Owning and maintaining a successful garden is about more than just having a “green thumb” or knowing when to plant your tomatoes. There is plenty that can be learned through everyday knowledge and tips that experienced gardeners are often willing to share with any listening ears. All you have to do is be interested in learning the right way.
Choosing a tree. When buying a container-grown tree, remove it from the pot and examine the roots. Don’t buy a tree that is pot-bound with a mass of congested roots, or one that has roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. Make sure that the container has been thoroughly watered, and check for any yellowing leaves or dead branches.
Take the time to know your soil. Get it analyzed. This will let you know what is in your soil and in what areas the soil may be deficient. You can then buy the missing nutrients to add into your soil which will help maximize your crops! Many local universities that have agriculture departments have the ability to test your soil for a small fee.
Learn how to trim your plants. Not all plants require trimming, but if you notice unhealthy stems, trimming a plant can help you get rid of a disease or at least slow it down long enough for you to cure your plant. Do not cut too many stems and leaves: cut only the unhealthy parts.
Divide large clumps of perennials. Some perennial plants lose vigor and flower less well if the clump becomes too large. Plants like Shasta daisies, bearded irises, phlox, chrysanthemum and coneflower benefit from being divided every three years. Without division they become congested, and the center of the clump will begin to die out. Simply dig the entire plant out, keeping the root ball intact, and divide it into pieces using a shovel. By doing this, you will have at least two or three new plants!
Use fertilizers that are free for the taking. Using chemical free grass clippings or human urine for a nutrient rich and free fertilizer. Twenty parts water with one part urine is an excellent fertilizer for seedlings, or steep the grass clippings in water to make a tea for watering and fertilizing the plants. So don’t spend a lot on the garden when the fertilizers can be had for free.
Try and start your gardens as early as possible and keep them as late as possible to maximize the amount of crops you’re able to produce. You can use things like cloches, cold frames, and tunnels to start gardening a month or more in advance. You can also use row covers in the fall to extend your harvest season.
Through the article, you should have picked up on a few tips that will help you plant and raise your garden with a little better results. As you can see, it takes a combination of time, care, and planning to make it reach the full potential. Of course, having a “green thumb” doesn’t hurt.