Growing plants to eat or just to admire can be an incredibly rewarding experience. These benefits don’t come without difficulty, though. A number of variables, including environment and nutrition, need to be just right for best results. These tips will put you well on your way to the coveted green thumb.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
Create a unique visual effect with a hanging basket. A hanging basket full of spring or summer flowers can brighten up a bare wall or a dreary back yard. A traditional hanging basket is made of wire and lined with moss. The moss is helpful in retaining moisture. You can create a spectacular display by not only planting in the basket itself, but by inserting hanging plants in the gaps in the wire mesh. The mesh and surrounding moss with ensure that the plants stay secure.
If space is an issue, try vertical gardening. Even with the limited space of condos and townhouses, many people have thriving gardens in the small area they have using vertical gardening. By using trellised gardens one can grow pole beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a small place during the summer, and in the fall a wide variety of greens can be grown in the same space.
Save seeds from the garden for a new crop next time. Not only are seeds expensive, but why even bother with going to the store when they can be obtained from the previous crop. The convenience from having a steady supply on hand is also a plus. Use vegetables that are harvested when fully ripe such as melons, tomatoes, beans and squash for best results.
When planting tomato seedlings, be sure to plant them all the way up to the first set of leaves. This allows the plant to grow a larger and deeper root system. The more roots your plant sprouts, the more tomatoes the plant will be capable of supporting and the more flavorful they will be.
Sometimes you will need to re-pot your plants. One good way to check if your plants need re-potted is to turn them over and look at the bottom. If you see many roots, it is time to get it into a new pot. If you see few roots, you may not need to disturb the plant.
Is your thumb green yet? People don’t become master gardeners overnight, so don’t stress if it isn’t. That said, following the time-tested advice offered by the above tips will certainly help you grow a splendid garden with vibrant plants that can both wow guests and feed your family.