You may not be a gardener worthy of your own TV show, but we all want to have an attractive and comfortable green space, especially with the weather being so nice right now! As hard as we try, most people will make a few easy mistakes when they’re gardening, and mar the beauty of the whole space. Here are some of the most common ones, and some advice on avoiding them.
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
This might just be the most common gardening mistake, and it’s getting more and more common all the time! We’ve all seen those amazing images of gardens on TV and social media. Every plant’s beautifully presented, with luscious, healthy leaves and stems holding up bright, beautiful flowers. It may not look all that hard, but it really is! Despite what many people think, great landscape management is a very demanding artform, and all those beautiful gardens you see take years of education, trial and error. Just ask any professional landscape architect, and they’ll run you through what a huge learning curve they’ve gone through. Do yourself a favor, and don’t bite off more than you can chew! This will only end in disappointment. Get started with smaller, more manageable projects, and gradually build up to larger ones.
It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been watering your garden routinely for; all amateur gardeners are almost certain to make a mistake at one time or another. Remember, the idea is to keep your soil damp and healthy, but never waterlogged. A decent amount of moisture will encourage the roots of your flowers to grow, but if you water them too much, they’ll be doomed. Remember that different plants will require different quantities of water through the year. When you’re trying to raise any plants that you’re not all that experienced with, it’s essential to educate yourself on what those plants need, and give them just that. Trees and shrubs, for example, need a thorough, deep soak at least once a week, as these have larger roots. Seasonal flowers will need watering a few times a week in the summer, but almost nothing when winter rolls around. Keep a close eye on new flowers as they begin to develop. Their roots are much more delicate, and carry more risk of over-watering.
Obviously, you want your garden to be vibrant and colorful, but overcrowding your garden is a big mistake. This will only create more competition between the plants you have, both for the nutrients in the soil and natural light. Ultimately, overcrowding means the roots won’t have enough room to grow properly. The stronger, more robust plants, will push others out of the way, meaning that you won’t get the varied, colorful flowerbeds you were looking for. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to raise shrubs, vegetables, or flowers. It’s essential to give your plants the room they need to grow healthily, from the point when you sow the seeds to when they’re in full bloom.
Have you ever thought about the impact your garden has on your health? It’s something that most people choose to ignore. But if you love your garden and spend a lot of time in it, this is something that you should think about. It’s not worth ignoring these threats and dangers because you want to stay safe. Here are some of those risks discussed, as well as some of the reasons why gardening is good for your health.
Garden Products and Chemicals
Garden products are used by most people who do a lot of gardening. But are all those products safe to use? Unfortunately, that’s not really the case. These products are packed full of chemicals that can quite often be dangerous to human beings. You need to use them sparingly and carefully. That’s something that you have to think carefully about because you can breathe in toxic chemicals that damage your health. You can buy organic products that are less damaging, so consider that option too.
There are some garden pests that can be a real danger to you when you’re in your garden. This is one of those things that we don’t really give much thought to. But maybe we should. Mosquito control is essential if your garden has any kind of problem with mosquitos. They can be a real risk to your health, so don’t ignore this. If you find any mice or rats, you should have this problem dealt with by a professional pest control team too.
It is possible to hurt yourself when you’re doing some work in your garden. Back strains, damaged knees and cuts are all very common gardening injuries. You should try to protect yourself while you are gardening. When you are doing garden work, you will probably be using a range of tools that are sharp and often dangerous. If you don’t use these implements carefully, you will be putting yourself at real risk, so don’t let that happen.
Extended Sun Exposure
Another thing that can cause you problems when you’re carrying out work in your garden is exposure to the sun. When you expose yourself to the sun too often, you make it hard for your body to avoid risks like skin cancer. It’s easy to forget how long you’ve been out in the sun when you are relaxing or even doing gardening. If you don’t use a sunscreen that offers UV protection, you will be at real risk of suffering serious problems.
The Positive Effects of Gardening
However, it’s also important to think about the good things that come with gardening. When you do work in your garden, you exercise and get active. This can be really important and really valuable. People don’t usually see gardening as exercise but it really is. Embrace gardening, but just make sure that you protect yourself and your body as you spend time in the garden. It’s all about being careful and staying healthy. If you can do that, gardening is more than worthwhile.
The importance of the garden in our lives may be a source of some debate for a lot of people. We live increasingly busy lives outside the home and then, when we get back from work, have to get on with home stuff too. For many of us, it is the garden that falls by the wayside. Some of us would want to do more if we could, while others are happy to wave off this worry.
For many in the first group, and also some in the second, the thing that gets us back out there is shame. As much as we may feel garden work is an unnecessary stress, it’s more stressful to look out there and see weeds overgrowing. Neighborhood kids asking when the family who lived there moved out – because surely no-one would let that happen, right?
If shame isn’t a strong enough motivator for you, then what about your kids? What kind of a world do you want them to live in? A world which is clean, tidy and healthy, or one in which they have to dodge wild animals every time they walk down the garden path? We all want a cleaner, greener world, and that has to start at our front door.
Mowing The Lawn: No Need For Petrol Fumes
If you have concerns about the environment, then mowing the lawn can be less a chore you want to avoid, more a risk you’d rather not take. If you’re not of a mind to drive a gas-guzzling car, why would you want to run its lawnmower equivalent over the grass? That’s where your kids play. Then again, stockists like http://www.lawnmowerlane.com do offer more eco-friendly alternatives which are more suitable.
Weeding: No Harsh Weedkillers
Living a more organic lifestyle is important to an increasing number of people. We don’t want to give our kids anything to eat if it hasn’t passed scrupulous health checks. On the other hand, weedkillers make weeding easier. So what do you do?
Well, with the right garden tools you can uproot problem weeds in your garden. Indeed, dandelions that grow out there can be used in cooking and other healthy ways. (http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/eat-dandelions-9-edible-garden-weeds.html). Just make sure they’re well washed first.
Planting And Fertilizing: Let Nothing Go To Waste
Planting out in your garden may seem time-consuming, but if you choose to plant veg, you’ll start to make that time back. Instead of having to make a trip into town when there isn’t enough veg in the fridge, just step outside. Pick corn from your garden. Or carrots, or peppers.
Once the plants are beginning to get out of control or have stopped producing for the year, they can be pruned away and composted. This way they can be pressed back into service. The result of this is a big zero food miles for your veg. Because you eat it when you pick it, it’s more packed with nutrients. What this means is that it’s better for your family, and better for the planet.
If you find that you struggle to motivate yourself when it comes to the garden, the above tips may well help. Before too long, you can find yourself appreciating your garden for what it can provide.
This article is a collaboration with YourOrganicChild.com
Today, a lot of families are choosing to go organic, with the hope that by doing so, they will be able to lead longer and healthier lives. Various studies have shown that the chemicals used to preserve fruits and vegetables can impact our health in many ways. Because of this, many of us now refuse to buy non-organic fruits and vegetables.
The only downside to choosing to go organic is the cost, which is why a lot of organic families now opt to grow their own produce. However, there’s a common misconception that growing your own produce is time-consuming and stressful. (This has put a lot of us off of growing our own foods.)
However, growing your own fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful. If you’re smart about how you go about it, growing your own produce can be much easier than you would think. Plus, many studies have shown that gardening can be a fantastic stress reliever. So growing your own fruits and vegetables shouldn’t cause you any stress. (If anything, it should reduce your stress levels.)
To help make growing your own organic produce easier (and more effective), below are some handy hacks to take note of.
Gardening hacks , hands hack , gardening , vegetables . fruits
One of the most important things when it comes to growing your own produce is reading up about it. Gardening isn’t a skill that we’re born with; it’s something that has to be learned. So, before you start growing your own vegetables, take the time to do you research. Learn about the different planting options, best methods for encouraging growth, and the best things to grow.
The more reading you do, the better understanding you’ll have of what it takes to successfully grow your own organic produce. Take the time to read up on each and every vegetable or fruit you want to grow, to get an idea of the care that different types need.
When it comes to growing your own produce, one of the most important things is also one of the most basic – how much water your plants are getting. If you don’t get this just right, your vegetable plants and fruit bushes won’t grow properly. Thus impacting the amount of produce you successfully grow.
Of course, there’s not just the worry of your vegetable garden and fruit bushes not getting enough water. There’s also the concern of them getting too much water. While not enough water will leave your plants withered due to a lack of nourishment, too much water will drown them. To ensure that your plants (and the rest of your garden) are getting enough water, consider getting sprinklers for your home. To prevent your plants from being flooded, in times of extreme rain, attempt to cover them over with tarpaulin.
Label each thing you’re growing
Each different type of produce requires different care, so it’s important to ensure that you know what’s growing where. The key to this is making sure to label your produce. You can choose to label each individual plant, or you can group them into sections, and place signs in each section. How you choose to go about it is up to you, it completely depends on what your personal preferences are.
In terms of what to use as labels, paper is obviously no good. Wooden and plastic labels tend to work well. As do pebbles with an image of a certain fruit or vegetable drawn onto them. By placing signs saying what is being grown, you can make the process of ensuring that your produce gets the right care, much easier.
Gardening hacks , hands hack , gardening , vegetables . fruits
Soak your seeds in water
To ensure that you get a fantastic crop each and every time, soak your seeds before planting them. The night before you want to plant a packet of seeds, soak them in water. Leave them for 12 hours, and they should start to develop roots. This will make it more likely that when you plant them, they take successfully. For best results, soak your seeds in a small amount of water and keep the beaker that they’re in, in a warm place.
Keep the insects at bay
If there’s one thing that is a produce grower’s worst nightmare, it’s an attack by insects. Slugs, snails, and all sorts of other insects feed off of plants, and so, it’s important to protect your produce from them. The question is, of course, how do you do this without the use of traditional pesticides? Well, it’s actually much easier than you would think – there are plenty of natural alternatives to pesticides.
One natural insect deterrent is used coffee grounds. Simply sprinkle your used grounds around your plants, and this should help to keep the bugs at bay. The great thing about coffee grounds is that they also make a great fertilizer, so you’re killing two birds with one stone. Just remember, if you’re going to use coffee grounds to fertilize and keep pests at bay, the coffee that you use needs to be organic.
Get the whole family to pitch in
To make growing your own produce that little bit easier, don’t go it alone. Make growing organic fruits and vegetables a family affair. Instead of going solo with your produce growing, get the whole family to pitch in. This will make the process of keeping your vegetable garden in good shape much easier.
Perhaps you could give each family member an area to focus on. So, for example, while you focus on the root vegetables, your partner could take care of any fruit trees. And your kids could be in charge of the herb garden or fruit bushes. Ideally, the kids should have an easy job, as well as one that’s fun and enjoyable. They say that many hands make light work, and when it comes to growing your own produce, this is so true. The more help you can get, the better.
So there you have it, a guide to growing your own fruits and vegetables the easy way. The truth is that growing your own organic produce isn’t difficult, as long as you are smart about how you go about it.
This article is a collaboration with YourOrganicChild.com
When life is coming at you at 100 kilometers an hour, it’s easy to let the maintenance of your garden slip. It often feels like you simply don’t have the time that you would like to be able to dedicate to your garden. But maybe it’s the case that you’re simply not taking on the challenge of gardening in a way that is as efficient as it could be. So, instead of assuming that you don’t have the time to look after your garden, why not look for ways to save time when caring for it?
If you look for creative solutions and take advantage of useful shortcuts, the time that your garden demands will decrease. That’s exactly what you need and want when you have a busy lifestyle and dozens of other obligations to take care of. Your garden doesn’t have to take up as much of your spare time as it has done in the past. You probably don’t even realise how much time you have been wasting in your garden up until now.
So, below you will find some tricks, tips and solutions that will help you to spend less time maintaining your garden. Read on to learn more and start putting these ideas into practice.
Invest in Power Tools for Regular Tasks
Power tools can make many gardening tasks so much easier. If you don’t already have some at your disposal, this might be something to consider. By investing in some great power tools, you will be able to take care of many of those repetitive tasks quickly and easily. Rather than using your hands and some basic tools, the power tools will sort things out in no time at all.
Things like trimming trees and shrubs will be particularly easy if you have power tools to use. You don’t want to be using manual trimmers because they take so much longer to get the job done than good power tools. Yes, it will mean having to spend some money on these tools, but it might be worth it if your main aim is to save time on gardening.
Grow Vegetables in Raised Beds
If you want to grow vegetables in your garden, it makes sense to do this in a raised flower bed. These are little wooden structures that are raised up from the ground. You then fill them with soil and compost before planting in them. They are much easier to maintain and keep healthy. And that makes growing vegetables in them very easy indeed.
They are good for intensively growing vegetables. That means you can use a small space but still grow lots of things in them. For people who have relatively small gardens, this can be a real bonus. Give it a try and see how it works out for you and your vegetables.
Hire Someone to Mow the Lawn While You’re Out
Mowing the lawn is a big task that no one really wants to take care of. So, why do it if you don’t want to? It’s affordable for most people to hire someone who can do it for them. And these professionals will probably do a much better job of it than you would be able to do alone. So, it makes sense from every point of view. It takes the task away from you and gets the job done correctly.
There are plenty of professional mowing services out there that you can take advantage of. Speak to them about the job you want done, and then leave them to get on with the task. You don’t even have to be there while the work is being carried out. You can simply come home to a freshly mowed lawn that looks great.
Pick Plants That Last for Multiple Seasons
Perennials are plants that can last and survive throughout the year for you. These are much better for your garden if you want to keep the amount of work and maintenance you do down to a minimum. If you’re looking to grow food, some great perennials are rhubarb, kale and sorrel. When you plant perennials, they can be left to do their own thing, and they won’t need to be divided.
This is very useful for you because you won’t have to put any real work into looking after them. There are plenty of plants and flowers that you can choose from too. So, pick some out and plant them in your garden. Once they’re planted, as long as you keep them watered, you won’t have to do much work at all.
Make Watering the Garden Easier
Do you spend a long time walking up and down your garden with a watering can? This old way of watering your plants is not the best way to approach the process. Instead, you should think about what you can do to make it easier and quicker to water your plants. Some people simply use a hose, and you can puncture holes in it to spread the trajectory of the water out across the garden.
If you’re looking for a slightly more hi-tech solution than that, why not install an irrigation system? It’s pretty cheap and easy to get this done nowadays. This will ensure that your plants and lawn get the amount of water that they need, and it can all be done automatically for you. The most modern irrigation systems can even be hooked up to your smartphone and controlled that way.
Group Plants According to How Much Water They Need
Watering your plants can be done much better if you group the plants together according to how much water they need. That way, you don’t need to remember how much water to give to each plant or shrub. You just need to know that the plants in one section need a lot of water, while the ones at the opposite end of the garden need less. It’s a simple and clever technique to use.
You can even position your sprinkler, if you choose to install one, so that it waters the plants that need most water more than the rest. That way, you don’t even have to worry about doing the work for yourself. The amount of time you will save as a result of doing this could be huge. So, it’s something that you should try out in your garden sooner rather than later.
Create Simple Traps for Pesky Slugs
Slugs can cause big problems for your garden. They can eat your plants and vegetables, making them useless to you. It’s understandable that you would want to get rid of them once they start to overrun your garden. You don’t have to accept this problem as just another one of those things that you can’t really do anything about. It’s actually very easy to create a simple trap for slugs.
Slugs love beer, and they are attracted to it when the scent can be detected in the air. So, you should create a dish of beer and put it in your garden overnight. Slugs will then be attracted to it and crawl into it. This will cause them to drown, and the slug population in your garden will decrease. That’s a massively important thing for your plants and crops.
Start a Compost Pile to Improve Your Soil Easily
When the soil in your garden is of poor quality, it can have many knock-on effects. It makes it harder to grow plants, flowers and vegetables. And that means that you have to take further steps later on. So, instead of letting this become a problem for you, you should improve the quality of the soil in your garden. You can do this by using compost, and creating your own compost is easy.
You can add a layer of compost to the flower bed or vegetable patch. This will conserve any moisture, and it’ll stop weeds from growing in your garden so easily. So, it’s very important indeed to add this layer. It makes your life so much easier later on when you don’t have to deal with weeds and other garden headaches.
Convert an Old Chest of Drawers Into a Tool Storage Unit
How long do you normally spend rummaging around in your shed or garage looking for the gardening tools you want? When you have a lot of them, it’s easy to run out of space, and then they all get mixed up. It’s one of those extra little headaches that makes gardening even less appealing to you. So, now is the time to look for a solution to that problem.
You can take an old chest of drawers that you no longer want, and convert it into a storage unit. You can even install some bolts in the drawers to keep particular tools in place. This will stop them moving around, and then whenever you want a tool, it’ll be easily within reach for you. It will make finding the right tool for each gardening job so much easier for you than it currently is.
Many people have access to outside space and a garden. But few will take full advantage of it. Some people may not be particularly interested in gardening, or perhaps find it all hard work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use your garden space. In fact, your garden can have a huge impact on your lifestyle. If you let it. With that in mind, I thought i would share with you some inspired ideas on how you can let your garden have an effect on your lifestyle.
Grow your own food
Many people strive to have a healthy balanced diet. One way you can do that is by taking ownership of where your food comes from. Clean eating has fast become a trend to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. What that means is you get your food from the source. To avoid there being any third party involvement. A great way to do this is to consider growing your own food in the garden. You can get your compost tested to see what nutrients it has or if there is anything lacking in the soil for successful growth.
Create a space just for you
The garden is a great place to relax. But not many people take advantage of it. The garden can be peaceful and tranquil. The perfect place to unwind after a busy day, or feel fresh ready for the day ahead. Some people choose to create space in their garden for this very purpose. It could be a patio or decked area. Even a shed that has been converted to become an outside room. People go as far as to create something called a “she shed” where you can work from and relax in. There are some inspiring ideas online.
Be more active
Your garden is a great place to get active in. We are all aware of the importance of an active lifestyle. Daily exercise is important for good health. But you don’t need to sweat it out in the gym. You could get outside in the back garden and utilise the extra space you have. It can be a great place to do some exercises, or even get active with the family. Many people add things like a trampoline to their gardens which is a great and fun way of exercising your whole body.
Enjoying the garden gives you a chance to get a little creative. Which can have a huge effect on your mind. People find these kinds of things quite relaxing. Getting creative could be designing your garden. Maybe learning about new flowers and adding different colours to lift your garden space. You could get creative in the garden in another sense and use it to practise out hobbies like painting or reading.
Take up a new hobby
Finally, gardening, in general, could become a great hobby for you. You could enjoy planting flowers and learn about different species. Or maybe just taking more of interest in the presentation is enough to excite a new hobby. Gardening doesn’t have to be boring; it can be anything you want it to be. Plus the extra fresh air and being outside is good for you.
I hope this has inspired you to utilise your garden more.
This is a collaborative post on behalf of Yourorganicchild.com