Gardening can be a very rewarding and worthwhile activity. Some people see gardening as a hobby, a way to derive pleasure in their spare time. Others may view it from a more utilitarian perspective, as in a way to grow their own food without being dependent upon grocery stores. Regardless of the reason for gardening, many great tips can be found in this article for both beginner gardeners as well as seasoned gardeners.
A tip to prevent dirt from accumulating under your fingernails while working in the garden, use a bar of soap before starting. Rake your fingernails across a bar of soap and it will seal the undersides of your nails so that dirt will not collect beneath them. When you are finished in the garden, just use a brush to scrape the soap from beneath them and your nails will still be sparkling clean.
To maximize the benefits of compost, put it in your garden about two weeks before you plant. Compost actually needs time to integrate with soil and once you combine the two they need time to stabilize. Plan to gather enough compost to fertilize your garden a couple of weeks ahead of planting to produce healthier and stronger plants.
If your plants have a powdery mildew, don’t use expensive chemicals on them. Mix some baking soda and a very small amount of liquid soap into water. Spray this on the plants once per week until that mildew goes away. Baking soda is safe for use on your plants and is a gentle, but effective way to care for your plants.
Flush your plants with water if the rim of the pot or top of the soil has white salt deposits. Flush using twice the amount water as the size of the pot. Salt accumulates when using liquid fertilizer and can cause a PH imbalance. Once you have flushed the plant, do not water the plant again until the soil is dry.
When you are working in your garden, be sure to leave the praying mantis alone. These insects are skilled predators which take care of any number of harmful pests. In addition, these praying mantises do not harm your garden in any way, so let them go about their work protecting your garden from pests.
The use of natural plants can make a garden without any work. Many plants will self seed and grow a perpetual crop without any work at all. Butternut squash, pumpkins, and cilantro will grow and self seed growing new crops year after year with almost no work and become a permanent garden feature. Grow them in areas such as the compost pile or along fences for maximum results.
As previously stated, no matter what your motivation may be for engaging in gardening, you can never know too much. By applying some or all of the tips mentioned in this article, new gardeners can quickly increase their knowledge. Likewise, experienced gardeners can always pick up some new tips and add to their expertise.