When done well, gardening can be a very rewarding activity. Nothing beats the flavor of a tomato you’ve grown yourself, or the scent of your own flowers. Whether you’re just starting out as a gardener or you’ve been growing things your whole life, there’s always something new to learn. Here are a few tips any gardener can use.
Remember to aerate your soil. If you loosen or puncture the soil, it will increase air permeability and water penetration. Aerating can be as simple as turning the soil over with a trowel, or in the case of lawns, making small holes in the grass. This can be done with an aerating machine, a garden fork, or even by walking on the grass wearing a pair of spiked golf shoes. This brings oxygen into the roots and promotes healthy new growth.
When uprooting a perennial plant, you should start digging at its drip line. Dig a trench around the plant, and cut any roots that extend beyond that trench. You can tie stems together to avoid damaging the plant during the process. Once all the roots are severed lift the plant carefully by its main stem.
Start a compost bin, and enjoy nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use for your vegetable plants, herbs, flowers and more. Food scraps and peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, newspaper, paperboard, yard waste and other organic matter are perfect additions to your compost bin. Keep a small bucket or bag in your freezer as an odor-free way to collect kitchen waste, and empty the container into the outdoor bin when it is full.
If having a lot of color in your garden is what you like but you want a sense of continuity, the best way to achieve this effect is to use two colors consistently among all of your plantings. As you look at your garden, your eyes will be drawn to the continuity of color and the view will feel more harmonized to the senses.
Check your store bought soil for pests. If you buy from big home improvement stores, your soil may have pests such as aphids. To kill the insects and their larvae, put the soil in a metal baking pan and place it covered in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool before using.
Pick garden vegetables often and early. While immature, many types of vegetables are very tasty in their young phase. Snap peas, little summer squash, cucumbers, and budding broccoli can be picked to keep the plants in a state of reproduction for a longer period of time. This will also increase yields with a second harvest off of the same plants.
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.
As with any pastime, your gardening will benefit if you continually educate yourself. No matter what your skill level is, you can always learn something new that will make you a better gardener. Put some of these ideas to work, and soon your garden will flourish more than it ever has.