Gardening, be it for shrubs, trees, flowers, or vegetables, can be a very relaxing and rewarding activity. The smell of the dirt under our fingers as you plant seeds and pull up weeds, the thrill of the watching the tiny plants start to come up, and the pleasure you take in the results of your efforts, all make gardening an affordable and pleasurable past time. here’s a few useful pointers.
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.
Save money by drying the seeds from your annuals to plant next year. Petunias, zinnias and impatiens are just a few of the flowers from which it is easy to extract and save seeds. You will have to extract the seed pod from some flowers, and wait for it to split open. With others, such as marigolds, you will have to open the flower and extract the seeds yourself. After extracting the seeds, let them dry for at least a week. Place them in a jar with a rubber seal, and add silica gel pouches to keep them from absorbing moisture. Store them in a cool, dry location until you’re ready to plant them next year.
Consider using organic fertilizers in your garden. These are safer than chemical fertilizers, which can build up salts in the ground over time. The salts restrict the ability of the plants to get water and nutrients from the soil. They can also kill helpful earthworms and microorganisms which eat thatch.
If you plant flowers in a container make sure that you water them and feed them regularly, and that the pots have adequate drainage. Because there is limited soil in the pot, you need to pay more attention to the soil conditions. If the drainage is not adequate your plants will result in root rot.
Used tea and coffee grounds make good soil enrichers. Both coffee and tea grounds are great additions when you need to raise the acidity of your soil. If your soil is pH balanced, adding the tea and coffee is good, as flowers such as rhododendrons and azaleas, and fruits such as blueberry, appreciate soil that is on the acidic side. You can work the grounds into the soil before you plant your garden, or sprinkle a little around existing plants once a week or so.
Think about asking friends or family for cuttings from their existing plants. Many plants will grow from cuttings so that you do not have to purchase a whole plant yourself. It takes only minutes to learn online which part of the plant you should cut off to replant, and using cuttings can save you hundreds of dollars in landscaping and gardening costs.
Gardening is a pastime that really gives back. It brings benefits to ourselves, to our family, and to our planet. So, turn your thoughts to outside, and to the pleasure to be had by tending our own piece of the earth, and work on that garden!