When you think of gardening, you think of keeping hedges prim and proper and the arduous task of growing flowers, plants, or perhaps even vegetables. That’s how you picture the average gardener, and that may not be your sort of thing. Perhaps you prefer to simply mow the lawn every now and then before retreating to the safe and cozy confines of your house. Here’s a new idea that you might want to consider: take the “outdoor home” approach. You could start to love your garden because it’s an extension of your house; it’s an outdoor room. You’ve been blessed with all of this additional space.
As mentioned in another of our articles, being good at gardening is just about avoiding common mistakes. You may not know much about how to control the wildness of nature, but it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you’re letting it become. The most basic piece of advice is to avoid cramming too much in too little space. Nature has to breathe, and that means you don’t need to overload your garden with an overcrowded assortment of plants.
You want lots of variety and vivid colors, but you need to space out the plants and flowers in this outdoor space; you don’t want them all competing for space, sunlight, and water in a very confined patch of land. As mentioned over at themost10.com, it’s all about minimalism with garden design, much like interior design.
Improve the storage.
Much like any other room in your house, your garden can become messy if tools and garden furnishings don’t have a proper home. If the shed is overflowing and the garage is already cluttered then you might want to check out sites such as http://armstrongsteel.com/for metal buildings that could serve the purpose of housing garden equipment.
We’re not suggested that you completely eradicate the garden and build an entirely new house on the land (that probably violates several laws), but you can improve your garden by building some structures on the land, depending on how big your garden is. A conservatory is always a popular choice because it’s an entirely transparent window into the garden. A conservatory can invite a lot of natural light and feel like a nice crossover between the interior and exterior of your property.
Of course, something like a conservatory is still part of your house and might be getting away from the purpose of loving your garden in itself. Admiring it from a distance is fine, but you should be finding ways to motivate yourself to spend time in the actual garden. You could build a gazebo or a patio area with comfortable seating and shelter so that you can feel part of the garden whilst enjoying a few luxuries. This article over at gardensillustrated.com talks about other great suggestions such as pavilions and summer houses. It’s about finding a good blend between nature and manmade. Most of these things are within the DIY abilities of even the most amateur garden designer, so don’t be scared of trying; there’s always a good YouTube tutorial out there, or you could get family and friends to help.
Loving your garden doesn’t mean you have to love the few annoying chores involved with maintenance. You love your house despite hating cleaning and tidying it. It should be much the same with your outdoor; be proud to make it look appealing.
This is a collaborative post with Yourorganicchild.com
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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