Gardening is not only a relaxing hobby, it is a way to ensure that the produce your family consumes is safe. With all the pesticides and bacterial outbreaks lately, growing your own vegetables and fruits is a more appetizing bet. Savory herbs and fragrant flowers can round out your garden.
Run your fingernails across a bar of soap before you go out to weed or plant in your garden. The soap that collected under your nails will prevent the collection of dirt while you work. Afterward, a simple scrub with a nail brush will remove the soap and leave your hands clean, with much less effort.
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.
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.
Keep a garden journal and take photographs of your garden as it grows. It’s easy to start the season with high expectations for your gardening. But as the time wears on, it’s just as easy to lose steam. A journal and photos can help inspire and engage you along the way!
Avoid rose mildew. This fungus affects many types of roses, especially in wet weather, when days are warm and nights are cold. Small gray or white spots will appear on the plant, forming a felt-like down. Shoot tips are killed and buds fail to open. Don’t plant roses close together – they need good air circulation to avoid mildew. Spray any affected plants with fungicidal soap.
If you are planning an irrigation system for your garden, consider a drip irrigation system. A conventional system using sprinkler heads loses a lot water through evaporation. However, a drip system irrigates your garden by a constant slow drip of water beneath the surface, which means less water is wasted through evaporation.
Invest in a electronic PH tester. Avoid liquid PH kits (the color coded ones) as they tend to be less accurate. It is very easy for first time users to botch readings. Also, do not use soil PH test kits as they are unreliable and are not intended for home use.
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.
Relax and enjoy the outdoors, while cultivating a delicious, beautiful and aromatic garden. You will love making a salad out of the vegetables you have nourished. You can also have fresh flowers everyday. Use herbs from your own garden to spice up all your favorite recipes. Plus, you won’t need to worry about any chemicals being used on your food.