|Lawn Care For Busy People|
Vegetable Growing for Beginners
If you have never grown vegetables before the first thing that you need to decide is where to plant them in your garden. Most vegetables need 6-8 hours of sunlight a day although greens can manage with less. Choose a site in an area that will not be shaded by buildings or trees and one that is near to a water supply. You will not want to have to cart water any further than absolutely necessary. Protect the site with a fence to keep out dogs, rabbits and other animals which can damage your crops.
To grow vegetables successfully the soil needs to be fertile, deep, friable and well drained. Unless you are very fortunate your soil is unlikely to meet these criteria, but over a period of time you will be able to increase the fertility of the soil by following good cultivation practices.
The first task is to dig over the whole of your site. Dig to a depth of 8-10 inches and continue working the soil making it loose and friable. Do not dig when the soil is too wet. How do you know? Squeeze together a handful of soil. If it sticks together in a ball and does not readily crumble under slight pressure by the thumb and finger, it is too wet.
The soil will be improved by the addition of organic matter. It helps release nitrogen, minerals, and other nutrients for plant use when it decays. Well-rotted compost or manure can be dug into the soil. Alternatively a mulch of partially rotted straw, compost or crop residue on the soil helps keep the soil surface in good condition, slows water evaporation from the soil, and suppresses weeds.
Before you you start to plant your seeds there is one futher consideration - the layout of your beds. The standard practice has been to plant your crops in rows some eighteen inches apart or just wide enough to allow you room to walk between the rows. This means that every time you walk on the land your soil is being slightly compacted. The alternative is to create a raised or wide bed. In this method you divide your site into a number of beds about four feet wide with a narrow path in between. This allows you to reach the center of the bed from either side without treading on the soil.
If you grow the same crop year after year in the same bed, there is an increased risk of disease infecting your crops. To minimise the risk you should avoid planting crops of the same family in the same soil for three seasons. You can achieve this by having a four bed rotation and moving the crops on to the next bed each year.
When choosing seeds it makes sense to choose disease resistant varieties where these are available. Saving your own seed is not always a good idea for at least two reasons. Firstly because seed saved from plants grown from hybrid seed will not come true, and secondly your home saved seed may have become cross-pollinated from other crops grown on your land.
In the warmer parts of the United States most seeds can be sown directly into the beds. You will have to cultivate the soil to a fine tilth and then sow the seeds at the depth recommended on the packet. In cooler areas, or where you want early crops, seeds will need to be sown in trays or flats indoors. Overhead light, either natural or artificial using flourescent tubes, and warmth is needed to ensure satisfactory germination and growth. Before they can be planted out in the beds, the seedlings have to be hardened off by placing them outside for longer periods each day so that they become accustomed to the outdoor temperature.
Once your crops are all planted out in the beds they will require regular watering, weeding and fertilizing. On average your plants will need one inch of water a week. If this is not provided by rainfall, you will have to make up the difference. It is better to give the garden a good soaking once a week rather than applying small amounts of water every other day. The best time to water is early in the morning. Hoe your beds regularly to control the weeds and leave the soil in a loose, friable condition to absorb later rainfall.
If you follow this advice, you should be rewarded with a fine crop of vegetables which will be far fresher and tastier than any that you buy from your local supermarket.
Hugh Harris-Evans is the owner of The Garden Supplies Advisor where you will find further articles, gardening tips and product reviews.
Vermicomposting - Worm Composters For Eco-Friendly Waste Disposal and Recycling
Worms are not only the gardener's best friend, they are also the recycler's new found best friend as well. Nature's little waste disposal experts have found a new place in eco-conscious household's across the globe as more and more people are catching on to the idea of using worms' special talents to dispose of their organic household waste. If you have ever pondered on the idea or are in the least bit interested in giving your world environment a helping hand then you might like to delve a little deeper into the world of worms...
How To Grow Luscious Tomatoes
The tomato is the most commonly grown vegetable in the States. Here are some tips on how to grow your own bountiful crop of tomatoes.
Feed the Birds
Elaborate and decorative or simple and functional, birdhouses and birdfeeders are lovingly coveted by many people (and birds)!
Avoiding Unsightly Algae
Excessive organic matter in the pond provides nutrients for algae, contributing to its growth. Algae can obscure the view of colorful fish, and more dangerously, it robs the water of valuable oxygen and releases harmful pollutants.
Simple Lawnmower Maintenance
Do you have trouble starting your lawnmower up in the spring? Before deciding to take your lawnmower in for repair, try these few simple suggestions. After completing them most of the time your lawnmower will fire up and run like a champ.
Buying Teak Wood Furniture Responsibly
Teak has many qualities that make the indoor and outdoor furniture made out of this a coveted high value asset. They last for generations. The durable nature is due to the hard grain nature of the tree. These are a high demand items in many parts of the world. The prices are sky-rocketing and unless you get it from the source you are going to pay a huge price to add this to your Home Collection. The products made out of teak wood have a pleasant smell unlike other untreated wooden furniture. The hard nature of the wood makes it easier to work with by the craftsman creating unique patterns and designs. You could have come across the priced museum collections of old south Asian kingdom there is teak in most of them. This has the ability to create smooth patterns and complex designs because of the properties of the wood. They don't create splinters like other wood and hence the furniture is safe. The smooth finishes created by the craftsmen can be enjoyed by many generations as it is more resistant to rot and other damages.
Water Pond Designs
You can have different water pond designs, however ones that don't restrict water movement are the best. What I mean by that is you don't want to have a backyard pond with tight corners in it where it will be hard for water to circulate.
High Intensity Discharge Grow Light (Generic)
HID lamps are categorized in three groups :Mercury Vapor , Metal Halide, and Pressurized Sodium. For plant cultivation, Metal Halide (MH) or Pressurized Sodium (HPS and LPS) are the ones commonly used in grow rooms.Mercury Vapor - Mercury Vapor lamps are common, but they are not the most energy efficient for lighting plants or anything else. Mercury Vapor lamps have an average life of 24,000 hours. A black coating that deposits it's self on the inside of the bulb decrease light output after a significant amount of use.
Organic or Chemical Feeding of Plants - Whats Best
A fundamental question in vegetable gardening is - what is the proper use of organic and/or chemical materials? Let's determine the truth of the matter, with four basic principles and a few brief examples from Dr. Jacob R. Mittleider's worldwide experience.
Patio Design ? Expanding Your Home Outdoors
A patio design can be as elaborate or as straightforward as you want it to be. Patios can be arranged in any shape and size and can be refreshed regularly just like the interior of your home. Outdoor entertaining is an increasing pastime ? enjoy it with family and friends!
Mosquitoes in Your Garden? Try Planting These
If you are a serious gardener, you spend lots of time outdoors. And, for sure, you would rather be tending your plants than swatting mosquitoes.
5 Simple Steps To Dividing Your Hardy Water Lilies
If you missed the springtime window of opportunity to divide your hardy water lilies, don't worry, it's not too late. Although springtime is the best time, you've actually got the entire normal growing season to get it done.
Garden for Birds #4
I would like to know.....................
How To Attract Hummingbirds
Yes! You can attract hummingbirds to your home. Even if you live in the middle of the city, and even if you've never had any luck getting them to come in the past.
When to Plant Vegetaibles
Planting times for vegetables and other annual plants vary from species to species. In much of the United States the prime consideration is the date of the last spring frost/freeze. Many vegetables can be planted up to four weeks before the last frost, while others need to wait until a couple of weeks after the frost.
Here is Why You Should Use Gypsum in Gardening
Do you have clay or layer of hard subsoil problems in your garden? Then gypsum may be the answer to help loosen the soil structure. It is not considered a miracle substance and you will find that it doesn't work right away, but a 3 year program of applications should help improve the poor soil conditions. It is not expensive and is easy to spread where needed.
Protecting your Garden Pond from Pesky Predators
Notice any fish disappearing lately? While herons are present year-round, water gardeners notice the challenges they bring to the pond in spring and early summer when herons feed their young.
Guide to Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance
Trying to start your lawn mower after a long winter can be very frustrating. Performing a few routine maintenance tasks before you store your lawn mower for the winter can save you time in the spring, prolong the life of your lawn mower, and save you money over the long run. Even if you have already put your lawn mower into storage for the winter, a few simple maintenance tasks performed before starting your lawn mower in the spring can be very beneficial.
Build A Simple Planter Box
Love flowers, but don't have the space -- or the desire -- to plant a garden? You may want to try making your own flower box, which can be just about any size you wish. This planter box is built with a top and a bottom exterior frame; then you affix cedar panels to the frame and add bottom panels. After that, just add plants for a touch of spring anywhere you want to put it! Expert tip: Always draw a diagram before you build anything. Remember: If you can't draw it, you can't build it! You don't have to be Leonardo Divinci, just that YOU can read it!! Your diagram will be useful in helping you determine the size of your project and the amount of lumber you'll need. Simply take the finished diagram with you when you go shopping, and you'll be sure to get everything your project requires. Materials:
How to Grow Apples
The first thing you need to grow apples is a long-term commitment. Growing apples takes considerable time and quite a bit of work. Still, if one of your fondest childhood memories is the apple tree in your backyard, producing your own apples is a satisfying part of gardening.
|home | site map|