Gardening Tips: Learning the Basics

gardeningThe art of gardening – raising one’s own flowers, shrubs, fruits and vegetables within a limited area. We discovered the satisfactions inherent in working the soil. Almost everyone who has access to a bit of ground raises a few flowers and maintain their own vegetable garden.

Anyone who wants to start a garden should be well informed about the basics of this activity. There are lots of things needed to be learned but firstly, we should begin with the most important ones.

Soil

The soil structure has been classified as:

  • Sandy Soil – the very loose type and does not hold enough water.
  • Clay Soil – the dense and heavy type. Sticky when wet and almost brick hard when dry.
  • Loam – the mixture of sand and clay soils. It contains large qualities of humus or decayed organic materials that help supply nutrients to plants.

Try to assess your soil at home. The soil must contain the essential nutrients to feed growing plants. Nutritional deficiencies may be remedied through the use of fertilizers which add minerals necessary for plant growth. But please be aware that fertilizers should be applied only as recommended and never in excess.

Not every plant will thrive in every type of soil, nor are sunlight requirements the same for all plants. In general, however, a garden should not be situated near large trees, which not only shade the area but also draw large amounts of water and nutrients out of the soil. Areas open to the wind are avoided, as well as areas at the bottom of slopes, because the ground there tends to retain too much water.

Seeds and Seedlings

Although the seeds of many flowers and vegetables may be sown directly into well-cultivated soil, some plants are better started indoors in shallow boxes or flats. A controlled indoor environment aids germination.

Many heat-sensitive vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower for example grow far better when they are planted as seedlings and can reach maturity before the heat of summer.

Plant Cultivation

If the soil furnishes sufficient nutrients and contains enough humus to hold air and water, the basic necessities for successful plant growth are present.

Many gardeners use a mulch to discourage weed growth and to help conserve soil moisture. Straw is fine mulch for vegetable gardens; in flower beds less noticeable mulch such as peat moss or wood chips is often used. Mulchless gardens require regular weeding so that weeds can be eliminated while they are small.

In dry periods the garden should be watered on a regular schedule. Morning is the best time for watering; the sun’s afternoon heat may evaporate moisture too quickly, and watering at sunset may encourage development of fungal diseases.

Plant Pests, Diseases, and Pruning

Plant diseases can be avoided by watering at proper times, by weeding and by removing dead plants, leaves and other debris that often harbor insects. Chemical herbicides and pesticides are available but should be used sparingly and with care, for many will also destroy beneficial insects and garden plants. Chemical residues left on vegetables can be harmful if they are ingested.

You will also want to make sure you prune and trim your plants at the proper time of the year. Make sure to use the proper garden tools and pruning saws (if you have an abundance of shrubs or if they are big).

Now that you’ve learned the basic and most significant ideas about gardening, you’re on your way to becoming a pro! There’s still a long way to go and more things to learn so you might as well start now.

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