Most people appreciate a well-maintained garden that is full of life and color. Unfortunately, gardening can be complicated, time consuming and expensive. However, by increasing your knowledge of gardening techniques, the past time can become very enjoyable and relatively inexpensive. This article contains some essential gardening tips, advice and ideas.
Collecting and preserving autumn leaves is a fun gardening project, especially for the kids. Generations of kids have used the “wax paper method” to preserve fall leaves at peak color – with a little help from Mom. Just select colorful thin leaves that don’t have a high water content and place them between two sheets of wax paper. Place a cloth – like an old tea towel – on top of the waxed paper “sandwich” and have Mom slowly run a hot iron (no steam) across the cloth. Peek underneath to see if the wax paper is melting and bear down hard to get a good seal. The wax paper may seem cloudy while it is warm, but it should dry clear as it cools. Enjoy your pretty display of colorful leaves!
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.
If you are planning an irrigation system for your garden, consider a drip irrigation system. A conventional system using sprinkler heads loses a lot water through evaporation. However, a drip system irrigates your garden by a constant slow drip of water beneath the surface, which means less water is wasted through evaporation.
If you want flowers in spring and summer, plant bulbs in the garden. Bulbs are usually very hearty and very easy to grow, and bulbs will grow year after year. You can select bulbs that bloom at many different times, so with a little work, you could have flowers popping up all the way from the start of spring to the end of summer.
Invest in a electronic PH tester. Avoid liquid PH kits (the color coded ones) as they tend to be less accurate. It is very easy for first time users to botch readings. Also, do not use soil PH test kits as they are unreliable and are not intended for home use.
When you grow veggies in a garden, you need to ensure they get at least six hours of good sunlight each day. Proper sunlight is a prerequisite for proper growth. It’s also the same for some types of flowers.
As stated in the introduction to this article, gardening can be complicated, but by applying some of the advice contained in this article, you could be on your way to designing, creating and cultivating your dream garden. Alternatively, maybe the tips above have expanded your gardening knowledge and inspired you to volunteer to help with some community gardening projects.