruits and vegetables, but less stress and tension as well! Read on for interesting and practical information, on how to get the most out of your gardening pleasure!

Combining different selections of plants in a garden area holds the interest and adds to the enjoyment of the viewer. Merge contrasting plants to craft interesting combinations. Add big leaf plants with fine leaf plants and combine them with plants different in texture and color to create the most eye catching and interesting landscape garden.

Finished compost can be soaked in water to create a potent brew for various gardening needs! This compost tea becomes a high-protein solution, rich in necessary nutrients you can use for foliar feedings, your backyard garden or even the plants that you keep indoors. Just another advantage of compost you can put to good use!

It is obvious that plants require water to grow. It’s also important to know the amount of water that particular plants actually need. Overwatering or under-watering a plant can severely damage its growth and health. Overwatering can result in root rot, where the water-filled environment encourages the growth of microbes that eat away at the roots. Under-watering a plant can make it’s leaves dry and brittle.

Make sure to pre-soak seeds, preferably in a dark location. Place a couple of seeds in a tiny container, and fill it with water nearly to the top. This will give your seeds a healthy head start in the growth process. The seeds will now have a greater chance of maturing and surviving.

Grow crops that have a high value to you. Planting flowers that are attractive can be great. However, planting fruits and vegetables that you consume on a regular basis will save you money and allow you to eat healthier. It can be anything from tomatoes and carrots for your salads to herbs for seasoning.

Irises should be divided. Increase your iris stocks by dividing your overgrown clumps. When the foliage has died off, it is time to harvest the iris bulbs. The bulbs should split up normally in the hand, and should flower when replanted for the next year. Use a knife to carefully divide rhizomes. Get rid of the center and keep the new pieces you cut from the outside. Each piece must have a minimum of one strong offshoot. Replant each one immediately.

When gardening, it is important that you protect your ears. If you can not hear someone around you while you are working with machinery, than the sound can be damaging to your ears. An easy way to help alleviate this problem is to wear ear plugs when using loud machinery.

Save the water when you cook pasta for use in your garden. If you have ever boiled pasta in water, you have seen the cloudy state of the water when you drain the pasta. This water is loaded with starch, which is quite nutritious for plants. Make sure to let the water cool thoroughly, as hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.

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.

Keep yourself safe, it’s the first thing to know about gardening. Wear protective eye-wear when handling lawnmowers and other garden machinery. Wear gloves when you are working in the dirt. This will keep you safe in case of an incident and protect your body from different elements in the environment.

Make sure you water your garden daily. If you or someone else can’t do it every day, you may want to look at setting up a sprinkler system. The convenience of having a sprinkler system outweighs the cost of it. This way your garden will be watered every day.

If you cut your hand, you can use a glove to protect it from germs and chemicals until it heals. The dirt and grime you come into contact with while gardening can cause even a small cut to become seriously infected. Get a bandage that seals the cut properly.

Given how busy and stressed out life can be, it’s a wonder that more people do not take up gardening. As you have just read, there are many ways of making it easier and more cost effective and even, more fun. Hopefully, this article has planted a few seeds in your mind about how to be a better gardener, today!

Getting Started: Salvias for the Midwest

Severe winter chill and summer heat coupled with extreme humidity are challenges that gardeners face in the Midwest. Many Salvias are excellent choices as long-blooming annuals in the region while others — ones that can withstand cold winters — are reliable perennials. Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery explains the confusing Midwest boundaries from Ohio west to Kansas and North Dakota south to Missouri. It talks about the range of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones in the region and the kinds of sages that grow best there.
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Handy Advice For Getting The Garden Of Your Dreams

A collection of tips on how to begin gardening makes the perfect starting point for a beginner to emerge and hopefully begin growing their own plants in A much smoother manner. Below is just such a collection that will hopefully assist the eager novice into eventually becoming a pro when it comes to gardening.

When raising new plants, it’s helpful to identify the best soil composition that fits your plant. Plants require 3 major nutrients to grow phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. Learning the special composition for your soil will usually lead to the best plant growth possible. On the other hand having the wrong composition will generally result in average or stunted growth.

Avoid rose mildew. This fungus affects many types of roses, especially in wet weather, when days are warm and nights are cold. Small gray or white spots will appear on the plant, forming a felt-like down. Shoot tips are killed and buds fail to open. Don’t plant roses close together – they need good air circulation to avoid mildew. Spray any affected plants with fungicidal soap.

If you plant flowers in a container make sure that you water them and feed them regularly, and that the pots have adequate drainage. Because there is limited soil in the pot, you need to pay more attention to the soil conditions. If the drainage is not adequate your plants will result in root rot.

Use an egg carton to start your seedlings early. Egg cartons are cheap and easy to obtain, and can contain enough soil to get a plant started. Once you’re ready to plant, you can simply rip the carton away from the seedling without damaging the root ball and place the whole soil ball into the ground.

Invest in a good pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands while working outdoors. Whether you are working with plants with thorns or with fertilizer, gloves can protect your skin from damage from both plants and chemicals. They also do a great job at protecting your hands from dirt or sap stains and make cleanup much easier.

To bring birds to your garden, add plants that will naturally attract them. One of the best plants for attracting birds are sunflowers. Birds are naturally drawn to their height and scent. Birds also love small trees like Japanese maples and dogwood trees, as well as most kinds of shrubs or vines.

Create warmth with golden or yellow foliage. Visual vibrancy and warmth exudes from golden and yellow-leaved foliage. They are particularly effective in shady locations, giving the illusion of light and depth. They coordinate beautifully with purple flowers or deep bronze foliage. Good choices include Caryopteris ‘Worcester Gold’, Viburnum ‘Aureum’, various Hostas and Spirea ‘Gold Flame’.

Using mulch is helpful to plants that are located in extreme heat. The best mulch to use is wood mulch because it holds in moisture and helps drown out the weeds. Wood mulch also adds nutrients to the dirt as it decomposes. Rock is used for mulch as well, however, rock does not retain moisture as well as wood mulch.

When you are transplanting a plant, do not pile the soil higher than the top of the root. A root crown that is always wet will eventually rot. Plant it in a way, where the water will drain away from the stem. If the water runs toward the plant, it will wash more soil onto the top of the root, causing root rot.

Keep a garden journal. The more information you collect about your site, your plants, and successes or failures in the garden, the less likely you are to make costly mistakes in the future. Although there are many resources to guide you, the most important resource is your own experience. Always be sure to record important information, like the name and variety of the plant, the date it was planted, and where in the garden it is located.

Start your plants from cuttings to save loads of money! Plants are expensive these days. Many, however, can be started by taking clippings from other plants. All that’s required for some is just putting the cut ends in a glass of water. For the more difficult species, just dip the ends in some rooting hormone and push them into some damp sand.

It is important to use a strong and quality sunscreen when gardening outdoors. It is very easy to get burnt on the back of your neck, tops of your arms or on your legs while you are gardening. Sun block will help to prevent sunburn and will lessen your chance of getting skin cancer through sun exposure.

Well, hopefully the aforementioned collection of tips was enough to give you a great start on what to do and expect when it comes to growing your own plants. This collection was carefully constructed to be an aid in your arsenal so that you can begin to hone your gardening skills into growing healthy plants.

Getting Started: Salvias for Zone 9

California's small, Mohave Desert city of Barstow averages about 5 inches of rain annually. Across the continent, Pensacola, Florida, has more than double Barstow's population and more than 12 times its amount of rainfall. Yet both cities are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Hardiness Zone 9 where you can plant perennials and shrubs that survive winter lows ranging from 20 to 30 degrees F. Flowers by the Sea takes readers on a triple coast road trip of Zone 9 and suggests plantings for varied growing conditions along the way.
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