Monthly Archives: March 2018

A Few Gardening Tips For You

Below are some gardening tips that I feel are worth mentioning, and may possibly get you on your way to earning your green thumb. There are never to many gardening tips and I will just brush up on a few to get you started. I am sure if you do a search in Google for “gardening tips”, you will have more at your disposal than you can ever ask for.

You could also try garden magazines and books and even gardening clubs. There is plenty of knowledge to go around. The list below will sum up tips on planning your plot, soil preparation, mulch, compost and the watering of the plot.

Garden Tip Number 1

Always plan out your garden before you start digging away at your yard. A good way to start is to take a long look at your garden a try to picture your finished product. Take into account the hight the plants can grow to, the sun spectrum, and the proximity to a water source. Once you see a place you like take a seat and start your gardening plot plan on paper. This way you can get more detailed and include things that you may forget otherwise. Make sure to include in your plans the proximity of your garden hose or garden hose reel and fixture.

Garden Tip 2

Possibly the most important tip of all is correct soil preparation and mixture. It is extremely important to use the non toxic soil nutrients when you are growing anything that you plan on eventually consuming.If you are growing vegetables in your garden then a homemade compost is by far the best fertilizer for your garden. The results will speak for themselves. It is not as hard as you think. Do some research and you would be surprised. If compost is not available the next option is mulch. If you are going to go with this rout, it is best to look for soft woods such as redwood or spruce. Softer woods have an easier time breaking down and spreading the nutrients to the soil in the bed. If you are not growing vegetables there are loads of fertilizers that can fit your project. Just go to your local nursery and they will lead you in the right direction. When you decide on your fertilizer, make sure everything is mixed well and aerated properly. A garden tiller can make this part of the job a lot easier but is not necessary.

Garden Tip 3

Once your plant area is picked out and the soil in properly spread in your garden, you can then start laying your plants in the pattern you thought up in your plans. Laying the plants out can give you a better picture of your end results. It is also best to arrange the plants from the largest growing in the back and decreasing toward the fron of the garden. You can group the plants together according to characteristics. This way you can get the most out of your area with all the plants getting the full benefit of the suns rays. This alone can make a huge difference.

Garden Tip 4

It is always best to use gardening sprinklers but this is not always possible for your first garden. If you cannot afford garden sprinkler you can still automate the garden with a hose attachment sprinkler.You can use timers that attach to the hose fixture and place the sprinkler wherever needed and this can make the watering automated also. You might still need to use the garden hose here and there. If you don’t mind watering than a garden hose and garden hose reel setup can work nice and fulfill all the necessary watering you need.Another option is the drip irrigation systems although this will also cost you a little more.

Though the above tips are very important for the basics of your garden you can get a lot more from doing your own research on the internet search engine, ordering a book, or joining a garden club. Ordering a magazine or joining a club can help a lot as you get new informative tips every month. I hope the tips are helpful and wish you good luck on your green thumb quest. You will be there before you know it.

Useful Home Gardening Tips

When one finds himself looking for home gardening tips, it is important to think about the types of gardening such as indoor gardening, organic gardening, and vegetable gardening. These different “genres” of home gardening tips will only lead you into confusion so it is very important to take note that there general home gardening tips that are versatile and are fitting for your average gardener. But before anything else, one has to have an idea on how to go about gardening at home so one can fully grasp the very idea of general home gardening tips.

What is home gardening about? It is a type of gardening where home growers can sustain themselves with healthy tasting produce and flowers that seem to bloom with the essence of beauty. To earn the so-called tasty and beautiful products of gardening, one has to get the right set of gardening tips available.

When it comes to gardening at home, there are certain tips you should follow.

These home gardening tips are best for those who are about to start out as home gardeners. First off, when planning to set up a home garden, it is very important to pick a specific area in your lot. This area will depend on the type of plant or crop you are planning to cultivate, but almost all of the plants for gardening relatively share the same set of desired outdoor conditions which are full or near-full exposure to sunlight.

It is also vital to set up your patch of plants near a faucet so it would be easy to maintain since you wouldn’t need to move around that much. Of all the home gardening tips out there, this is one of the most important to take note of.

Deciding which plant or vegetable to grow is one of the most crucial processes a gardener has to take since knowing which type is also going to give you an estimate of the size of the garden plot you should have. For example, vegetable plants take up small patches of land and are easy to grow while vine crops, such as cucumbers or watermelons require larger patches of land and are more difficult to handle compare to vegetable plants.

These home gardening tips are easy to master but the most important factor in home gardening comes from no book or from any tip out there. It will come from you. Each successful gardener has his or her own set of gardening tips. These tips will be nothing if you would not exert time and effort into gardening. After all the hard work, you will be able to see and even literally taste the fruits of your labor.

Lettuce Gardening Tips

Gardeners can select from a large variety of lettuces that are easy to grow, highly productive in limited space, and virtually pest and disease free. Lettuce is definitely one of the more “care-free” crops. Lettuce is a great way to start gardening; it is what I started out with actually. There are a few key principles though that should always be kept in mind.

Lettuce

For maximum lettuce production, it’s wise to select a site where the soil drains well, yet retains some moisture. The soil should also be rich in nitrogen and potassium, The best way to accomplish this is to work in plenty of organic matter (compost, rotted manure, or leaf mold) that will loosen and enrich the soil.

Most lettuce varieties mature in 45 to 55 days, allowing many gardeners to plant two or even three crops. But looseleaf and butterhead leaves can be harvested at just about any time in their development. Heading varieties take longer to mature. Romaine takes 75 to 85 days and crisphead 70 to 100 days.

By choosing the right varieties and with these lettuce gardening tips, it’s possible to have lettuce in your garden throughout the growing season. This lettuce is great for salads throughout the growing season. There really is nothing better than a fresh Caesar salad with fresh romaine from the garden!

Lettuce Gardening Tips

Lettuce History

Lettuce, one of the oldest food plants known to man, is believed to have originated in India and Central Asia. Even Herodotus wrote of lettuce being served in ancient Greece, and it was a most favorite vegetable in ancient Rome. This is where we get “Caesar Salad”! In fact, the word “lettuce” is derived from the Latin root word “lac” meaning “milk,” referring to the milky juice found in mature lettuce stems.

Columbus and other European explorers brought lettuce seeds to the New World. Our early colonists included lettuce in the first gardens planted in American soil. Today, lettuce is a favorite vegetable here and around the world. It has revolutionized all cultures of food, from hamburgers to salads.

More Lettuce Gardening Tips

Lettuce is so easy to grow it can be started indoors for early transplants or sown directly in the garden. In fact, doing both is recommended to get maximum production. Lettuce seeds are extremely tiny, so it is recommended to be generous with them when planting. It is a good idea to

Romaine Lettuce

start some lettuce seeds indoors in peat pots a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. Provide the seedlings with plenty of sunlight or keep them under artificial lighting until ready to move into the garden. Transplant the seedlings as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. If a hard freeze threatens, protect the seedlings with a cloche or row cover. Reserve a number of lettuce seedlings to fill empty spaces in the garden as the season progresses.

To sow lettuce directly in the garden, simply plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep, tamp them down, and water. It’s that simple! Space the sowings according to packet directions that are based on the size of the mature lettuce. For example, a crisphead may require a square foot of garden space. As many as nine plants of a small leaf lettuce variety can grow in the same space.

Keep in mind that lettuce seeds won’t germinate in soil that is 80 degrees F. or warmer, so there’s no sense in sowing directly in the garden in the summer. Resort to starting heat-tolerant varieties indoors and moving the lettuce seedlings into the garden, preferably under partial shade, after they’ve developed a few true leaves.

Lettuce Cultivation

Here are two cultivation tips to keep in mind:

Succession plantings.

Lettuce is ideal for succession planting. Sow seeds every two weeks for production throughout the season, starting with early lettuce varieties, using heat-tolerant varieties as your main crop, and then switching to fall crops late in the summer. Or, if you prefer, use lettuce in successions with other crops. For example, plant lettuce in the spring, followed by bush beans in the summer, followed by lettuce again in the fall.

Watering.

The key to lettuce production is supplying moderate but almost constant water, especially during hot weather. Unless there is regular rainfall, lettuce must be watered deeply at least once a week- more frequently during periods of drought. Mulch with a layer of compost or clean straw to help the soil retain moisture. A drip-irrigation system is ideal.

Lettuce Growing Tips

To improve overall lettuce production, consider using the following four techniques.

Raised beds.

To maximize lettuce production, plant seeds in raised beds. The raised beds warm up faster than the surrounding ground. You should be able to get an earlier start in the spring and a later crop in the fall. Raised bed gardening is, without a doubt, the best way to garden anything out there. Its simplicity, organization, incredible fertility, and results are astounding.

Living mulch.

To make the most of limited garden space, plant lettuce around taller plants like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, and eggplants. This helps the lettuce grow a lot better; if they are left in the beating sun without moisture, they will not be able to survive. The lettuce helps its neighbor by keeping the surrounding soil moist and cool and keeping weeds shaded out. As the taller plants grow, they provide needed shade for the lettuce as the days get warmer.

‘Tucking.’

You can also start lettuce seedlings indoors for filling vacancies in the garden in late spring and again in early fall as other crops are harvested. Simply ‘tuck’ a seedling in the vacant spot to keep every inch of garden space in constant production.

Ornamental use.

Many varieties of lettuce are welcome additions to ornamental beds. For example, ‘Mighty Red Oak,’ ‘Sweet Red,’and ‘Sierra Blush’ can easily fill gaps in flowerbeds, adding splashes of red where needed.

Insects and Diseases

Lettuce is generally disease and pest free, but you should still be vigilant.

Cutworms and slugs are the most bothersome pests. Use a paper collar around young lettuce seedlings to keep the ravenous caterpillars at bay. Slugs are tougher to control. Sprinkle wood ashes or diatomaceous earth over the soil around the plants to discourage the nasty mollusks. Be sure to reapply after each rainfall.

A major threat is lettuce rot which first attacks the lower leaves in contact with the soil and then spreads throughout the plant.

With these lettuce gardening tips, you can stop this. The best way to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases is to rotate crops. Don’t plant lettuce in the same bed two years in a row.

Raised Bed of Lettuce

Perhaps the greatest threat to lettuce growing are deer. If there is no protection or netting over these lettuce plants, I can assure you that the deer will have a salad bar feast and everything will be gone. I specially recommend the plastic raised beds with pre-made nets from gardeners. These are what I use for my garden. These lettuce gardening tips will save you a ton of time that I had to learn by experience.

Lettuce Harvesting Tips

Lettuce can be harvested any time after true leaves form. For the best quality, better to pick early than late as lettuce allowed to grow too long may be bitter and tough.

To harvest crisphead, Batavia, and romaine varieties, cut the plant right at the soil line when mature, if you prefer to harvest full heads. You can do the same with butterhead and looseleaf lettuce, but I prefer to harvest only the outer leaves as needed. This keeps the plants in production longer. Try to harvest in the morning when the leaves are crisp, sweet, and full of moisture.

When the crown of a lettuce plant elongates, it’s about to bolt to produce seed and the plant has passed its prime. Yank the lettuce plant out, toss it on the compost pile, and replant the space with another crop like bush beans, or with another lettuce seedling.

Recipes and Storage

Primarily water, lettuce does not store well. For the best quality and flavor, use homegrown lettuce soon after harvest. This is particularly true for many of the looseleaf varieties, which wilt readily.

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Essential Gardening Tips

Gardening Tip #1: Build on a Good Foundation.

First, you must check the nitrogen and carbon levels in your soil. You want to start with a good foundation to your spring gardening season, and these tips will help. If you have very bad soil, I highly advise that you start with a square foot garden. You can either build a wood box or buy plastic ones from gardeners, which is what I did. You can then add fresh top soil from the store and add mulched and composted leaves. This is the best way to start.

Gardening Tip #2: Ensure Good Drainage.

When you have the square foot garden set up, you must ensure that the drainage is good, otherwise your plants will not survive and your gardening career will be miserable. Be positive that you provide just as much water as the plant needs, and you will know this amount through your gardening experience.

Gardening Tip #3: Provide Lots of Sunlight.

All plant life is totally dependent on the sun. without enough sunlight, the garden will never be strong and probably never sprout. This is absolutely crucial. However, you must ensure that the plants that are in the sun are able to withstand it. All this information is on the back of every seed packet. The square foot garden location should be carefully located according to drainage and sunlight location.

Gardening Tip #4: Make Variety.

For a successful garden, add a lot of variety to your garden. This will help with pests and the soil quality. If you vary the different plants, the insects will tend to not come back due to the uninsurability of what will be in the garden. Also, it is generally known that all farmers rotate their crops for better soil. All gardeners should do just the same!

Gardening Tip #5: Plant at the Proper Time.

This may seem obvious, but it is critical. If you plant the plants too soon, they will be frozen by the frost of early spring and all the work will be for nothing. If too late, they will not be able to gather strength before the sun beats down on them and withers them, or a fall frost eliminates them. Always check the seed packets for this information.

Gardening Tip #6: Jump Start Transplants.

Make positively sure that you buy good and healthy transplants. It is much wiser to spend more money for quality plants that will return a hundredfold in produce to your work. Make sure as well to give the transplants a lot of water, or they will not survive to thrive. However, the growing season is not as long as many people may think, so you have to get the plants into the ground at the proper time, and they will hit the ground running!

Gardening Tip #7: Resist Over-planting.

As a beginning gardener, it is best to just start small. As you perfect all the methods of growing and harvesting different kinds of produce, you will then be able to plant more of what you like.

Gardening Tip #8: Provide Plenty of Nutrients.

After you have planted the seeds and they are thriving, you must make sure that you continue to provide them with nutrients. Depending on the plants you are cultivating, fish emulsion and blood meal are good things to add to the soil. Furthermore, all types of compost such as leaves, kitchen scraps, and other nitrogen rich composts will make your garden flourish. Of course, remember the rule of moderation.

Gardening Tip #9: Detect Pests Early.

As your plants are getting bigger and better, always check for the signs of pests on the plant. Are the leaves holed and chewed? Is the plant dying because of some disease? if so, as a good gardener, you must take the steps to defend your plants. If you are being attacked by deer and rodents, you can put a net or radio out near the garden to distract and scare the pests, and bloodmeal will deter the deer. As for all diseases, there are organic formulas at the store that can help with them.

Gardening Tip #10: Stop Weeds Before They Start.

This is imperative. It is critical when gardening the old fashioned way, because I did not take care of them and they took over the garden in no time. Just a little care every day, saves hours and days of hard and unnecessary labor. Also, some natural prevention of corn gluten meal and a natural herbicide of vinegar may really ease your task of clearing the weeds.