Growing plants to eat or just to admire can be an incredibly rewarding experience. These benefits don’t come without difficulty, though. A number of variables, including environment and nutrition, need to be just right for best results. These tips will put you well on your way to the coveted green thumb.
To make your garden more productive, allocate space based on what grows best in your area instead of simply choosing your most favorite crops. Although you may love beets, if tomatoes grow better in your climate then give them more room in your garden and make your beet plantings smaller. Ask your neighbors or take a look around your area to see what grows best in your region.
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.
Use mulch to add nutrients to your soil. Mulch is a much better way to amend your soil than fertilizers because it comes from natural ingredients in your garden. Commercial fertilizers may contain undesirable chemicals. In addition, mulch is free. All you need to do is compost your clippings and yard waste in a compost bin. Before long, you will have enough mulch for your entire garden.
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.
Are you wondering if you need to water your lawn? One good way to tell is to simply walk across it. If you can see your footprints, you have a thirsty yard. Every week, your lawn should be receiving up to one inch of water. If you live in an area where it doesn’t rain frequently, make sure to give your lawn the “footprint test” whenever you’re not sure if it’s had enough to drink.
To treat damping-off fungus, use chamomile tea. Brew a batch of chamomile tea, let it cool and pour a generous amount around the base of the seedlings. Use a spray bottle for the stems and foliage of the plant and you will keep damping-off fungus from destroying your garden.
Is your thumb green yet? People don’t become master gardeners overnight, so don’t stress if it isn’t. That said, following the time-tested advice offered by the above tips will certainly help you grow a splendid garden with vibrant plants that can both wow guests and feed your family.