Have you ever tried to grow your own vegetables in a backyard garden? With the growing trend to become self-sustaining and lead a ‘greener’ lifestyle, many people have found ways to provide their own vegetables, fruit and eggs, right from their own backyard efforts. Living off the land is not as difficult as you think, it just takes a little bit of knowledge, some space and a couple of seed packets to get started.
If you live in an area with clay soil, coat your shovel or gardening trowel with flour or car wax before you start digging your garden. This will prevent soil from sticking to the blade of your shovel, making your work much easier. It also lengthens the life of your shovel by preventing rust.
Before you plant anything in your garden, have the soil checked. Pay a small fee to have your soil analyzed, and you’ll be glad that you did when you understand what nutrients your soil is lacking. Several Cooperative Extension locations offer this service, and it’s advantageous for you to know what type of soil you have, in order to avoid growing faulty crops.
To keep dirt from getting under your fingernails while gardening, reach for a bar of soap beforehand
When your summer blooms have bloomed and faded away, remember to dead-head the flowers. This means pinching off the flower heads. This will encourage new flowers to bloom longer next year, and it will also strengthen the plant. Since the flower heads have seeds, you can also save the flower heads that you have pinched off for planting at another time.
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.
Create a certain mood for your garden. Just as with interior design, one of the most exciting aspects of garden design is using color to create a mood or feeling. Use soft blues and purples for a cool and soothing atmosphere, yellows for cheerfulness, and reds and oranges to create excitement. If you are uncomfortable when deciding on colors, choose plants with grey-green or silvery foliage to mix in with your flowers. They will act as a ‘buffer’ between incompatible colors and link different color schemes.
Just think of the beautiful harvest you can add to your dining table from your garden. Not to mention the environmentally friendly impact of growing your own food. Maintaining a personal vegetable garden can provide food at low cost to your family — and wait until you savor the amazing taste of vegetables, picked straight from the plant. Store-bought produce never tasted this good