Making Your Garden A Family Fun Activity
The best time of year to start an herb garden is fall. This is because some of the tastiest and most interesting herbs thrive in the fall. The reason for this is that the lower temperatures and higher level of humidity makes it very easy to start and maintain an herb crop throughout the autumn months. Planting herbs makes a fun way to continue enjoying your garden after summer is over. You are sure to be pleased with the great herb harvest you will reap by planting an herb garden in the fall.
A great gardening tip is to do all your gardening work minus the watering early in the morning. Sometimes working in the garden can take several hours and it behooves one to not do this at the hottest time of the day. This will help prevent heat related illness like heat stroke.
When raising new plants, it's helpful to identify the best soil composition that fits your plant. Plants require 3 major nutrients to grow phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. Learning the special composition for your soil will usually lead to the best plant growth possible. On the other hand having the wrong composition will generally result in average or stunted growth.
Start a compost bin, and enjoy nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use for your vegetable plants, herbs, flowers and more. Food scraps and peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, newspaper, paperboard, yard waste and other organic matter are perfect additions to your compost bin. Keep a small bucket or bag in your freezer as an odor-free way to collect kitchen waste, and empty the container into the outdoor bin when it is full.
Make your long handled garden tool into a measuring tool. You can get measuring tape and mark out the units with a black permanent marker. This works great for wood handled tools. When you need to space your plants out a particular distance, you can use your homemade measuring stick to measure the distance.
Make your own kneeling pad. Working on the ground can be very hard on your knees. A kneeling pad provides much needed cushioning, providing comfort as well as protecting your joints. If you do not have one on hand, simply find a piece of foam or an old pillow that is two to three inches in depth. Cover it with plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag to protect it from dirt and moisture and enjoy comfortable cushioning while you garden.
Plant evergreen shrubs. Certain shrubs can provide triple duty throughout the year: they bear leaves year-round, produce flowers, and sometimes have ornamental fruit that attracts birds and other wildlife. This makes them very desirable in any landscape design. Excellent varieties are Berberis, Holly, Camellia Japonica, Ceanothus, Viburnum and Skimmia. Most will survive in any conditions.
When growing vegetables try to grow vegetables that are companions to each other. This is useful in fending off pests. Certain vegetables when planted together can produce a scent that is undesirable to pests. When you grow companion plants together you will get healthier results without the use of pesticides.
Plant for fall color. A lot of gardeners see fall as the time to wind things down in the garden, but with some plants the opposite is true. Certain trees and shrubs really 'come alive' in the fall, offering vivid displays of color through their foliage. Trees and shrubs for fall color include maple, cornus, gingko, dogwood, sumac and viburnum.
Mini roses are very popular and are low maintenance. They come in many bright colors and offer a variety of interesting flower shapes. However, if you want to add a rose to your garden for the fragrance, then a mini-rose may not be a good choice because they produce little to no fragrance. If fragrance is your preference, try a larger, hybrid rose for the most intense fragrance.
When you are pruning a tree, make sure that your tools are sharp. Cutting with a dull tool can tear the bark off the tree, causing unnecessary damage to the tree. Not only that, cutting with a dull tool causes you to spend extra energy in cutting. A sharp tool will give you a cleaner cut with the least amount of effort.
A great first step to having a successful organic garden is to test the acidity of the soil in your garden. The ideal number is 6.5, if your soil is on the low end, it's too acidic and if it's on the high end it's too alkaline. Neither of those situations lends itself to a successful garden. So by purchasing a soil testing kit before planting, you will assure yourself a beautiful organic garden in the summer.
At the end of autumn, get your herbs ready to go dormant for the winter. Cut back herbs with woody stems, such as Rosemary, and bring plants that will not survive the winter indoors or into your greenhouse. Add some fresh soil or compost to your garden and then mulch your plants to protect them from freezing. Now you can enjoy your wonderful, fresh autumn herbs throughout the cold winter months ahead.