There are many wonderful reasons to take up the art of gardening. Whether you prefer to dabble in vegetables, flowers, or herbs, the information in this selection of useful gardening tips and tricks is sure to put you on the path to a healthy, productive garden and a noticeably greener thumb.
For a natural way to control aphids, populate your garden with ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids and scaly bugs. They are pretty to look at, and they are beneficial to your garden. They do not eat flowers, so you can safely use them on your flower beds. This is a good alternative to using commercial pesticides.
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.
Most people design their gardens with plants in their hands and a shovel. However, the best idea is to wait to choose your plants after you have decided upon a layout or landscaping design. Once you have completed the landscaping, move on to the last step to your garden; planting your favorite flowers, shrubs and trees.
Prior to planting a garden, think through what you want to do. Use your seed packages to make fun markers that will remind you where each type of plant is growing. You can also prevent yourself from losing small plants within a large garden.
When using fertilizer, moderation can be the key to success. While it’s true that using a fertilizer can enhance your garden’s productivity, it’s better to apply it sparingly. An overdose of fertilizer can cause excessive growth of the plant’s foliage with stunted development of the fruit or vegetables thereby reducing your harvest.
If you are gardening in containers, be sure each container has a drainage system to prevent water from pooling. Lining the bottom of a container with small rocks or pebbles can also help with water drainage for container gardening. Allowing water to sit for extended periods can rot the root system of your plants.
Pay attention to zones when choosing plants for your garden. Most plants will come with the zone marked. This is also true of seeds. Make sure the zone corresponds to your growing zone. Though plants may grow outside of their usual zone, they are less likely to be hardy plants.
Save your eggshells to use as a soil additive. Crushed eggshells add much needed calcium to your garden, and working the shells in also helps keep the soil aerated. A barrier made of crushed eggshells and placed in a ring around your plants can also protect them from snails and slugs. Their delicate bodies are cut and scratched by the jagged eggshells, making them avoid those sections of the garden.
You must water your plants correctly, to achieve success with your garden. When watering your garden, always try to do it early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun has gone down. This gives the soil a chance to actually soak up the water without it evaporating. Also, if you have pots, try to hand water them with a can, rather than using a hose. This way you can make sure that each pot gets enough water, since potted plants can dry out completely in a matter of hours, if they haven’t had a deep watering.
Making your own compost for organic gardening is extremely simple and easy to do. It provides soil of gardens with rich nutrients and keeps soil cool during summer months. You can use kitchen waste, sawdust, aquarium water, coffee grounds, tea leaves, rabbit or hamster droppings, a thin layer of lawn clippings, spices and eggshells in your compost.
It is essential to prune rose bushes if you want them to produce as many roses as they possibly can. Rose bushes that are not pruned on a regular basis do not get good circulation. This will limit the number of roses that they produce and can cause the plant to become weak and eventually die.
Embrace earthworms in the organic garden! Earthworms are an organic gardener’s best friend. Through tunneling and their nitrogen-rich castings, they can help to aerate the soil. This improves the amount of oxygen that gets to a plant’s roots, improves water retention capacity, and keeps the soil loose and workable. They actually raise much-needed minerals from the garden’s subsoil to the topsoil, where plants can get the greatest benefit. These worms also break up hardpan soil, which is detrimental to root growth.
If you have a compost pile, but have very few leaves to add to it this fall, try incorporating straw or hay into your compost pile. This is a great way to add carbon which is very beneficial to the growth and health of plants. The straw and hay may contain seeds, so it is best to use an organic weed spray on your compost pile to get rid of the unwanted weeds.
A natural, albeit somewhat tedious, way to keep pests and fungus from destroying your organic fruit crop is to use plastic zipper bags. When the fruits are still young on the branches, place them in large zipper bags secured at the top with staples. Cut off a bottom corner to allow for adequate drainage.
Soaker hoses can make an outstanding addition to almost any organic garden. Soaker hoses allow the gardener to provide low-pressure watering over long periods of time to the plants that need it. When they take the place of hours of fussy hand-watering, such hoses are well worth the investment the gardener makes in them.
Keep this information in mind as you plan your next gardening project, whether it is an elaborate landscaping arrangement, fragrant herb garden for cooking, or a vegetable patch that will grow healthy and delicious crops. You need not be a master botanist to succeed in your gardening efforts, but this article is certainly a good start.