Discover The Secrets Of A Successful Container Gardening In Fayetteville

plants-in-pots

Did you ever happen to have that experience where you had a glimpse of your neighbor’s yard and saw their blossoming garden, then you suddenly felt quite envious about it? Oh well, I certainly feel you. I did have that same experience way back when and it urged me to start my own flourished piece of land filled with plant diversities. Perhaps, a lot of people have the same sentiments as you do. In Fayetteville, just like in most cities and states, gardening is not only considered as an activity or a hobby, but it is also a transition to a healthier lifestyle as what experts suggest. Yes, landscaping is a great addition to your property’s curb appeal as well as its beautification, but a healthy garden on top of it will out everything into perspective.

 

Now, do you want to build or start your own garden but is limited by your space? Worry no more my friend, your dream can now be possible even if you have a small area – all thanks to container or pot gardening. This method of gardening is highly beneficial for urbanites and apartment-dwellers who wishes to grown their own garden and organic food. Aside from the fact that it can maximize your space, container gardening can also offer a lot of benefits such as improved indoor air quality and freshly-picked organic produce.

 

Although, it may be easier than it seems, starting a container garden or incorporating it with your Fayetteville landscaping can be quite tricky. The challenging part is keeping your plants alive and your container gardens thriving and looking their best.

 

Why Container Gardening Is A Good Choice

You might think that container gardening is only for those who have small garden space or urban dwellers, well, you’re wrong. Even if you own a wide garden area, you can still make use of container gardening to properly organize your plants and give room for other plants to grow or if you plan to add more features to your space. Not only that, container gardening offers a whole lot more of benefits than you can imagine. Regardless if you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s actually a good choice.

 

Having said that, probably the next question you can think of is, why? The most obvious answer is that it can be less work because they can be placed closer to a water source. It is also a great start for beginners wherein they can practice and hone their planting skills – this is where they can learn from their mistakes. Moreover, container gardening makes it easier to save seeds used to create future plants or share with other gardening enthusiasts.

 

Furthermore, growing plants in containers can avoid critters and other wildlife to feed on your plants. Plus, if you’re thinking about designing the interior or exterior of your home, the addition of container plants is a great idea and you can easily move it around without breaking a sweat.

 

So, in the case of gardening crosses your mind, container gardening is worth the try.

 

Secrets Revealed – Best Practices For Successful Container Gardening

Once you’ve finally decided to start container gardening, you have to prepare yourself for the next steps you have to do. You can’t just buy a pot and start growing seeds – it doesn’t work that way. In order for your garden to work, there are strategies and techniques that you should follow. Expert gardeners from Fayetteville have been doing it for years and their practices are a sure-fire success. Here, we have gathered the best practices and revealed the secrets for successful container gardening.

 

Pick The Right Pot Or Container

First things first – you need to pick the right pot or container for your plants to grown in. Pots or containers come in a variety of materials, such as terra-cotta, ceramic, wood, and plastic. Some containers can be expensive, however, since container gardening has become popular, choices for pots have expanded as well.

 

Material

In choosing the perfect pot to plant, it’s paramount that you contemplate on the where the container is going or its placement. For example, if you’re planning to put it in a deck or desires to achieve a natural setting, wooden pots are the best choice. Clay pots or terra-cotta are also great for achieving a natural-looking garden or area. On the other hand, synthetic materials such as resins, plastics, polymers, or fiberglass, complement your hardscape. Most residential properties use wooden or clay pots.  In some cases, other gardeners recycle plastic containers or tires and use it for container gardening.

 

Size

Size matters – you should keep that in mind. Some would say that the bigger the pot, the better, which is actually true most of the times. Bigger pots allow more space for the plants to grow and stretch its roots, can hold more soil and it can help create a good scale. The size of the pot should also correspond to the type of seed or plant you want to grow. For example, Spinach and leafy Asian greens can be grown in shallow trays as well, but you’ll get a better yield planting them in a container with a 6-8” (15-20cm) root zone.

 

In planting tomatoes, peppers and other fruiting plants, a 5-gallon (27cm) is the minimum size. A 7-gallon (35cm) pot or container is best for growing peppers, chiles, eggplants, and bush tomatoes. It’s very important that you learn how to determine the right container size for your plants.

 

Shape

Pots or containers also come in various shapes such as square, rectangular, or cylindrical. These containers are known to have more soil volume in the lower half of the container, where it retains moisture better. Tapered pots are also used for container gardening and it is better in directing water right to the bottom. It also comes in vase style, cone shape, trapezoidal and more.

 

Decide On A Sunny Location

Exposure to sunlight is one of the essential nutrients your plants need in order for them to thrive. Most plants require at least six hours exposure, hence, it is paramount that you place your containers in a sunny location. Not all plants require full exposure to the sun, there are some which also grow in shade.  Given this, you have to determine whether your plants grow best in sun or shade and match their light conditions.

For example, petunias, geraniums, calibrachoa, and verbena are annual plants which grow well under sufficient sun exposure, while begonia, caladium, impatiens, and torenia are annual plants which thrive in shade.

 

Choose The Right Soil

Your choice of soil is one of the most important things you have to do to make your container gardening successful. Most soils in Arkansas, including Fayetteville, are acidic, which requires being amended with lime to raise the soil pH. Given this, experts highly advise not to use of avoid filling your pots or containers with soil directly from the garden, instead, you can use a good potting soil. A high-quality potting soil contains necessary supplements that could promote your plants’ vitality and growth such as peat moss, compost, perlite, vermiculite, and/or rotted manure.

 

When you purchase your potting soil, always read the label before you buy. Once you have knowledge of the basic components of potting soil and the most common potting soil ingredients, it is for certain that you can choose the ideal product. Loam-Based Potting Mix, Peat-Based Potting Mix, and Coir-Based Potting are few of the most common potting soils being used for container gardening.

 

Choose Healthy Plants

One of the most important factors that can determine the success or failure of your container gardening is your choice of plants. If you have a minimal or limited space, pick the plants that you like or the plants which you can benefit from such as the fruit-bearing ones. Choose the plants which thrive in Fayetteville soil and grow plants anywhere there is sunshine. Remember that plants that thrive in like soil, watering, and light conditions make successful combinations.

 

In combining plants for your container gardening, there are a lot of things that should be taken into consideration such as size, texture, proportion, color, setting, and lighting (the amount of sun it requires). Once you’ve chosen your plants, it’s equally important that you take good care of them in order for the plants to grow healthy.

 

In keeping your plants healthy, place fruit-bearing plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and eggplant in a sunny location. On the other hand, lettuce, cabbage, collards, mustard greens, spinach, and parsley can be placed in shady areas since it does not require sun exposure as much as the fruit-bearing plants. In terms of the watering, the next technique will be your guide.

 

Make A Watering Schedule

Before you panic about the proper way or technique on how to properly water your plants, just remember this, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to watering. However, when you choose your plants, it’s imperative that you also understand their watering requirements and that will help you determine how often and how much water they need. One of the most obvious indicators that it’s time to water your plants is the soil – you have to feel it and when it’s dry, water it. Plants that =grow in containers require frequent watering compared to actual garden plants.

 

Moreover, under watering or over watering your container plants can cause it to wither, catch a disease and die. This is where the relevance of a watering schedule takes place. During hot, sunny periods you’ll probably have to irrigate every day and it’s really significant since there are 217 sunny days in Fayetteville. Now, to make your watering more efficient, you can install a drip irrigation system with a timer that waters your plants automatically every day. Or, you can still opt for a watering can or garden hose, as long as you are observant and strictly follow your watering schedule.

 

Fertilize Regularly

Aside from water and sunlight, your container plants also require fertilizer in order to flourish. There are some potting soils which already contain slow-release fertilizer mixed in, but it’s still a good idea to add a few drops of liquid fertilizer every time you water. This extra dose of plant food can add points to the success of your container gardening.

 

In terms of fertilizers for potted plants, the most recommended ones are the water soluble fertilizers. It is available in powder and liquid form.  This type of fertilizer is easy to use since it can be added directly to the pot or to the water you use for watering the plants. Other types of plant food like dry fertilizers and slow-release fertilizer are as not as effective as the water soluble type.

 

You might want to remember the 3 fertilizer numbers and what it indicates: the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content in the fertilizer. Now, in determining the ratio of the supplemental contents, you have to consider your soil type or the potting soil you used. In most cases, a ratio of 3-1-2 is the best.

 

Don’t Forget To Clean Up

Just like everything else around us, there are times when things get pretty out of shape, same goes for your plants. Some annuals and perennials will begin to look tired by late summer or your flowering plants aren’t as good as it was in other seasons, hence, it’s time to replace them. Your efforts of trying to salvage aren’t reasonable enough. The best thing you can do here is to carefully remove the dead ones or the faded blooms and replace them. Your container could use some touches for a second and fresher life.

 

In addition, it’s a must-do chore that you clean up before winter comes. The dead or faded blooms can be tossed into the compost pile and you can store the empty containers. Clay pots with soil in it can crack during winter if left outside, and I can bet, you don’t want that to happen. Also, you can move your potted plants inside your house to prevent them from the hard frost.

 

Tips In Preparing Your Pot

Alright, so have learned the best practices for a successful container gardening, yey! Now, we’ll discuss with your on how to prepare your pots or containers properly to ensure that your plants will grow well in it. Yes, you may have bought an expensive pot, but if your preparation is not good enough, it’ll beat the purpose of purchasing one. Without further ado, here are the tips and tricks you have to observe in getting your pot ready for planting.

 

    • Most pots have holes at the bottom while some don’t. In case your pot doesn’t seem like it, drill holes at the bottom and fill it halfway up with Styrofoam popcorn. Then, lay broken pieces of clay or small stones on the bottom for drainage purposes. Use a high-quality potting soil or mixture for planting.

 

    • Use containers between 15 and 120 quarts capacity. Remember, the bigger the pot or container, the better it is for the plants to grow. Small pots restrict the root area, causing it to dry very quickly.

 

    • In making holes, it should be 1/2 inch across in order to provide adequate drainage. Line the base of the pot with newspaper to prevent soil loss.

 

  • Allow free drainage by setting your containers or pots on bricks or blocks.

 

Way To Sum It Up

Container gardening isn’t only meant for the experts, you know. As a beginner, you can learn it too. By following the secrets and practices we’ve mentioned above, certainly, you can grow potted plants in Fayetteville with flying colors. Worried about not having a green thumb? Scratch it! It’s not a requirement for a prolific container garden, it can be an advantage, though.

Growing plants, whether it’s leafy, root crops, flowers, herbs, or fruit-bearing vegetables, container gardening can be a good choice. Besides, it’s one way of saving space on your landscape, garden or urban-dwelling. Not to mention, a greener way of living, plus a guaranteed organic and freshly picked crops.

 

 

How to Make the Most Out of a Small Garden Space

Who wouldn’t love to have their own version of the secret garden or a miniature replica of The Garden of Versailles in their own backyard?

Most of us do want to have that magical and peaceful sanctuary even at the back of our homes but some of us can’t achieve it simply because our place is too small to accommodate our chosen landscape setting.

Many garden design books have shared tips on how to achieve that dream garden – the principles, rules and elements that all contribute into creating a really wonderful garden you can be proud of. However, most tips provided are only applicable for those who have a huge space to work on.

Gardening in a small space has many limitations but it shouldn’t be a hindrance in transforming a small piece of land into a landscape masterpiece. The key is just to use the available space and use it well.

The advantages of having a small garden include the following:

You can give attention to every garden detail

Having a small garden can actually give the gardener a chance to fully explore the depths of the garden. You can give full attention because you don’t need to check on a very large space and every area can be checked even just in a short period of time.

You can keep up with the maintenance

Maintaining a garden can be very hard at times, especially when you’re on a budget. Having a small garden lessens the chances of having to spend too much on garden maintenance. Instead of spending a lot of money maintaining the garden, you can invest instead on more pieces or ideas that can further improve and beautify the garden.

You can make it as an entertainment or leisure space

Having a small garden in your backyard can actually give you that quiet space you will eventually need. Having a large garden requires a lot of work but a small space for a garden can provide you leisure while you tend to it personally, without having the need to hire gardeners, lawn-mowers and a large creative team for its landscape because you can all do it on your own.

The real task in making the most out of your small garden space, however, is to face the challenge of landscaping that comes with it.

Making choices of what to accommodate

Having a limited space also means having to choose what elements to include in your garden. You can have everything in a very small space so you have to choose carefully what plants to include, what garden ornaments to put, and among other decisions, you have to make to ensure that your garden may be small but it won’t be trashy.

Your garden is seen as a whole

Having a small garden means that people can see whatever is in it in a glance. Visitors don’t have to explore too far just to see what plants and elements you have included on your garden and so, the challenge lies on having people see your garden as a whole, including all of its compositions. So you really have to be careful not to miss on certain things that can really destroy the balance of your small garden space.

Every feature should serve a purpose

Every little part of the garden must have a purpose why it was included there because nothing should ever go to waste on your small garden space. So ignore that impulse to buy a plant or a garden ornament, thinking you will just find a place for it just to have. Every acquisition must have a purpose.

So, having that limited garden space should not hinder you from having a landscape masterpiece. Instead, you should take it as a challenge – a challenge to go out of the box and make the most out of your small garden space.

What to Consider in Buying Plants for Small Gardens

So you want to have that dream garden but don’t have the luxury of space? You want to have a magical and peaceful sanctuary even at the back of your home but can’t decide well what to include in your garden because you have so little space?

Well, the difficulty of the problem actually lies in choosing the plants you will actually include in your garden. You really need to choose the best plants that would serve their purpose in your garden and not just simply decide what plants to have on an impulse and without proper discernment.

Before you decide to buy plants or plant those needed things in your dream garden, you need to come up with a checklist or a guide for you to be able to choose wisely and for you to achieve the transformation of your small piece of land into a landscaping masterpiece.

Does it suit your budget?

Maintaining a small garden should be less costly than its bigger counterparts and so, you should have that idea of not having to spend more on the less space that you have. You have to check whether you have the budget for the plants you will buy or whether you have what it takes economically speaking to maintain them.

Does it suit your planned design?

If you plan on having that Zen garden style incorporated in your garden, then it is only proper that you buy plants that are also related to your theme. Buying plants that don’t actually suit your garden style might destroy the balance and the overall composition of your garden and so you must be careful in conceptualizing what style you want to incorporate, more so, be more careful on what plants to include.

Does it fit in the size of your garden?

Having a small garden also means choosing to put small plants or plants that won’t appear oversized in your little space. The challenge of putting up with a small space lies in having to position your plants accordingly without making your garden look cluttered. And so, the size of the plant you must buy must also be in sync with the size of your garden.

Does it have to be so colorful?

You can start with choosing plants according to three color classifications only. Do you plan on having a garden dominated by red, yellow and white? Then choose plants that would also be classified in your color preferences. Having a theme is so much better because you can break down what kinds of plants you can actually put and there won’t be too much diversity. Too much diversity on your color preferences will make your garden look cluttered and less refined. Instead of having a wonderful display, you might just end up having a garden of mess.

Does it have the ability to survive your setting?

Before buying your plant, one important thing to consider is the plants adaptability to your setting. You should really know what plants will thrive in your area and decide on buying those plants. Buying a plant that can’t survive your area might just cause harm to your plant until it eventually withers. So spare yourself the hassle of spending on a plant that can’t survive in your garden setting and start looking for plants that will have that long lasting appeal.

If you are even serious about having a garden with just little space, now is the time you start conceptualizing and thinking what plants to include, keeping in mind that you should be able to create a landscape masterpiece with the little space you have. Choose your plants wisely and achieve that garden you’ve always been dreaming of.

Fall Gardening Tips for the San Diego Gardener

fall gardenSummer is ending soon and for many gardeners, fall is not their favorite season of the year. After all, springtime is the favorite season of the year. It is the time when humans and plants alike love to welcome the warm rays of sunshine. Every living object seems to joyously sprout in this time of the year. However, fall should not hinder you from continuing to nurture a garden. In fact, fall season can have its perks when it comes to gardening.

Take Advantage of Deals in Farmer’s Markets and Garden Centers

Since many people do not find fall as an ideal season to plant, many remainder plants are put up on sales in farmer’s markets and garden centers. Yes, they may look lonely and forgotten in racks but you can always have the choice to take them home and find them a good pace to grow. These plants need nurturing and would do better if planted in gardens than for them to be left on racks.

End of season sales are numerous by late summer. You can find annuals and perennials on sale. Although annuals are good, it would be best to choose perennials instead. They would have greater chances of surviving and thriving during fall season compared to annuals. The good thing about buying plants during sales is that you can always haggle for the price especially if the plant does not look as healthy as it should be.

In addition to plants, many garden tools are also on sale during this time so it would be a good way to invest on several gardening tools especially on expensive ones. You can expect to save as much as 50% or even bigger. Some sellers would even offer “Buy one, get one” deals on plants and small gardening tools.

Fall is Actually an Ideal Season for Planting

autumn gardenNot many people realize this but fall actually makes an ideal time for re-planting, transplanting and planting bulbs. During this time, the ground is warmer and the heat of the sun is not that scorching. When the soil is warm, it is easier to dig and it encourages root growth. Since the heat is not that intense, it would not easily leave the foliage to dry quickly. Plants do not require to be watered as frequently as during summer time.

Young trees, when transplanted during end of summer up to fall, would have greater chances of thriving. Same goes when perennial plants will be divided and re-planted. Bulbs should be planted during falls season in order for them to sprout just in time for spring season. It would be good for perennials and trees to be planted during fall so their roots can have ample time to take hold before winter season freezes them.

Cold Frames and Hot Beds to the Rescue

There are always ways to nurture your plants no matter what the season of the year is. For instance, cold frames can be employed to protect plants from too much cold or from excessive exposure to wet season. It looks like a mini greenhouse with transparent covers or walls to let the light penetrate in.

A hot bed, on the other hand, uses fresh horse manure topped with soil as a garden bed. The decomposition of fresh horse manure releases heat in the ground which protects the plant’s roots from excessive cold. Hot beds are commonly used from fall to winter seasons to help plants survive.

If you want to know more about gardening tips and tricks, it would be best to ask local gardeners in your area. They are familiar with your area’s climate and can also refer resources you need for fall gardening.

Photo Credits: kbowenwritersharon_k

Fertilizer 101: Keeping Your Plants Healthy

plantingIn order to maintain a beautiful-looking or productive garden, you must know that it also takes a lot of effort and patience. You have to put an extra effort in your garden and assess what your garden needs are. Unlike animals and human beings, plants manufacture their own food.

Plants undergo the process called photosynthesis in making their own food. They harness the sun’s rays, water and minerals from the soil for photosynthesis to occur. Plants needs to nourish themselves too with minerals and nutrients but sometimes these things are lacking or have already depleted from the soil that plants have an insufficiency of it.

If these nutrients and minerals are lacking from the soil, your garden plants will not look as healthy as they were supposed to be. This is the part where we put or apply fertilizers to make the soil “fertile” again with the minerals and nutrients that plants need. By doing this, you will be sure that your plants are taking sufficient nutrients for them to grow healthier and greener and more productive.

Fertilizers: Need to Know

It is not as simple as you think fertilizing is. You have to consider some things first before you apply a certain fertilizer, when is the right time in applying it, the process of fertilizer application and most of all, the type or kind of fertilizer to be used.

There are 16 primary elements that plants need in order to grow and be healthy and productive. These primary elements include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and are called macronutrients; the 13 other elements that plants need are called micronutrients. These elements are found in different percentages in different types of fertilizers available in the market today.

Basic Tips in Fertilizing

In applying fertilizers to your garden you should consider these tips to make it easier for you:

  • Soil testing kit. To make sure that you are to go on the right track, it is best that you purchase a soil testing kit to test the soil in the soil bed after it has been tilled.
  • Soil pH level. This is very important to know before you apply fertilizers. If your soil pH is acidic or has a pH of 5.8 or lower, add lime to your garden to balance it. If, on the other hand, your soil is basic or alkaline or has a pH level of 7.2 and higher, you should add aluminum sulfate to the soil.
  • Fertilize when needed. Fertilize your garden depending on the level of nutrients present in the soil. Apply fertilizers to the base of the plants to get it directly to the roots.
  • Go organic. You can use organic fertilizers if you want or prefer. Follow the directions for use in each pack or bag carefully to achieve desired effects and balance nutrients in the soil.

How To: Gardening in San Francisco Soil

soilPlants need more than just water and good temperature to survive. Anyone who has ever gardened knows the importance of a good soil. Whatever it is that you decide to plant will be more likely to thrive if you know the type of soil it should be planted into.

Dealing with San Francisco soil offers lots of challenges for the San Francisco gardener. Basically, the type of soil in San Francisco is greatly affected by the environmental climate.

If you live in a particular area with a soil type that already contains lots of organic matter, then you are lucky enough to start your own garden. If you reside in San Francisco and plan to create your own garden, it is important that you are knowledgeable of certain details such as the following:

Certain Rules Apply

Decide on which type of garden you would want to create. It mainly depends on the location and what type of garden activity you would like to pursue. Home garden, Rooftop garden, Garden on privately-owned land, etc. Research on the codes and regulations governing gardening in San Francisco. Some require a permit before starting certain operations.

San Francisco has Micro-climates

Some of them are known as sunny, foggy, and transition. That’s just to name a few. Choose the right types of plants to grow by researching first before buying.

Watch Out for Fungal Diseases Due to the Cold Weather

The damp condition causes powdery mildew, a fungal disease which a particular problem in edible crops. Be prepared for certain conditions by reading and knowing how to prevent or cure such occurrence.

Keep an Eye on Garden Weeds

Some of the weeds that grow in your fences can be very difficult to remove. It is best to get rid of them in the earliest time possible. Make sure to be blanket mulching as well.

Growing Flowers in San Francisco Requires Patience and Caution

Watering roses should always be underneath and never over head to minimize fungal diseases.

Growing Vegetables Issues

Growing veggies such as broccoli, carrots, and radishes won’t be much of a hassle even when the climate gets foggy. Whereas tomatoes, basil, and corn require sunnier areas.

Growing Tropical Plants Take a Long Process

Growing tropical plants such as bamboo, ferns, orchids, palm trees and banana leaf plants require a process. These should be planted early in early spring time (on the last cold day) so that they can adapt in the coldness of winter. Always choose to grow this type of plants in a sheltered location. Cover these plants when winter season comes.

These are few of the things that you need to know when planning to pursue a gardening activity in San Francisco. From the rules, the cold summer fog, to the lack of summer heat, every San Francisco gardener should be ready to face these challenges.

The Thrifty Gardener: Learning the Third Letter of the Environmental Mantra

thrifty gardening

Photo Credits: (1) anarchitec’s Flickr photostream
(2) No Drips! By ajourneytoadream.blogspot.co.uk

There are three letters in this popular mantra: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. We are about to learn the depth of the third word, Recycle. But read along and learn how all three can be applied in the basics of gardening.

Some of us might be a little hesitant to head out and make our own dream garden probably because we find it financially impractical. But hey, do you know that all we need are a few tips and tricks to ignite our creativity and imagination? We can find them almost everywhere!

Creating a beautiful garden doesn’t have to put a hole in our pockets. It is true that we can’t avoid spending for gardening materials, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be extravagant when making choices on what to purchase. With these simple tips, we will surely enjoy our simple nature-loving hobby without emptying our wallets.

Start Up by Gathering Resources

Find helpful tips and suggestions in the internet, magazines, books, or from people who are experienced in gardening.

  • A lot of unused household items can be recycled for functional and decorative purposes in the garden. Look around the house. It’s would be an excellent idea if you can use anything that you can find within your surroundings. This would mean that you don’t need to spend extra cash in buying things that are already present in your own backyard.
  • It’s okay to use second-hand gardening equipment (like pots and tools) which you can get from thrifty shops. However, if you plan to buy new materials make sure to have store options for comparison of prices.
  • Plastic bottles are recently on the top spot of every gardener’s recycled tool. They happen to be very useful as pots and watering containers. Besides, bottle garden seem to be trending nowadays.

Add Character To Your Garden

  • “Garden blings” are those that add color and fun to a garden. Unused CDs and aluminum plates are also useful as reflective objects, which can also help in scaring birds if you don’t want them anywhere near your garden.
  • If you love seeing birds in your backyard; recycled lumber or wood, cans, and other household cast-offs can be used as bird cages.
  • Garden fences can be made out of scrap wood. Make it look vibrant by applying in some paint.
  • You can use different rocks and form them into stepping stones or mosaics. For garden paths, the easiest available materials are broken concretes. Lay the pieces together like a puzzle or create patterns depending on your interest.

Plan it Out

If you are a beginner, plan out for easy and simple gardening strategies. What’s important is that you take time to figure out something attainable so that you won’t end up frustrated and empty-handed. It takes creativity and resourcefulness to make your dream garden a reality.

Gardeners are believed to be creative people. More than being nurturing individuals, gardeners are also practical in terms of their resources. The act of recycling in the world of gardening plays a vital role in the conservation of the environment.

Who would ever think that the 3R-mantra (Reduce – Reuse – Recycle) would be this efficient? We have fun, we learn and most of all we become productive people by practicing these simple tips. So what are we waiting for? Let’s build our own dream garden now.

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.

True Men By Nature: The Truth about Men Who Garden

man plantingWhen we talk about gardens, the first person who actually comes into our minds are usually women. I believe most would agree to that. Many men view gardening as a hobby designed for women.

Men, most specially those who have never been exposed to gardening chores when they were young, tend to back off whenever the topics being discussed require knowledge about gardening. But come to think of it, it is not just all about flowers. There are many things a man can do and learn when gardening. In fact, it is said that men who spend quality time in the garden appears to be adorable and responsible to women.

Man and Gardening

Think about all the benefits a man can get when he starts his own garden. With all the walking, lifting, digging and bending required with this activity, you get to exercise and stay fit while making your backyard and home look beautiful at the same time. Sounds productive, doesn’t it? The bonus point is that, it is not just you and your backyard but the whole environment and community benefit a lot through this deed.

Gardening for Men’s Health

You might not be aware yet but the benefits of this activity can be overwhelming. The good smell of fresh air and a boost of Vitamin D from sunlight exposure are those that keep us physically healthy. Do you know that it is not just all about physical? Gardening has been proven to be a stress-reducing activity too!

Gardening for Family Bonding

Take note that this can also be a fun family bonding activity for everyone. You save money from hiring a regular gardener and you spend quality time with your loved ones. If you grow fruits and vegetables in your garden, imagine the time and money you will save from buying those in the grocery store.

The privilege of taking part in showing love and appreciation for nature has never been solely laid upon the hands of women. It is a privilege everyone should participate on, even MEN. Your love for nature does not elude your masculinity, it actually defines you as a man who is hardworking and who values life.

The measure of your ability as a man is not in any way affected when you plant flowers or water the seeds. It is a worthwhile experience to take a closer look at what men often call a lady’s chore.  Just remember that it takes a lot of effort to make something beautiful, and your hard work is surely paid off upon seeing happy faces and a wonderful home.