In addition to the food gardening can provide for our table, it adds beauty to our world. Gardening is something that is shared by all cultures and all time periods. It is something that is taken up by people from all walks of life. While there are many consistent rules inherent in this hobby, there is also room for variation. These tips will provide a brief look at both.
A tip to prevent dirt from accumulating under your fingernails while working in the garden, use a bar of soap before starting. Rake your fingernails across a bar of soap and it will seal the undersides of your nails so that dirt will not collect beneath them. When you are finished in the garden, just use a brush to scrape the soap from beneath them and your nails will still be sparkling clean.
Design your garden so that your harvest is staggered over as long a season as possible. Use cold-tolerant root crops and greens in the fall, for example, and plan to pick and preserve early strawberries in June. This way, you will have the space and time in your life to store everything you grow.
Use both well-matured compost and mulch in your garden. Compost will naturally help plants grow faster, taller, and healthier, and increase the yield of your vegetables. Mulch helps prevent the growth of weeds. Mulch also shades the ground around the roots of your plants, protecting them from heat and conserving water.
No gardener really enjoys weeding, but it is necessary. Using weed control cloth can make your job a lot easier. Lay down strips of cloth between your rows and you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of trouble. It may not look quite as nice, but your body will appreciate it.
Plants should be protected from cold weather. During winter time, the cold can present dangers to plants, either by freezing the water in their stems or forming sharp ice crystals which may sever or puncture important organs. Tomatoes, in particular, are very susceptible to the frost and should be moved to a warmer indoor climate, or covered outside with frost-resistant cloth.
Fertilize the soil you are going to plant in three weeks before planting. By doing this, you are helping the soil improve its ability to retain nutrients and water, which are especially important for new plants. There are many fertilizers from which to choose at your local gardening store.
When your summer blooms have bloomed and faded away, remember to dead-head the flowers. This means pinching off the flower heads. This will encourage new flowers to bloom longer next year, and it will also strengthen the plant. Since the flower heads have seeds, you can also save the flower heads that you have pinched off for planting at another time.
Even a small investment of time and effort to gardening activities is sure to be greatly rewarded. Those rewards may come in food to feed our families or in flowers and other decorative plants to beautify our environment. Everyone can reap these rewards. The tips that are outlined above will get us started in that direction.