Protecting Your Garden The Natural Way

Protecting Your Garden The Natural Way

Make no mistake, there are significant threats to the garden. However, when it comes to treating them, we often rely on artificial and chemical methods that can do more harm than good in the long run. Chemical pesticides, fertilizer, and weed-killer can harm the natural ecosystem surrounding our garden, as well as infiltrating the water system. So, what are some of the natural solutions on hand?

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Weeds

You don’t want weeds choking the life out of your grass and stealing sustenance from your own plants, that’s clear enough. However, chemical weed killer isn’t friendly to the soil, nor any animals you might have in the garden. Read more about homemade solutions using vinegar, table salt, and just a little dishwashing liquid. Wait until a dry hot day, when the weed killer can do the most damage. Bear in mind not to spray anything that you don’t want to shrivel up and pull by hand any weeds that are too close to valuable plants. This concoction will affect grass and other plants just as readily, so be ready to replant when it’s done.

Pests

Chemical pesticides come with many of the same concerns as chemical weed killing agents. However, there’s a lot you can do to naturally stop pests from eating up all your produce. Learn more about attracting wildlife, including predators like birds and ladybugs, you can create a much more dangerous environment for them to live in. What’s more, there are some plants like chives and cilantro that are particularly pungent to things like slugs and ground beetles. Put these companion plants next to your at-risk vegetables.

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Erosion

If your garden is on uneven ground, it could result in your garden tumbling or plants getting eaten up by shifting soil. Erosion is a natural process and there isn’t much you can do to strengthen the soil to stop it from happening. You can, however, construct barriers that keep the soil in place. Check out hardscaping to read more about retaining walls. These can stop a garden at the top of the hill from collapsing or prevent any higher up soil from falling onto your garden. With textured stones, a retaining wall can even add a nice dash of curb appeal to the garden.

Waterlogging

Without water, the garden is destined to shrivel up and dry. However, a lawn that is too wet will have problems of its own. For one, waterlogged lawns provide the perfect conditions for outbreaks of moss. Furthermore, sitting water can drown seeds. Both issues can make it impossible for grass to grow healthily. Improving the drainage of the garden might involve a little DIY, so do some research and read more about installations that can help keep your soil from getting too wet.

Become a more conscientious gardener means thinking about the impact that not only your garden has, but your methods of preserving and invigorating it, as well. There are natural alternatives for almost every garden product available, so do your research ahead of time.

 

Tiny Space? No Problem – Turn To These Small Garden Hacks To Help You

Tiny Space? No Problem – Turn To These Small Garden Hacks To Help You

 

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When you don’t have a lot of room to work with in your garden, you may feel as is there’s just no hope. But space should never be an issue when it comes to garden design. Because there’s always something that you can do. Whether you want to create a really comforting outside space to dine in and enjoy, or you want your own green mecca, you can make this happen. You just have to be incredibly smart and creative. So, to help you really make something of what you’ve got, let’s take a look at these small gardening hacks that can really help you to do that.

  1. Go With A Patio

So first of all, you may be tempted to lay some grass because you really want that leafy, garden feel. But don’t. Well, you could if you really, really wanted to. But you will find that you get more out of a patio area. Here, choose stone slabs or wood over grass. This means that you have less maintenance, which can be reassuring when you have a small space. But also, you get to sit out and enjoy the space, rather than feel like you don’t want to ruin the grass.

 

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  1. Choose Minimal Furniture

But then when it comes to putting in some furniture to then be able to sit out on, don’t go overboard. Remember, you’re limited with space, so choose smaller furniture and less of it. Maybe even get one piece or a small table, and then get collapsable chairs that you can then store away and bring out when you have guests.

  1. Make Use Of The Walls

Now, you know that you really don’t have much space. But that’s really not a problem. You just need to make sure that you’re not covering the floor with all of your plants. With your stone or wooden flooring, you don’t want to go with a ton of potted plants. Instead, you’re going to want to build up the walls instead. You could even choose a tower garden so that you can fill in lots of different plants and build upwards, instead of outwards. Then, use hanging baskets or climbing plants to fill the walls around you with gorgeous flowers.

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  1. Stick To Minimal Maintenance

So we’ve already said that the patio idea is going to be great for maintenance. But then, you don’t want to be putting in plants that are going to take a lot of work to cultivate because you only have a select amount of space. So think about the low maintenance flowers and plants you can bring in to make your space serene and not a stressful area to work on.

  1. Choose Wisely

And finally, you’re just going to want to make sure that you’re really picky about the choices of plants you make. Remember, you only have so much space, so choose wisely. Make sure that you’re picking out plants and flowers that you really love, and that will complement the space. Don’t be tempted to just go for filler flowers.

 

Six Ways To Keep Your Garden Safe

Six Ways To Keep Your Garden Safe

The garden is the one place in – well, out of – your home that you should be able to enjoy. You can use it to entertain, relax and even grow your own flowers, fruit and veg. Everyone loves to entertain friends in their garden, because they can equip it with an outdoor kitchen, firepit and furniture to be as inviting as possible. Most people love to sit in their garden on a sunny day and just enjoy the breeze and the warmth. Growing your own flowers is one way to use your garden, but growing your own fruit and vegetables is a good way to not only save money on the food that you buy each week, but it’s a great way to teach the kids where their food comes from. The question that you need to ask yourself is whether your garden is a safe one.

Gardens are a brilliant addition to your home. Not only do you the provide all the benefits that I’ve listed above, but they also add a value to your home that you just can’t get in a house without an outdoor space. A garden can be a space of serenity, especially if you’ve installed a pond with a fountain. You can work to keep that safe and clean for wildlife with www.LivingWaterAeration.com. It’s all about making the entire garden as safe as possible for anyone and anything that’s in it. There is so much potential in your garden, but without the proper safety measures, it can quickly turn into the wrong place for children to play and the wrong place to grow healthy food. So, how can you keep your garden safe?

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For The Kids.
Gardens should always be enclosed and secured with gates and fences, but not so people can’t get in: so that the kids can’t get out! An enclosed garden limits the risks of children getting out and being hit by cars or going missing. Once you’ve ensured your garden doesn’t have rotten fences and crumbling walls, you can start to make it safe for the kids. Here are three ways you can do that:

Install all play equipment correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that you’ve left enough space away from walls and concrete and look into safety flooring like tarmac so that if there are any falls, you’ve cushioned the best that you can.
Your DIY and lawn mowing efforts are always going to be appreciated in and out of the home, but those tools that you use need to have the proper home, which needs to be locked up so that children aren’t accessing power tools while they play. A secure, locked shed or garage is the perfect place to keep them safe.
Having a pond in the garden, as mentioned earlier, is a lovely way to ensure that your garden is perfect and serene. However, water features should never be in a place that children can easily access. Block off ponds with low hedges or chicken wire, and cover over the top with netting. Not only will this mean that you keep the kids safe, you’re also keeping the wildlife inside the pond safe, too.


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For The Garden.
You don’t really think too far ahead after you plant seeds or purchase bare root hedges, but one of the most mystifying things that can happen in your garden is when plants get a disease. It’s not easy to pinpoint how it happens or whether your plants will die or how to get rid of it, but the most important thing when it comes to rescuing your plants is recognising how to prevent the disease in the first place. Here are three ways that you can do that:

Checking out your plants really carefully before you purchase them is the most important part of preventing disease. If you’re not bringing in diseased plants in the first place, you’re not going to be dealing with dying greenery. Don’t just look at the top of the plants and look for rotting leaves, remove the plant from the pot and check the roots, too. Read this guide to checking for plant disease.
Watering your plants may seem like a straightforward thing to do, but it can be more complicated than you think. Disease needs water just as much as your plants do, so it’s how you go about watering that’s really going to count. Make sure that the watering that you do doesn’t soak the foliage of the plants, concentrating on the roots.
Avoiding overcrowding in your garden is going to help your plants to flourish in the right way and prevent any tangling. Established plants will spread as they grow, and these can create their very own humidity. Then you end up with powdery mildew on leaves and mildew loves a little humidity!

While gardens aren’t necessarily a place that you believe you need to keep safe from burglars, but just as for the kids and the plants, you need to keep the garden safe for you, too. This means investing in garden storage that is of strong quality, ensuring that you install the right locks and bolts on your garden entryways and installing lights and CCTV where you need to. Your garden should be secure, pretty, functional and relaxing and while it’s not always easy to balance this particular mix, it’s always better to make sure that your garden is as safe and secure as possible for everyone involved in the house. Your garden deserves the same level of attention that your home does when it comes to security and safety. This then makes your outside space somewhere that you want to spend your time in.

Once you know that both the kids and your vegetables are safe, you can enjoy the garden in a way that can really maximise your summer. Take the time to look into the safety of your garden and you can rest easy that you’ve done everything you can for your family.

Creating Your Own Summer Paradise

Creating Your Own Summer Paradise

Summer is something we all want a little more of. When it comes to spending as much time outside as we want, often just a splash of rain makes us feel like the car just isn’t up to service and we have to stay in. Getting out of this habit is hard to do when the wind is swirling outside and there’s far too much damp in the air! Yet, there’s no better place to try out your natural ambitions than your garden.

Just because we’re still in winter doesn’t mean we can’t be dreaming of those summer rays, ice creams in the mid afternoon, lounging at lunchtime, and most importantly: how our garden is going to look. And this has plenty of advantages to it! When it comes to hobbies, gardening is one of the most healthy ones to take up, as you’re outside often and getting your hands dirty, meaning you’re never going to be still. Sounds perfect for that summer feeling already, doesn’t it?

Imagine all the parties you could host, the family barbecues, the scavenger hunts that can get the kids interested… So if you’re wishing more vegetables, fruits, and flowers on yourself, here’s some things to be done. Take a few hours out on a sunny day to try out a few of these tips; your landscape will thank you for it!

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The General Upkeep of Rules

When you have a garden space to work with, you need it to be practical and pretty at the same time. You can do that easily with a few considerations to start off with.

Make sure any paths you have are wide enough to walk down, and keep any overgrown plants trimmed back from disturbing the walkers. Similarly, if you have an outside space that isn’t equal in its height considerations, make sure you put some steps in that ascend in a way that isn’t impossible to get the leg reach for! You want people to easily stand up and stay standing when they’re spending an afternoon in your space, so make it practical to stroll around without losing your breath, and don’t go too wild without any direction to work with!

Summer-y Flowers You Can Plant in Winter

To start off your summer paradise garden, it’s time to include a little bit of the feeling of summer nostalgia into what you’re currently working with. And don’t worry, there’s plenty! Winter is a time in which you can cultivate plenty of plant life, but often people don’t understand that. Of course you can wait until spring to try and open up your bedding options a little more, but you might as well paint yourself a pretty picture now with a few seeds from the gardening center.

Yet, there’s a lot of color you can inject into an otherwise frozen landscape with some hardy flowers and a bit of the right soil. Something like Pansies will be a much welcome addition to your pots and boxes, and they can be planted anywhere you think could use them. They also flower a lot longer than any other kind of winter flower, all the way into the spring!

You could also try out some Primrose flowers, as they no longer tend to just flower during the spring. Plant them now and you’ve got plenty of new colors and scents to explore when you’re outside; or you could even just seed some in your window box to have a lighter and brighter conservatory.  

Use Symmetry to Your Advantage

This is one of the most basic principles of landscaping, but it’s often something people miss out on when they’re designing their garden. Nature itself has a lot of symmetry to it, and by recreating that in our own plans, we can make our gardens look a lot more balanced. So always strive to have mirroring to your space, but make sure you still plant the things you want to see!

Try duplicating any moves you make on each side of a garden, and particularly surrounding walls or pathways. Yet, you don’t always have to have the same plants or objects on either side of the area, just similar looking plants and flowers to keep the space similarly occupied. So it’s really no bother if you can’t pick up another version of that brown clay pot from the shop that was on a reduced to clear sale!

Humans tend to like order around them, but this can be created in any way you can think of. The same kind of plants on either side? The same colors? Trees to frame the two back corners of the fence? Whatever you’re working with, try to keep it balanced.

Create an Area to Socialize

When you’re outside in the garden, you’re going to want a place that’s warm and dry to stand in, with something firm and non muddy underneath you. This is where you can set up a table with a parasol to hide from the sun under, enjoying crisp drinks and your food uninterrupted by bees and wasps.

One of the best ways to do this is to build a deck, as they’re easy to keep clean and protect from the weather. Get some decking builders in your backyard to have a professional job made of your reclining area, and it can even be cheaper due to the amount of experience in working with the materials!

Based on the space you’re working with you can even create a split level, with your socializing area beneath the rest of the garden in the shade and away from the harshest weathers. It means your plant materials won’t get as disturbed by all the people dancing back and forth across your space!

Got a Smaller Garden?

When it comes to having a small garden, you’re going to have to depend on minimizing everything you want to plant in your space. You’re not going to have any breathing room, nevermind the kids having a place to play otherwise! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make as good use of the area compared to people with bigger gardens.

Smaller gardens need to make much more use of the sun, as this dictates where your plants should go and only go. The rest of the space can be used for that brickwork you’ve been meaning to lay down since you moved in, or the greenest lawn you’ve ever seen in your life.

Even if you only have a window box or a small greenhouse to your name, it can still be the prettiest sight you’ve ever seen in your life! If you have a bit more space than the window pane to your name, you can repurpose a garden pallet into a planter for your herbs of multiple types. Stick some blackboard sheets on the front and you can chalk the different names in and out whenever you use up a certain seed.

Don’t Forget the Front Garden!

When it comes to having curb appeal, this is where you could shine! Of course, seeing as we’re still in winter now, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do, but in fact there’s plenty of planning to be done. And this is also a place where symmetry really comes into its own!

Plant some flowers, or wall climbing plants either side of the door to frame it, and make sure they’re equally balanced on either side. Keep the path to your door central, and try not to pave anything around it (it’s just a lot more upkeep at the end of the day!). You can easily fill in the rest of the space with stones or shingle material, which can still be easily walked on and become a place to park the car.

Depending on where you live, there might be a general theme amongst front gardens, so make sure you’re workin within that as well. If your neighborhood is firmly balanced into the green side of things, get some nice hedges or spiralling bushes to frame the front of your house. Or if there’s little plant life amongst you, place some pots down with subtle colors in them onto the rest of the paving. Your front garden is your area to shine, so take care of it!

It’s Your Space to Work with!

Your summer paradise is right around the corner if you want it bad enough! Do whatever you want with your garden, and add a little harmony to your space by incorporating some of the tips above. You can even rope the kids in to having some fun playing in the mud in the backyard, and include their ideas within the bulk of your gardening plans.

On the other hand, you could go completely wild with your space and design it however you want to. Or maybe not even at all! Creativity comes in many forms, and there’s no better adventure than digging your way through overgrown plants to find that one dog toy you lost months ago.

Preparing Your Garden for Winter: How to Do It Like A Pro

Preparing Your Garden for Winter: How to Do It Like A Pro

Preparing Your Garden for Winter, How to Do It Like A Pro

Preparing garden for winter is important if you don’t want to have Herculean gardening tasks when spring comes. After abundant activities your garden has been through from summer, there will be so much left to do to tidy up.

This article covers all the necessary gardening steps before winter sets in. The steps are simple so you don’t have to be a professional gardener to follow.

Materials
Garden rake
Mulch
Compost
Cover crops
Garden oil
Pruner

How to Prepare Your Garden for The Winter
#1 Clean up your Garden

Via https://pixabay.com/en/raking-fall-autumn-rake-leaf-2756006/

Uproot all dead and dried plants. Leaving the dead plants will harbor disease-causing organisms. Slugs and snails will feast on a dead organic matter; they will damage your seedlings when they proliferate.
Remove all weeds. The weeds have the ability to seed rapidly during winter. When spring comes, you’ll be surprised with a hundred weeds if you don’t remove them now.
Rake all the scattered leaves and store it. These leaves can be used for mulch or compost. You won’t have a supply of dried leaves in winter so take advantage of the fallen leaves.
Do not add diseased leaves and plants to your compost because they will spread the diseases to the soil and to other plants. Let them be collected by the municipal garbage collector or you can burn them.
Do not remove all plants. Leave a few to provide shelter and food for overwintering birds and beneficial insects. Plants with large flowers like purple coneflowers, sunflowers, and zinnias are ideal for butterflies and bees. Echinacea and Rudbeckia are great for bird food.

#2. Protect garden beds using cover crops
When you leave your soil bare during winter, you are endangering it from erosion and loss of nutrients. You can protect the soil by planting cover crops.
Planting cover crops before winter will improve soil fertility. It will also protect your garden from cool-season weeds and prevent soil erosion. All of these will ensure that you have the best seedbed when spring comes.
Examples of cover crops that survive the winter are winter wheat, hairy vetch, crimson clover, and winter rye. For northern states, winter rye and hairy vetch are ideal.

#3. Repair greenhouses
It is important to repair greenhouses and other structures in your garden before winter sets in. If you fail to fix problems before it snows, it will become worse.
Replace any broken parts. Check that hinges are working well. Pour oil on all moving metal parts.

#4. Add compost and mulch
Remove the old mulch from your garden beds. After the beds are clean, add 1-2 inches of compost. Then top it up with a thin layer of mulch.
The mulch will prevent weeds from growing. It will also disintegrate throughout the winter to add nutrients to your soil so they’re ready for planting when spring comes.

#5. Prune perennials
Perennials like Bearded Iris, Blackberry Lily, and Columbine are best pruned before winter so that new leaves can sprout out better after the cold season. These plants don’t handle snow well. They’ll thrive better without their leaves during winter.

#6. Clean and oil your tools
Your tools have done hard work during summer. Before storing them, it is important to clean and oil them so they’ll be ready for garden work when winter is over.
Never store your tools wet. This will cause the tools to rust and will lessen the life of your tools. Wash the tools to remove soil and other debris then thoroughly wipe them dry.
Even when they’re clean, metal tools are still prone to rust. To protect your tools from rust, wipe them with oil using a cloth. Apply a thin coating of oil on all the metal surfaces of your tools.

#7. Wrap Up
Fall is not a time to relax from your garden work. Though the labor is not as tedious during summer, you still have to do them to ensure that your garden is in its best condition for the next planting season.
Preparing your garden for winter is all about cleaning up but leaving necessary plants for beneficial insects to survive. Protective measures for your soil, gardening equipment, and tools are also important to settle before winter.

Did you find this tutorial useful? Let me know what you think in the comment section.

 

 

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Benefits of Gardening

Benefits of Gardening

 

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There are few pastimes as potentially rewarding as gardening. No matter what’s happening in the world at large socially, politically, or culturally, humans will always love getting out into nature and making things grow as they always have.

No war and no fashion trend has ever been powerful enough to stamp out the basic appreciation of spending time cultivating green, growing things.

Here’s a look at some of the ways in which gardening can boost your health and wellbeing starting today.

Exercise

It’s hardly a secret that most people just don’t get enough exercise. With the growing prevalence of severe health issues related to sedentary living, from obesity to diabetes and cardiovascular disorders of various types, it’s more important now than ever before to find ways of squeezing exercise into our daily routines.

Gardening is a fantastic way of getting that exercise, as it can be as much or as little of a workout as you’d like. For someone who still has a long way to go with their fitness, they can take their time and pace themselves while mowing the lawn and clearing patches of land at once, with regular breaks to enjoy the sun and fresh air. You could even lighten your load further by picking up one of Mark’s top 5 picks for leaf-blowers.

For the fitter gardener, any number of sweaty and high-effort projects can be taken up on short notice.

 

Vitamin D

A shocking number of people today are deficient in vitamin D, which should hardly come as a surprise when you consider the fact that we humans get the vast majority of our vitamin D from exposure to the sun.

With people sitting in front of TVs for their leisure, and in front of computers for their work, any moments which we can grab which put us out in the sun are to be cherished. Needless to say, avoid getting burned, but don’t shy away from any UV exposure. Believe it or not, your body needs it.

Vitamin D is essential for proper hormone production and bodily function, and getting it from a pill isn’t as effective as getting it from the sun.

 

Satisfaction and wellbeing

The average office worker in the 21st Century rarely ever sees the fruits of his labour or has a real motivation to feel proud at the end of a busy day. Where, once upon a time, businesses were smaller and more direct, and life was unmediated in many of the ways it is today, our current situation finds us operating as cogs in vast machines we can barely comprehend the complexity of.

Gardening allows us to work directly on something we will see the benefits of. When you plant a seed and nurture it, you will have the satisfaction of seeing something grow up from the soil.

There’s a primal joy in nurturing growing things and seeing them develop. It’s a timeless and simple joy which can add immense satisfaction and wellbeing to our lives.

Gardening is a window to a simpler and more holistic aspect of life; one which we seldom get the chance to encounter.