Lifestyle » Vol. 46

Gardening tips and tricks for green thumbs

Sun? Warm temperatures? Summer … is that you? Yes! Say “bye-bye” to hunkering down indoors away from the cold and say “hello” to warmth and sunshine!

HOMESummerGardeningAlong with fun activities like days at the beach, bike rides and picnics, the warm weather also allows green thumb enthusiasts to do what they love most – gardening!

Whether you’re a novice or expert gardener, it’s always a soothing and rewarding activity. So we’ve got some helpful tips, suggestions, tricks and ideas for those of you who may be gardening for the first time and for experienced gardeners looking to change up their normal regime.

Get the right tools

Get these essentials: forks and spades, a rake, a hand trowel, pruners, a Dutch hoe, a pruning saw, shears, a lawn mower, a garden hose, a wheelbarrow, a hori hori knife, loppers and an edger.

It all starts with the soil

Work in compost (a mixture of yard and household organic waste), manure or dried peat moss for nutrient-rich planting beds.

Mulch is your friend

Add fresh mulch to your gardens every year. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch keeps weeds away and helps the soil retain water, so you’ll be weeding and watering less.

Stay native

Buy varieties of plants that are native to your area. They’ll flourish with little care and are likely to be the best-looking plants in your garden!

Keep pests away

The best way to keep pests at bay is to grow healthy, disease-free plants that are more difficult for bugs to target and can withstand occasional attacks. Other tactics include:

  • Attract pests’ natural predators to your garden.
  • Spread crushed eggshells beneath targeted plants to keep pests like slugs, snails and caterpillars away.
  • Aromatic herbs like mint, fennel and basil are natural deterrents for some garden pests. Plant some!
  • Put flour, salt or beer down, all of which are safe for humans but toxic to many insects.

Watch your water usage

Over watering is worse than not watering enough. It’s much easier to revive a dry plant than to dry out drowning roots.

Diapers aren’t just for babies

Place one in the bottom of a potted plant to help it retain moisture for longer.

Keep your fingernails clean

Draw your fingernails across a bar of soap so dirt can’t make its way under them. Once you’ve finished in the garden, remove the soap and see nothing but clean, sparkling nails!

Dry herbs fast

Lay a piece of newspaper on a seat in your car, then lay the herbs on the newspaper in a single layer, roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will dry in no time! Plus, your car will smell amazing.

Plan your planting

Through planting techniques like vertical cropping, succession planting and intercropping, you can maximize the space you have in your garden.

While there are many other gardening tips and tricks, these are a few to help you get started and/or keep your garden prospering. Happy gardening!

By Rachel Shuster

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