Have you ever tried to grow your own vegetables in a backyard garden? With the growing trend to become self-sustaining and lead a "greener" lifestyle, many people have found ways to provide their own vegetables, fruit and eggs, right from their own backyard efforts. Living off the land is not as difficult as you think, it just takes a little bit of knowledge, some space and a couple of seed packets to get started.
It is important to do your homework so you choose plants that produce higher yields. In most circumstances, a cold-tolerant or disease-resistant hybrid will have a higher yield when compared to a more traditional variety.
Protect your seedlings from frost with clay pots. Early spring is a perilous time for a new garden. You want to get your plants going as soon as possible to ensure plenty of grow time, but a single frost can wipe out your fragile seedlings. To protect your tiny plants from frost at night, simply place a small, upside down clay pot on each seedling. They will insulate from the cold and protect from the wind.
During the hot season, water your lawn a couple of hours before the sun rises. If you water during the day, much of the water will evaporate before it gets a chance to be absorbed into the ground. When you water before the sunrise, the water will have a chance to go deep into the soil, allowing the roots to absorb the water.
Pay attention to zones when choosing plants for your garden. Most plants will come with the zone marked. This is also true of seeds. Make sure the zone corresponds to your growing zone. Though plants may grow outside of their usual zone, they are less likely to be hardy plants.
Use water efficiently as possible. One of the most precious resources in the world today is fresh water. It just cannot be wasted, so the use of mulch and soaker hoses are an efficient way to minimize the impact of the garden on the water supply. Consider having a rain barrel near the garden to capture and save rainwater for a minimal impact garden.
Find out if the plants you have in your garden have special fertilizer needs. Some plants like slow-release fertilizers, while others prefer nitrogen-rich foods. Most like to be fertilized during the high point of their growing season. A little education will go a long way to improving your garden.
Create a certain mood for your garden. Just as with interior design, one of the most exciting aspects of garden design is using color to create a mood or feeling. Use soft blues and purples for a cool and soothing atmosphere, yellows for cheerfulness, and reds and oranges to create excitement. If you are uncomfortable when deciding on colors, choose plants with grey-green or silvery foliage to mix in with your flowers. They will act as a 'buffer' between incompatible colors and link different color schemes.
Consider using weed-control cloth in your garden. Weeds cause a tremendous amount of work for any gardener. While the cloth is not the most attractive option, it does its job. If you place strips of the material in between the rows of your garden, it will keep out the vast majority of the weeds.
To make a homemade watering can, use an old bottle of detergent! Simply drill holes in the lid of the cap and be sure the bottle has been cleaned thoroughly. The thickness of a detergent container will make this a very sturdy watering can and the handle will allow you to use it with ease.
Using mulch is helpful to plants that are located in extreme heat. The best mulch to use is wood mulch because it holds in moisture and helps drown out the weeds. Wood mulch also adds nutrients to the dirt as it decomposes. Rock is used for mulch as well, however, rock does not retain moisture as well as wood mulch.
If you're planting crops that need an abundant amount of sunshine, then plant miniature gardens wherever the sun shines most. If you have plants that need more than six hours of sunlight, group them together in small plots throughout your yard. If your patio or deck receives the most amount of sunshine, plant your crops in appropriately sized containers and place them in the brightest spot you can find.
Use plants that work together. Some plants take nutrients away from the soil while others fixate those same-lost nutrients. Traditionally, vegetables are planted with a crop rotation because of the ability of certain crops to replenish the natural nitrogen in the ground. However, you may be able to take advantage of this knowledge by pairing up "companion plants".
Make bloom-times overlap. Plant both early and late blooming plants next to each other, so that you have flowers all season long. Shallow-rooted annuals can be planted around deep-planted spring bulbs - when the bulbs die down, the annuals will just be coming into flower. For each season, choose one outstanding plant to serve as the key flower. Plant in drifts throughout the bed, and fill in with secondary flowers.
Discourage deer in your garden. Deer love chewing on vegetables, roses, fruit trees, juniper, and holly. They can decimate a garden in a single day if given the chance! While people tend to favor an electric fence to discourage deer, there are certain things you can do that don't involve unnecessary pain. Fill bags with human or dog hair, dried blood meal, or fish heads. Attach to the perimeter of your property, or to specific plants that could be eaten. Alternatively, make a spray of two egg yolks mixed with one quart of water and spray fruit trees liberally. For some reason, this seems to work!
Hopefully, these tips have provided you with some very valuable information, as well as given you a way to organize all of the thoughts and information you may have already had on gardening. Keeping these tips in mind when you start growing your garden can help you to one day become a very successful gardener.