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.
Consider using your car to dry your home-grown herbs. Simply lay a sheet of newspaper across the backseat and spread out your herbs on it, then roll up the windows. Your herbs will dry quickly in the low-humidity heat of your car, and the interior of your car will have a fresh, herbal scent.
If your flowers leaves are curling, this probably means they are not getting enough nutrients. The soil might not be rich enough, or some insects might be stealing the nutrients from your flowers. Look for eggs or bugs around the roots of your plants. Buy insecticide or additional nutrients for your plants.
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.
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.
You can use items in your fridge for a safe and organic way to adjust the pH of your water. You can use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to lower your pH (a few drops at a time) or use baking soda to raise your pH (a pinch at a time checking after each adjustment).
Use stones as plant markers if you want to keep a natural looking motif. You can write with permanent magic marker on the flat side of stones and surround your plant with them. That way you will be able to tell what type of plants you have without having an unsightly white mark.
You can dry herbs by putting them in your car. You can neatly arrange them on a sheet of newspaper in a single layer. Then close the doors and windows and let it air dry. The warmth in the car will dry the herbs quickly. The herbs themselves will create a very nice aroma.
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.