There are as many types of gardeners as there are types of gardens, but no matter what your gardening style is, there are certain things every garden has in common and certain ideas will apply to all gardening. Here are some tips that are relevant for all gardeners and many types of gardens.
Buying a container-grown shrub. Slide the shrub out of its container to check for a well-developed root system. The roots should have healthy, white tips, and not look dry at all. Don’t buy a plant if it has poorly developed roots, or if the roots are congested and coiled around the base of the pot. These kinds of roots rarely establish themselves once they are planted in the ground.
Selecting a climbing plant. Climbing plants are usually container-grown, although occasionally they are sold as bare-root plants. Choose a healthy looking plant with a good framework of both established stems and new shoots. Turn the pot over, and check to see if there are any young roots growing out of the holes in the bottom. If so, this means that the plant is well-rooted. Reject any plant that is potbound (meaning you can’t easily remove it from the pot).
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.
Keep interested in gardening by trying something new each year. While tried and true favorites will always be a part of the garden, reserve a part for something new and exciting to keep interest. Keep in mind that some trial and error will be required because one crop that will be a flop in the fall, might be an excellent crop in the spring.
Make sure your pot is the right size for your plant. If the pot is too small, the plant’s roots may not have enough room to grow. The roots will become ‘root bound’, stop growing, and begin to suffocate. The size of the root system can determine the size of your plant and yield.
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.
If you own fish, save your water. Changing the water in a fish tank is a necessary chore when caring for these pets; however it can also prove to be useful for your garden. Dirty fish tank water is actually quite loaded with the nutrients plants crave. So when it comes time to change the water, instead of dumping that old water down the drain, use the water to fertilize your plants instead.
Any garden and gardener can benefit from these tips, whether your ideal garden is huge or tiny, whether you prefer flowers or vegetables, whether you like exotic plants or native plants. With this advice in your gardening tool shed, your gardening skills might improve so much that all your gardener friends will want to know your secrets.