Easy Plan for Beginning Gardeners

Gardening at times can seem like an overwhelming task for an inexperienced gardener. While gardening can require getting your hands dirty occasionally, it can also be a very fun and fulfilling experience. Instead of buying your herbs, vegetables and fruits at the grocery store, you can grow them yourself outdoors. Having yourself an outdoor gardening plan can ensure that you know the source of your food. Gardening can also be used to express your creative side. Flower arrangements, trees and other species of plants can also be planted with just a minimal amount of planning.

Selecting a location is the most important step when preparing an outdoor plan for a garden. Before selecting what will be planted in the garden, you must select a location. Location determines if your future garden will be a success. Steer towards a spot outdoors that has at least 8 hours of sun. Most plants can reach their maximum maturity with 8 hours a day. If you can’t find a spot outdoors with these many hours of sun, select an alternative location with the greatest number of hours. Once your location is selected, you can decide if you’re going to plant in containers or the ground. Container plants are great for plants such as flowers and herbs, however; they often restrict the growth of plant varieties with bigger root systems. Planting directly into the ground enables plants with bigger root systems to expand and grow to their full size.

The best method of outdoor planting in the ground is by using a raised bed method. The raised bed method is easy and effective. This method works best in climates with soil unfit for planting. Raised beds can be purchased at local hardware stores or made by using wood. A boxlike frame can be assembled and filled with an external soil. Plants or seeds are then planted into the growing medium. Raised beds give plants a stable growing environment while also providing added oxygen. If you don’t plan on using a raised bed and want to plant directly into the ground, make sure to turn the soil over first. This can be done by using a rototiller or shovel. Adding in additional soil or additives such as manure, blood meal and worm castings is also a great idea for keeping your growing medium healthy.

The learning curve for container plants is easy for a beginning gardener. Whether you’re starting from seed or purchasing a starter plant, containers make perfect homes for small plants. Plants such as herbs or small fruits such as strawberries or blueberries grow great in container environments. Additional plants such as vines, ferns and other bush varieties also grow great in containers. Plants grow best when planted in black containers. Black containers absorb the heat of the sun and provide heat to the plants’ root system. This gives the plant energy through its photosynthesis process at night.

One important tip to remember when planting into the garden is to separate the plants. Different species of fruits and vegetables grow better when placed besides each other. For instance, lettuce and radishes grow great when placed next to each other, however; radishes grow slow when placed next to onion and chive plants. Research your planting combinations to ensure that they don’t clash with each other while in the garden. Another important tip to remember about container plants is to not overcrowd the container. Always check your plant spacing chart to make sure the containers are not packed with more plants that it can handle. Plants need space to grow as their roots are consistently expanding.

Essential Tasks for a Successful Fall Yard Cleanup

Fall is the time of year where families get together to tackle the landscaping jobs that must be done before winter arrives. Some homeowners know they cannot do all the jobs themselves. There are plenty of teenagers and college students around who would love to earn some extra cash and help get your chores done.

Weed, Clean and Fertilize

Start in your garden areas. They will most likely need the most work. Clean out all the weeds and leaves of the gardens. Turn the soil over now, so that in the spring the backbreaking chore will be done. The dirt is usually easier to work within the fall. Make sure you put down a fresh layer of organic fertilizer like a steer or chicken manure.

Care for Your Lawn

This is the time of year when you can lower the blades on the mower and cut your lawn lower. With the cooler temperatures, your lawn will not grow as fast. This is the best time of year to feed your lawn.

In the north, you should use a quick-release formula so that all the good nutrients have a chance to feed your lawn before the snow comes. In the warmer states where the winters are shorter with no or little freezing days, you should use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer so that your lawn will stay greener longer.

Mulch some of the leaves into your lawn. Raking helps to pull dead grass and roots that will not decompose in the winter. Raking will allow the grass to have a penetration of water more easily.

Clean Gutters

Now is the time to give your gutters a good cleaning. Get all the dead wet leaves and any dead animals out of the gutters. The fall brings a lot move leaves down and the ice can clog up the gutters fast. If they are cleaned, it will help to prevent damage to your gutters over the winter.

Mulch Your Garden

The leaves you have taken out of the garden can be mulched up and put back on the newly fertilized garden. Add a layer of straw or leaves to your beds. Protect your shrubs and trees with a layer of mulch to protect them from the freezing cold days of winter.

Fall Transplanting

Shrubs and perennials should be transplanted in the fall. Trees that need to be moved because they have outgrown their area or other reasons, should be transplanted in the fall. This is the safest time of year to do all your transplanting.

Trim Shrubs

Shrubs, trees, and plants should be cut back and trimmed in the fall. All your azaleas, hydrangeas, and rhododendrons need to be trimmed so they do not overgrow in the area they are planted.

Prep Outdoor Faucets and Garden Hoses

All your hoses should be disconnected and rolled up to be stored away neatly. Make sure you store the sprinklers and other watering devices with your hoses. To prevent the exterior water faucets from freezing, insulate all exposed pipes and faucets.

Preparing Tools

Take the time now to get all your tools ready for the spring. The mower blades need to be sharpened, tools cleaned and the garden tools need a little oil. Clean the weed eater and make sure you have spare wires if needed. Spring is just around the corner, be prepared.