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Gardening Tips for 3 Important Areas
Starting up a garden and maintaining it sounds like a dirty and tiresome task at first. With requirements such as seedlings, compost, insecticides, and the tedious task of digging and weeding the garden itself can make you throw in the towel and forget about gardening. It is even worse off for those with gardens that failed and dried out opting for grocery stores instead, which are highly priced and at times have stale products that are not worth the expenditure.
With simple tips and tricks, gardening is made easier. Picture getting fresh veggies straight from your backyard, pleasant flowery scents around, and the health benefits of organic products not forgetting saving up on groceries; it sounds like a nicely wrapped plan. Here are some tips and tricks used in gardening to make it as easy as pie.
Before running to get shovels and hand gloves, you can use easy to come by household items to plant your seeds indoors before the weather permits them to grow outside. This can be as simple as an eggshell, a citrus peel or a plastic soda bottle.
Planting your seedlings inside empty eggshells is not only cheap but also good for providing sufficient calcium to boost the seedlings’ growth. Once the seedlings are ready to be moved to the garden, the shells can stay on making it easier to replant.
Using citrus peels as well as pots is a clever way of planting seedlings. For example, when moving the plants to the garden, the citrus peel will turn into compost which nourishes and boosts plant growth.
Creating a mini-greenhouse from a plastic soda bottle for your seedlings helps control light and humidity for your seedlings. This can be done by using the bottom part of the bottle creating a dome to cover your little eggshell pots or citrus peels and there you have your mini-greenhouse.
Tips & Tricks
For lightly covered seedlings, gently sprinkle them with water once or twice a day to keep them moist.
Epsom salt, when used in the right quantities, helps in seed germination due to its richness in magnesium and sulphate. Adding two tablespoons of the salt into your watering can be done once or twice a month for your eggshell and citrus peel pots.
Blended eggshells – For garden soil, a mixture of blended eggshells plus the compost boosts the calcium levels in the soil. The eggshells are blended for easier absorption.
Placing a diaper at the bottom of a potted plant helps retain its moisture.
Simple Garden Layouts
Whether you have a backyard to grow out a garden or not there are simple ways of having your garden laid out to accommodate your living space.
Smart ways of using storage containers or flower pots include:
Flower pots and Storage Containers: These lightweight containers can be useful for those who require a larger garden space than flower pots. A simple and clever way to use them is by using packing peanuts and garden fabric. Fill the bottom half of the container or flower pot with packing peanuts, add a layer of garden fabric over them then the soil. This is to prevent the sinking of the soil to the This allows for good drainage, and its light nature lessens the load especially for large flower pots
For small garden spaces use cinder blocks to raise the garden bed with the holes strategically used to separate the This becomes efficient especially for narrow spaces since you can arrange them in any format creating a level place to garden.
For a big garden and especially for seasonal plants, do not worry about digging the whole garden. Simply dig a hole and place an empty plastic pot and transfer your seasonal plant to the hole. This would allow for easier transfer especially during heavy rains.
Tips & Tricks
The garden soil needs to be well mulched and changed consistently with only about a 1-inch layer of compost yearly. This is not only cost effective but also improves soil quality, increasing plant productivity.
For plants that grow in acidic soils such as Azalea and Growing Japanese Iris, coffee grounds work best.
Plants should be watered in the morning. This is advisable to prevent buildup of fungi that spore during high humidity
Using coffee filters as a lining for pots helps to reduce the loss of soil during watering.
Recycle your vegetable cooking water into the garden to fertilize your garden plants. The water used in boiling vegetables contains nutrients essential for the plants.
Organic Pest Control
With plants nice and secure in your gardens, you need to ensure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste especially with something as small as bugs. Before you think of buying harmful pesticides that might lead to more harm than good, here are some simple ways of controlling pests in your garden.
Ladybugs being one of the simplest ways, these pretty little bugs help control pests in your garden.
Encouraging earthworms in the soils increases air space in the soil, and the worm castings left behind become compost boosting the soil quality and improving plant growth leading to pest-resistant plants. Healthy soil leads to healthy plants that can withstand all pests.
The use of plant derivatives, also known as botanical insecticides, is much safer for the plants as compared to synthetics since they are biodegradable. Organic insecticides such as diatomaceous earth can also be used in gardens in place of harmful pesticides.
Homemade pesticides made from a mixture of white vinegar, table salt, and liquid dish soap works well when sprayed while exposed to direct sunlight but should only be used where plants are not affected due to their corrosive nature.
Growing parsley and fennel in your garden attracts ladybugs.
Strategically placing a few plastic forks around your plants deters pets, mostly dogs and cats, from destroying your garden
Using an empty nursery pot with holes strategically placed at the centre of the garden ensures deeper watering which is vital to ensure the plant has deep roots.
The success of your indoor plant cultivation and getting a good yield depends on several factors, including right selection of seed varieties, proportionate nutrition supply, availability of air supply and ventilation system, protection of the crops from pests using insecticides etc. To ensure that you get a fabulous final yield from your indoor garden, here are some effective guidelines that you can follow gradually as you proceed.
Once you have selected the crop variety you want to cultivate in your hydroponic garden, it is time to purchase the seeds. While purchasing the seeds, check the label on the packet for the instructions, date of packaging etc. The high quality dormant seeds can be preserved for a long time if stored under proper packaging and temperature settings. Often the seeds are sold in large packets and you will not need all of the seeds. The best way to preserve them is to place them in a waterproof zipped pouch and store them in a refrigerator. Maintain a constant temperature as per the instructions on the label.
Containers for the Plantation
If you have already set up the grow lights and other system requirements for your new hydroponic garden, then see the availability of pots, and space available for your new garden. It is advisable to start with a few pots in the beginning, for a trial run. Set the pots in the proper position so that they receive adequate amounts of light and water.
If you have acquired the cultivation manual for the particular crop, then follow the instruction provided. Some factors may vary from these instructions based on the quality of seeds you have purchased. To be more precise, follow the seed label for the details of the germination process and duration. The temperature adjustments, water supply and pH levels are all very important and have to be accurate for proper growth.
Prepare the Hydroponic Solution
Since soil is not used in hydroponics, the nutrient solution is vital for proper growth. Acquire the information about the right fertilizer supply your plants will require. Once your seedlings are ready for the planting, prepare the nutrient solution as instructed. The nutrients to be added will depend on the crop you want to grow. To begin, keep the concentration of fertilizers lower with a higher proportion of water. The pH level of the solution is generally maintained between 5.5 and 6.5.
Since there is no soil, you can use a substitute growing medium like clay pellets etc. Take the transplanting pots and place the clay pellets inside. Place the seedlings carefully in the pot so that the roots are able to receive the nutrients from your hydroponics reservoir.
Note: The water will keep evaporating continuously, so the pH balance will fluctuate accordingly. To maintain the right pH balance, keep checking the pH measurement of the solution using pH testers. Keep adding water or nutrients based on the nutrients instructions. Most reservoirs are replaced once a week, however this varies due to many factors which we will cover in future articles.
Diseases and Pest Control
As the plants grows, there will be pest attacks or problems of plant diseases if proper care is not taken. There are several pest control solutions available such as neem based products that can be supplied to the plants to ensure proper resistance. As well, you might consider adding natural predators to your garden which are very effective in keeping a healthy and happy indoor garden.
Keep checking your plants from time to time to detect the problems (if any). Root rotting can occur during the final stage of the cultivation process. Therefore, ensure that you follow the harvesting instructions. Do not delay the harvest as this can damage the plants.
Once the harvesting process is over, wash the pots and reservoir properly to flush out the residue. Sterilization is also very important. You can use peroxide or a mild bleach solution to sterilize the containers. This will kill any mold and bacterial growth in the containers. The properly sterilized and dried containers will then be preserved for next crop.