Gardening can be a challenging idea to grasp. Some people may not believe it’s possible to convert a concrete or gravel patch into a green, manicured lawn or a floral collection of roses and snapdragons, but it is possible. Hard work, a shovel, and the right knowledge, are all the necessary tools to fine gardening. Truly successful gardens are the ones that are best thought out by thoughtful landscapers.
Collecting and preserving autumn leaves is a fun gardening project, especially for the kids. Generations of kids have used the “wax paper method” to preserve fall leaves at peak color – with a little help from Mom. Just select colorful thin leaves that don’t have a high water content and place them between two sheets of wax paper. Place a cloth – like an old tea towel – on top of the waxed paper “sandwich” and have Mom slowly run a hot iron (no steam) across the cloth. Peek underneath to see if the wax paper is melting and bear down hard to get a good seal. The wax paper may seem cloudy while it is warm, but it should dry clear as it cools. Enjoy your pretty display of colorful leaves!
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.
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.
Clean your garden tools before you put them away. It seems strange to worry about keeping a gardening tool clean, but it’s actually very important for the health of your plants. Tools that are put away while coated in dirt can harbor microbes and even insects that can be deadly to your plants.
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.
If you are gardening for the first time ever, read and follow all directions and instructions that come with your chemicals and tools. Failure to follow instructions can be dangerous or painful. For example, some chemicals will irritate your skin if you don’t follow safety rules. Following instructions for the use of harsh chemicals can keep you safe from serious injury.
Fall is the time of year to start planting those bulbs that produce the beautiful flowers that herald the beginning of spring. These types of spring flowers are easy to grow and can reward you with many years of gorgeous blooms. These bulbs need to be planted a few weeks before the first hard freeze in order to get their root system growing so they can survive the cold winter.
Draw your fingernails across a bar of soap, to seal the undersides of your nails off. Doing this will prevent dirt from becoming trapped underneath them while you are gardening. When you are finished in the garden, you can clean your nails with a nailbrush to remove the soap.
Make sure your garden will get sun before planting the seeds. Plants love the sun and will grow better when exposed to it. If it is not too much trouble, consider moving your garden to another area to get the maximum amount of sunshine. This way your plants will grow bigger.
A great way to deal with weeds in a safe and nontoxic way, is to use a spray bottle of diluted dish soap to treat areas with overgrowth in your garden. Use a ratio of one tablespoon of mild dish soap per 16 ounces of water. Spray the weeds once a day and with in a week they should shrivel up and be easier to pull out.
Gardening is more about effort than anything else. Dedication to a garden, from its caretaker, will help it bloom to its fullest potential. The right way to grow a garden is by learning the correct way to go about caretaking for one. It is easier to maintain a garden than you think.