Gardening is not just a popular hobby for those who own property, but a family activity and even a profession for some. As with any endeavor, gardening is a lot easier if you know a few things before you get started. Read on to learn some pieces of advice sure to make your thumb a little greener.
When planting a garden there should always be space reserved for essential kitchen herbs. These are available either fresh or dried in the grocery stores and are always expensive. Mint, parsley, basil, dill all can be grown in almost any climate. Also, these herbs are very easy to grow and can be used on a daily basis in the kitchen, and what is not used can be dried and stored for later use.
Make a handy twine dispenser from old clay pots. To always have gardening twine ready to use, take an old clay pot, and place it in your garden where you want your twine dispenser to be. Then place your ball of twine in it, and turn a second clay pot upside down. Thread the twine through the drainage hole of the upside down pot and place it on top of the bottom pot. You now have a handy dispenser!
If your green thumb starts to wilt during those long winter months when your garden is buried beneath a foot of snow, learn how to grow microgreens to provide yourself with fresh, healthy salads, sandwich toppings and garnishes all year round. Microgreens require very little sunlight and are easy to grow indoors. Some common microgreens include kale, dill, basil, spinach, and chard.
Use groundcover to fill in bare areas of soil. Groundcover plants are very effective for 'tying' larger plants together and keeping weeds to a minimum. The earth needs to be well-cultivated, weeded and well-fertilized before you plant anything. In order for the plant to become well established, water thoroughly during dry spells and remove any weeds that may pop up. Fast growing groundcover plants include creeping thyme, sedum, ajuga, golden oregano, heuchera, lamium and vinca.
Growing compost piles are a great alternative to buying traditional fertilizer. Compost piles are composed of organic material that slowly deteriorates making a nutrient-rich soil. It presents both a great way of ridding yourself of banana peels and other organic compounds, while providing your plants with a nitrogen rich mixture that will promote increased growth.
Always fertilize your garden. One type of fertilizer that really helps plants grow is manure, but be sure to utilize a type that is commercially composted to reduce the chances of pathogens. Choosing a specific type of fertilizer is not particularly critical; as long as you're using fertilizer, you're improving your soil.
To spice up a dull garden, try using climbing plants. A climbing plant can add visual interest to a fence or tree and are a great way to hide any unattractive structures. As an added bonus, most climbing plants are very low maintenance. Kiwi vine, climbing snapdragon and morning glories are all great choices.
An important prerequisite for having a successful garden, is preparing the soil for your seeds or seedlings. Poor soil grows poor plants. One way to obtain rich soil is to buy or make organic compost and mix it into the soil that you plan to plant the garden. You can also add manure to the soil to make it more fertile. It is wise to refrain from using chemical fertilizers, since they can burn your crops and also be harmful to your health.
The easiest way to dry out herbs is by laying newspaper across the backseat of your car and arranging the herbs in a single layer on top of it. The herbs will dry quickly in warm weather, your car will smell remarkably fresh, and cleanup is a breeze.
Try to avoid using pesticides in your garden. Pesticides can get into your food easily when you spray them on your edible plants. These pesticides can make you sick, and have been linked to greater health issues. There are many organic alternatives to pesticides that are safe to you and the environment.
If you have low-growing weeds, such as lamium or chickweed, use a fast method to remove them. If your weeds have grown into a mat, you can use a sharp spade to slice beneath the weeds. Once the weeds are cut, you should turn them over which will bury the leaves. The leaves will rot and nourish your soil.
Once you begin gathering produce from your garden, share it with your friends and family. It is extremely satisfying to give them a gift containing something that you made with your own hands. Seeing the pleased reactions of the recipients, also motivates you to continue working hard on your garden.
Use companion plants. Companion planting is the pairing of plants within your vegetable garden, such as planting cabbage with tomatoes. Companion planting helps reduce the problems with insect pests, as it attracts natural pest-controlling wildlife. Companion planting is also a better use of the space in your garden, since you basically have two plants in the same plot.
By following these simple tips, you will be able to get your garden going with just a few hardy, easy choices in plants. This will help you impress your friends, relations and the neighborhood at large, with your gardening expertise. As your skill grows, you can move on to more challenging types of plants.