Gardening can be a very rewarding and worthwhile activity. Some people see gardening as a hobby, a way to derive pleasure in their spare time. Others may view it from a more utilitarian perspective, as in a way to grow their own food without being dependent upon grocery stores. Regardless of the reason for gardening, many great tips can be found in this article for both beginner gardeners as well as seasoned gardeners.
If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don't require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.
Think about leaving some areas of your lawn uncut. Long grass provides a great habitat for beetles, young amphibians and grasshoppers. Grass is also an important food source for some butterflies and caterpillars. Gardens without wildlife would be very sterile environments, and most plants can't reproduce without the help of wildlife.
If having a lot of color in your garden is what you like but you want a sense of continuity, the best way to achieve this effect is to use two colors consistently among all of your plantings. As you look at your garden, your eyes will be drawn to the continuity of color and the view will feel more harmonized to the senses.
Make your long handled garden tool into a measuring tool. You can get measuring tape and mark out the units with a black permanent marker. This works great for wood handled tools. When you need to space your plants out a particular distance, you can use your homemade measuring stick to measure the distance.
Don't try to remove low lying weeds by hand. Instead get a small shovel and flip them over so their leaves are under the dirt. You will kill the weed and the leaves will rot creating a fresh mulch like material for you to use. It is green and nourishing for the other plants.
Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.
Treat yourself while you garden with a little petroleum jelly. Before donning your gardening gloves, apply a bit of petroleum jelly or your favorite moisturizing cream to your hands. The gloves protect from the dirt, while your hand movement works the cream into your skin. You will finish your gardening with silky soft hands!
Tend to your garden a few steps at a time. A garden requires ongoing maintenance, and becomes a big time drain if you let things pile up until the weekend. Stop by the garden for a few minutes each day and deadhead some flowers while you're waiting for dinner to cook or pull a few weeds while watching the kids play.
Protect your hands when gardening. Garden gloves are made to fit all different hand sizes. They protect your hands not only from getting dirty but also from splinters, cuts and scrapes. Most gloves are inexpensive and are well worth the investment.
Use cologne or other items with a distinct scent to keep your canine out of the landscaping. This will help mask the scents that attract your dog, and will make your garden a less interesting place for your pet to be.
Pine needles make a great organic mulch. Some garden plants are high in acidity, and do better with acidic soil. For these types of plants, pine needles are wonderful for mulching. Go ahead and cover the beds you have with needles a couple of inches and while they decompose, they actually disperse some acid into the soil.
Sensibly water your garden. A soaker hose will save you time because you won't have to individually water each plant, like you do with a regular nozzle, or a can that you need to constantly refill. To protect your plants, keep the flow on the soaker down. Let it water the plants for a while as you do other things.
If you're working to build a sustainable organic garden, try leaving a portion of your garden untouched so that the wildlife will be able to thrive. You will then find that the wildlife that can help you create a garden that can flourish become present; from birds to insects, they'll be around your garden and help your produce grow better.
Discourage deer in your garden. Deer love chewing on vegetables, roses, fruit trees, juniper, and holly. They can decimate a garden in a single day if given the chance! While people tend to favor an electric fence to discourage deer, there are certain things you can do that don't involve unnecessary pain. Fill bags with human or dog hair, dried blood meal, or fish heads. Attach to the perimeter of your property, or to specific plants that could be eaten. Alternatively, make a spray of two egg yolks mixed with one quart of water and spray fruit trees liberally. For some reason, this seems to work!
To summarize, you ended up here because all of the information about gardening that you have come across so far has proven to be less than useful. This is wasting time that you could have spent outside in the garden! Use the advice given here and you should be happy with your results.