You probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that beginning to grow your own garden for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help make growing your own garden a bit easier.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
Turn a quiet corner of your garden into a romantic arbor. By using a store bought arbor or simply constructing one yourself out of a few rustic poles, you can create an arbor. Use a selection of old fashioned, heavily scented flowers to create an intimate atmosphere. Honeysuckle, climbing roses, jasmine and sweet peas are ideal. By adding seating, you can sit and enjoy the scent on a summer evening.
For a ‘cottage’ garden plant rambling roses. Rambling roses, traditionally grown in cottage gardens, are some of the oldest varieties of roses. They are once-a-year bloomers, featuring huge clusters of small flowers in midsummer. It stems can grow to 30 feet long if not pruned, in fact, the most benefits from simply being left alone. An advantage of rambling roses is that they are quite disease resistant and very hardy.
Make use of rain buckets and barrels around your home. You can later use this collected rainwater on your garden to grow healthier plants, while saving the planet. This method also reduces your water bill, as you can’t be charged for using the water that runs off your roof!
Before jumping into a garden, be realistic about the time you are willing to spend on it. Gardens require time, energy, and money. If you aren’t willing to make major modifications to your lifestyle anything but a small garden might get you into trouble. Knowing what you are getting into will mean that you enjoy your garden, rather than finding it to be a burden.
Poinsettia plants are enjoyed by many families throughout the holiday season. However, most people throw the poinsettias away after the holidays. This year plant the poinsettia in your garden instead of tossing it. Be sure to plant the poinsettia away from streetlights, porch lights or other brightly lit areas. Poinsettias need long, dark nights to thrive and be able to bloom next winter again.
Make sure when you are indoor gardening, you do not over water your plants. Over watering your plants can in fact kill them which are the number one reason that most houseplants die. Test the soil for moisture to see if it needs more watering. Stick you index finger into the soil and if it is damp, do not water your plant further.
If space is an issue, try vertical gardening. Even with the limited space of condos and townhouses, many people have thriving gardens in the small area they have using vertical gardening. By using trellised gardens one can grow pole beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a small place during the summer, and in the fall a wide variety of greens can be grown in the same space.
Keep an eye on your lilies. Unfortunately, lilies are prone to virus disease, such as lily mosaic. If you can, purchase bulbs that are guaranteed ‘virus-free’. During the growing season, keep a sharp look out for any aphids, as they spread the disease. Make sure to spray with insecticidals soap at the very first sign of them.
If having a lot of color in your garden is what you like but you want a sense of continuity, the best way to achieve this effect is to use two colors consistently among all of your plantings. As you look at your garden, your eyes will be drawn to the continuity of color and the view will feel more harmonized to the senses.
Make your own kneeling pad. Working on the ground can be very hard on your knees. A kneeling pad provides much needed cushioning, providing comfort as well as protecting your joints. If you do not have one on hand, simply find a piece of foam or an old pillow that is two to three inches in depth. Cover it with plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag to protect it from dirt and moisture and enjoy comfortable cushioning while you garden.
If you want something fun to do that will benefit you in the kitchen, try growing some herbs in your window. Some herbs may not take kindly to this, but many will! In this way you have some herbs always fresh and handy, and they add a nice touch to the house.
Try to fill your garden with a variety of plants instead of just a few types. A garden with a wide variety is more resistant to garden pests. It attracts more beneficial insects that eat the bad bugs. This will cut down on the need for pesticides. A garden with just a few types of plants will sustain more damage from pest invasions.
Don’t forget to protect your skin while you’re in the garden. While gardening you can spend many hours in the sun. Burns can occur easily without you even realizing it. Make sure to wear sunscreen. A large brim hat, long sleeved shirt, and pants can also help. In addition these clothing items can protect you from painful prickers and thorns.
As you have seen, gardening is not as scary as it may appear. Just think of all of the benefits it has to provide you with in regards to health and food. The above list of tips should have given you a good starting place, so that you can start growing smarter.