Month: June 2016

Growing a Vegetable Garden Can Be Fun

download (21)I know what you’re thinking: gardening is too hard, it takes too much time, and how can anyone like me go about growing a garden when I know nothing about the subject? This is most people’s view on gardening, and is completely wrong! Gardening is easy and anyone can do it!

Imagine needing to make a salad, and walking out to your garden where you have fresh lettuce growing. You pick a head of lettuce, get it washed, and then realize you need some more ingredients.

Back out to the garden you pick some tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onion, and peppers as well. Throwing this in your salad, you realize you are eating the tastiest salad you have ever had in your life! This is because you are growing the highest quality of fruits and vegetables, as well as getting it as fresh as possibly can be!

How to Start a Garden

But how can you start a garden? It’s simple! All you need is a spot of ground, some water, seeds, and some determination.

Start with tilling your garden. You will want to mix up the soil nice and good to mix the nutrients equally throughout the garden. This is also good as it gives the soil some shaking, which will allow your plants to grow deep roots.

Next, you can then make rows in your garden, and begin gently placing your seeds throughout your rows and covering it back up with dirt. Once the rows are covered, spread some fertilizer over the rows and begin to gently sprinkle some water over all of your rows.

Going Organic

It is also important to note here that not all seeds and fertilizers are created equal! I personally prefer to get Organic seeds, fertilizer, and pesticide.

Getting organic seeds for your garden allow you to have the most natural gardening experience possible. Not only will organic seeds taste better, they are better for the good bugs in your garden! Bugs don’t like non-organic pants!

As for fertilizer, be sure to get an organic fertilizer with plenty of nutrients. If you put the nutrients in the soil, the nutrients will be in your plants. If the nutrients are in your plants, they will be in your body! It’s like taking a vitamin supplement by eating delicious food out of your garden!

Being Careful with Pesticides

As for pesticide, be sure not to use chemicals and other hazardous material. Not only is it horrible for the environment, the bugs don’t like it and your plants don’t like it either. Additionally, it has been proven to present health defects in a human body, so try to find something organic to keep those pests off!

Growing a garden is fun and easy! Once you get out there, you’ll realize that it really comes down to making sure your plants are getting plenty of water and are staying weed free! So go ahead, plant your garden in that empty space in your back yard, and start enjoying all the wonderful health and life benefits that a garden brings!

 

Vegetable Garden Location and Layout

download (20)The selection of a suitable site on which to establish the vegetable garden requires considerable thought, for an ill-chosen spot can be a great handicap in the beginning. The average home gardener has little choice because of the relatively small size of urban plots but several points must be considered if the outlay of seed, fertilizer, manure and labor is to show profitable returns.

Level ground with good drainage or ground with a slight slope is just about ideal. If the ground is on a slight slope make the slope even by filling in any depressions with soil taken from obvious high spots otherwise some plants will suffer from excess moisture while others, a few feet away, suffer from the lack of it. It is difficult to obtain an even stand of seedlings on uneven ground, for germination is always patchy.

If the only ground is on a moderate to steep slope it will be necessary to construct a number of bench terraces to conserve soil and moisture. The grade of the slope will determine the number of terraces necessary. Moderate slopes need two or three wide terraces; steep slopes call for several narrower ones. On moderate slopes the terraces can be shaped with soil, but on steeper slopes retaining walls of concrete, brick or stone are essential to prevent severe damage and soil loss during heavy storms. For preference these terraces should slope back slightly from the retaining wall. At all costs avoid, if possible, low-lying ground which is likely to become waterlogged in the rainy season. These lower soils often attract amateur growers because of their dark color, and appearance of fertility.

Good drainage is essential in vegetable gardens for no crops of consequence will tolerate “wet feet” for long. Too much soil moisture is detrimental to plant growth because the roots must have moisture and air circulation to function properly. Saturated conditions also slow down appreciably the beneficial activities of soil organisms which, as with roots must have air to flourish.

In laying out a garden there are two generally used methods each with its advantages and drawbacks. One method is to dig over and prepare the whole ares allocated to vegetables and to grow the crops, in rows, side by side with no defined paths between. This is the usual system in temperate regions and has the advantage that the area is used to the full.

The alternative method, and probably the most used, is to grow vegetables in slightly raised beds with each bed devoted to a single crop. It may be worthwhile to practice the first method in the dry season for winter crops and then resort to the bed method during the wet months to assist with drainage, as was mentioned earlier in my article to avoid the “wet feet” syndrome.

Gardeners practicing the bed method usually make the mistake of making the paths too wide and the beds too narrow and too high. The bed can be of any convenient length but should be at least four feet wide if the are to accommodate several rows of crops such as beetroot, carrots and lettuces. Beds of this size will still make it possible to allow for hoeing, thinning and harvesting to be done from the paths, which can be about fifteen to eighteen inches wide. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and other widely spaced crops are unsuited to bed culture because of the distance between rows necessary if adequate soil is available to earth them up.

Sharing information is a great resource in its self. Writing is one way of sharing that information with others. The ability to string a few words together is something that does not come naturally to many, however even the best struggle at times if that is any consolation.

 

Things That Are Too Real For Gardeners

download (19)Gardening is more than just a hobby. Some people take it vigorously that the art has become an academic discipline for some of us. But above all else, it is a passion that those who are truly skillful can be worthy to be called gardeners and be awarded a ‘green thumb’ badge.

For us who do not understand the beauty and fulfillment of gardening, here are things that only passionate gardeners can relate to.

Under your fingernails can be garden beds

You have used the entire area of the backyard that you are tempted to plant on your fingernails because of the dirt accumulated the entire day. It’s not that you don’t clean yourself, but the constant gardening activities do not really equate to clean hands. Despite washing your hands and scrubbing them clean after a day’s work, you find yourself in the same dilemma day after day.

You think of naming your children Rose, Lily, and Daisy

Your love for flowers manifests in the different parts of your life. As of the moment, your SNS and blog usernames and passwords contain floral words and names. You are bordering on being obsessed with these beautiful creations. Yet, you decided to bring it up another notch and plan to name your future children with flowers. This is also a way to instill the value gardening while they are young.

Going out means visiting botanical gardens and plant expos

Spending a day in the garden still does not get you enough. A couple of your dates are spent strolling down the local gardens and only those who understand this passion is truly worthy of your love and attention. Sometimes, you just find yourself driving to these places to find peace and relaxation. Also, can you remember the time when you went out to buy grocery, and find yourself buying plants instead?

You can whip mean recipes from plants grown in your yard

You learn many things simply by growing plants and flowers. Incidentally, you learn patience and nurturing skills. More importantly, you learn practical abilities like cooking using fresh produce from your garden. You can perfectly whip out a dish, dessert or drink made from edible flowers and organic plants. Talk about a healthy diet.

You can name flowers better than you know the name of your cousins

While you love your family, you cannot match the names of your cousins to their faces. But with blooms, you could never go wrong. You devote most of your time growing them that you can name even the rare ones.

Gardeners are a different bunch of interesting people. There are realities that only they can understand. So, once in awhile, you may want to spend time with one and learn more than just planting and watering plants.

 

Creative Flower Planters to Express Your Creative Self

download (17)When you think that planting is all mud and dirt, then you have to rethink that thought. Time and again, gardening have been an avenue to express oneself. It may surprise you that it does not only give you relaxation and fulfillment in knowing that you are doing something that will benefit many people. But, gardening activities have a way to also bring out your creative self.

So, have some fun with gardening using these fantastic plant containers.

Snail Shells

Make sure that these shells are discarded by their owners. As an animal enthusiast, you can collect as many empty shells as you can to create an entire bunch of small flower planters that you can line-up on your window sill. This is perfect for those who are living and dorms and apartments, which does not have space for large plant containers.

Old Suitcase

If your life peg is wanderlust, then an old suitcase as flower planters suits your spirit for traveling. Look for a defective suitcase from your pile of travel essentials and enjoy creating planters made from it. Nothing says creative than marrying your interests in one craft project.

Rain Boots

Flowers have always been a staple motif for fashion. You are never caught in bad fashion, even when it rains. But, as the seasons change, we just threw away key fashion pieces. So, if you have rain boots with a missing pair, make use of it by repurposing it into artistic flower containers. Being a fashionista, this project has you written all over it.

Old Toys

One thing that Toy Story taught us is that we all grow and our most cherished toys will become a distant memory. Don’t just keeping them in the attic. Bring them out and make imaginative planters out of them. You can recreate scenes straight out from your childhood days.

Candle Holders

Some people are into scented candles and all those relaxation shenanigans. If you are one of these fanatics, you may have a couple of candle holders hidden in your storage room. These things will make magnificent flower planters that are effortlessly creative. You are rid of unused things, while having an artistic representation of your inner yoga diva.

Baskets

What can you remember when you see baskets? Perhaps it will remind you of the picnics you had with family or friends or how your grandmother brings one while going to an early market shopping. For whatever use you have of the old baskets, these can also be good and decorative containers for plants and flowers.

Plastic Soda Bottles

Repurposing plastic soda bottles are big contributions to the preservation of the environment. Instead of throwing these non-biodegradables makes them into something sustainable. You can bring out the innate environmentalist in you and grow valuable plants from these bottles. Google has a lot to give you in properly growing plants from them. Also, don’t forget to unleash your creative side to decorate these bottles.