Gardening, be it for shrubs, trees, flowers, or vegetables, can be a very relaxing and rewarding activity. The smell of the dirt under our fingers as you plant seeds and pull up weeds, the thrill of the watching the tiny plants start to come up, and the pleasure you take in the results of your efforts, all make gardening an affordable and pleasurable past time. here’s a few useful pointers.
When it is spring and time to plant, do you have a hard time remembering what your gardens looked like the year before so that you know where to plant your new bulbs? This year, take pictures of your spring garden, and in the fall have a look at them. If you see a place in the yard that is bare and in need of a new daffodil, you can be confident on where to plant the new bulbs!
Grow evergreen plants. If you grow too many evergreen plants, your garden runs the risk of looking very gloomy, but a few well-placed evergreens can give a year-round framework. Choose evergreen plants with variegated or lighter green foliage, rather than sticking to darker colors. They can be used as a backdrop for spring and summer plants, and be the main attraction in the fall and winter.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
Fall is the time of year to start planting those bulbs that produce the beautiful flowers that herald the beginning of spring. These types of spring flowers are easy to grow and can reward you with many years of gorgeous blooms. These bulbs need to be planted a few weeks before the first hard freeze in order to get their root system growing so they can survive the cold winter.
Check your store bought soil for pests. If you buy from big home improvement stores, your soil may have pests such as aphids. To kill the insects and their larvae, put the soil in a metal baking pan and place it covered in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool before using.
Create warmth with golden or yellow foliage. Visual vibrancy and warmth exudes from golden and yellow-leaved foliage. They are particularly effective in shady locations, giving the illusion of light and depth. They coordinate beautifully with purple flowers or deep bronze foliage. Good choices include Caryopteris ‘Worcester Gold’, Viburnum ‘Aureum’, various Hostas and Spirea ‘Gold Flame’.
Gardening is a pastime that really gives back. It brings benefits to ourselves, to our family, and to our planet. So, turn your thoughts to outside, and to the pleasure to be had by tending our own piece of the earth, and work on that garden!