There are many wonderful reasons to take up the art of gardening. Whether you prefer to dabble in vegetables, flowers, or herbs, the information in this selection of useful gardening tips and tricks is sure to put you on the path to a healthy, productive garden and a noticeably greener thumb.
When and why should shrubs be pruned? Most shrubs need pruning to increase flowering. Deciduous spring and early flowering shrubs should be pruned immediately after flowering. Cut back old wood to encourage new growth. The buds for next year’s flowers will appear on this new wood. Late summer flowering shrubs should be pruned in spring. They will produce flowers on the shoots that grow immediately after pruning. Winter flowering shrubs simply need pruning in early spring to clean up any dead or diseased branches.
Use fertilizers that are free for the taking. Using chemical free grass clippings or human urine for a nutrient rich and free fertilizer. Twenty parts water with one part urine is an excellent fertilizer for seedlings, or steep the grass clippings in water to make a tea for watering and fertilizing the plants. So don’t spend a lot on the garden when the fertilizers can be had for free.
The use of natural plants can make a garden without any work. Many plants will self seed and grow a perpetual crop without any work at all. Butternut squash, pumpkins, and cilantro will grow and self seed growing new crops year after year with almost no work and become a permanent garden feature. Grow them in areas such as the compost pile or along fences for maximum results.
After a long day of gardening, clean those dirty hands with a breakfast treat. Create a mixture of oatmeal and water. Make it thick! Use the mixture as an abrasive to get the dirt out of your skin and from under your fingernails. Follow it up with your normal soap and water wash to get any lingering dirt off.
Utilize proper tools and keep them in tip-top shape to lessen the stress on your body when you’re gardening. Spades and hoes should be periodically sharpened to keep them working at their best. If you have the space, choose tools such as long handled spades that allow you to stand while working. The better you feel after gardening, the more often you’ll enjoy getting your hands dirty!
Create a certain mood for your garden. Just as with interior design, one of the most exciting aspects of garden design is using color to create a mood or feeling. Use soft blues and purples for a cool and soothing atmosphere, yellows for cheerfulness, and reds and oranges to create excitement. If you are uncomfortable when deciding on colors, choose plants with grey-green or silvery foliage to mix in with your flowers. They will act as a ‘buffer’ between incompatible colors and link different color schemes.
Keep this information in mind as you plan your next gardening project, whether it is an elaborate landscaping arrangement, fragrant herb garden for cooking, or a vegetable patch that will grow healthy and delicious crops. You need not be a master botanist to succeed in your gardening efforts, but this article is certainly a good start.