When done well, gardening can be a very rewarding activity. Nothing beats the flavor of a tomato you’ve grown yourself, or the scent of your own flowers. Whether you’re just starting out as a gardener or you’ve been growing things your whole life, there’s always something new to learn. Here are a few tips any gardener can use.
Use groundcover perennials in sunny areas. Groundcover perennials can be used as an alternative to grass where there is minimal foot traffic, or in an area where grass is difficult to maintain, such as on a slope. They are also handy in between larger perennials, as they help to suppress weeds and keep the soil moist and cool. Good choices for groundcover perennials are creeping thyme, ajuga, various sedums, alyssum and armeria.
Avoid chemicals for pest control. Chemicals are effective but can also damage your plants. You should look for natural methods instead. For instance, you can buy jars of ladybugs and release them on your plants. Ladybugs are natural predators for a variety of smaller insects that eat flowers and other plants.
Before settling on your garden space, visit it at multiple times throughout the day. You need to understand what type of light the spot gets on an hourly basis, as it can have ramifications on the plants you can grow and your ability to grow anything at all! If the location receives no direct sunlight, reconsider your options.
If you do not want to expose your family to harmful pesticides in your garden, consider using organic pesticides. Organic pesticides do not have the harmful chemicals commonly found in ordinary pesticides. Fragrant herbs like rosemary, basil, and mint are often disliked by pests, and they are good choices to plant around your garden to ward off pests.
Sow plants in succession to each other for a steady harvest. When growing vegetables such as corn, snap peas, and lettuce that mature on a very predictable schedule, make two or three sowings two weeks apart to lengthen the harvest season. You can also plant two different varieties on the same day with different maturation times to ensure a longer season.
Small pebbles and stones make excellent plant markers. To keep track of your plants while simultaneously adding a touch of natural beauty to your garden, collect some pebbles and stones. Find stones with a fairly smooth surface, and use a permanent marker or a little paint to place your plant names on them. This is a much prettier and more natural solution than the traditional plastic tags that clutter up most gardens.
Coffee grounds can be used to amend soils that are high in alkaline. Used coffee grounds will add acidity, helping to optimize the soil’s pH. The right soil will make your vegetables taste better and make your flowers more vibrant and aromatic.
As with any pastime, your gardening will benefit if you continually educate yourself. No matter what your skill level is, you can always learn something new that will make you a better gardener. Put some of these ideas to work, and soon your garden will flourish more than it ever has.