Garden Tips

Take Up Gardening As A Hobby

When you are ready for a new hobby, plant a garden. Gardening will not only help you enjoy learning something new which will give you pride in your work, it can also offer great mental relief from daily stressors …

You want to pick up a new hobby but you can’t decide which one to consider? Well, here is an idea for you! Take up gardening! It is one of the best cure-alls for the mind and will enable you to pick up a new hobby, while exercising at the same time. Best of all, the end result will leave you feeling proud of your accomplishments.

If you need to get outside and become more active, gardening will give you just the opportunity you may be looking for while helping you clear your mind and breathe some fresh air all at the same time.

It is an easy hobby to begin and easy to learn. All you need is the desire to begin your garden, a few gardening tools and a place to put your garden. That’s pretty much it! Barnes and Noble offers some wonderful books on gardening which can help you start off on the right foot and if you need more help than books on gardening will provide then check out articles on the subject of gardening online.

You won’t believe how many options you will have for your gardening hobby. You can take up rose gardening, herb gardening or simply make a decision to beautify your landscape by planting all sorts of greenery in your yard. If you feel you want to really step out into the world of gardening, then consider vegetable gardening. There is simply nothing more rewarding than fresh vegetables on the dinner table straight from your garden.

When you are ready for a new hobby, plant a garden. You will enjoy learning something new which will give you pride in your work while offering great mental relief from daily stressors. You may even find you have carried around a green thumb all along!

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Garden Tips, Grow Flowers, Grow Vegetable, Pest Control

How to control Ants, Snails and Slugs

Garden Pest Control

Garden pest control is one thing you will need to get used to if you want to make gardening a pleasant and rewarding experience. You can’t avoid it.

Ants, snails and slugs are generally considered by most people as garden pests that you have to control by either killing them or discouraging them from eating your precious vegetable plants.

However, you must do that without using toxic pesticides because, as you are probably aware, we are all in an “eco-friendly” state of mind.

So, let me offer these suggestions:

Ants

Ants have their place in your garden. They aerate the soil and feed on the larvae of other insect pests. However, no matter how useful they may be, I concede that sometimes you need to control them.

The problem is it’s not so easy to find a way to do that without resorting to harmful chemical products. I have come across several methods which purport to offer non-toxic solutions in controlling or killing ants, for example borax and sugar, garlic and cayenne pepper, turmeric powder, etc.

Unfortunately, the jury is still out on many of these “solutions”. Some people swear by them, others not so much. And, unless I’m mistaken, isn’t borax poisonous?

Anyway, for me the single, most effective method to control ants is to locate the anthill and eliminate it. Kill the queen and you will disperse the colony. What you do is bait the workers with something they can’t resist, like petroleum jelly or peanut butter and follow them to the nest. Then, just pour hot water inside and all over the nest.

In saying that, I hope the ants did the right thing by building their nest on your land and not on your neighbor’s! (I’ve actually known someone who faced this dilemma).

Snails and slugs

Snails and slugs will devour your plant in one sitting. Even though they move around slowly, they are very destructive! Assuming that you’re not keen on collecting them by hand, here are a couple of ideas:

Set traps

Get a few small containers, each about 6 inches (15 cm) wide and 3 inches (7.5 cm) deep and bury them so the rim is roughly at ground level. Bury them in places where the snails and slugs are most likely to be active and half fill them with beer, wine, yeast mixed with water or a 5% sugar water solution. Now, you just wait for the snails and slugs to find your traps, slither in and drown.

Coffee Spray

I haven’t tried this one but I’ve heard it works very well. Dilute 1 part strong expresso with 10 parts water. Fill a spray bottle with this mixture and spray your seedlings and surrounding areas thoroughly. The snails and slugs will consume the caffeine and die.

By adopting non-toxic garden pest control and procedures in this way, you will ensure that you get to eat healthy, organic food which has not been exposed in any way to synthetic chemicals.

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Garden Tips, Grow Vegetable

Choosing A Good Vegetable to Grow

Choosing A Good Vegetable Gardening Guide

The purpose of a vegetable gardening guide is to make you more educated on the basics of vegetable gardening, as well as help you to get the ball rolling and produce the best vegetable garden that you possibly can …

If you are interested in getting started in vegetable gardening, then a good idea is to set a sort of vegetable gardening guide out for yourself. The purpose of this guide will be to make you more educated on the basics of vegetable gardening, as well as help you to get the ball rolling and produce the best vegetable garden that you possibly can.

healthy soil

Vegetable Gardening – Getting Started

The first step in any good vegetable gardening guide involves deciding on a size for the garden. Remember that you do not want to make it too large especially if you are just a beginner to gardening, because you may end up finding that you took on too much and become overwhelmed, which is definitely something that you do not want to do.

Keeping it simple is always the best idea, because vegetable gardening should be fun, and if you stick with a smaller sized garden, at least in the beginning, you will be less likely to feel discouraged and frustrated.

You also need to choose a site for your garden that is going to receive plenty of sunlight a day, at least six to eight hours if possible. Once you have determined where you want to place your vegetable garden then you can really get started, and now you want to remove the sod from the site. This is important because it speeds up the composting process if you rip up the sod into smaller pieces.

If you can frame the bed area then this is ideal, not only because it will help contain the water in the garden but also because it will help to keep many unwanted pests and critters out. Also the soil will warm up sooner in the spring and you will not have as big a problem with weeds.

Sowing seed is important with any garden, and here you want to start sowing as early in the season as you can. Remember that you should only grow what you and your family can eat, and then if you find that you are managing well you can always add on to your garden easily enough. What you are really trying to do here is have small successes that are going to end up building into something greater over time. Vegetable gardening can be a lot of fun and is also a great way to get outside and stay active.

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Garden Tips, Plant Propagation

An Overview Of The Six Common Means Of Plant Propagation

An understanding of how plants are propagated is essential to an understanding of gardening and nature in general …

Plant propagation can occur through any number of means. An understanding of how plants are propagated is essential to an understanding of gardening and nature in general. One should not underestimate the value of this understanding.

As William Davis, the author of Plant Propagation has noted “Plant propagation is of the greatest utility to mankind, so much do we rely on the vegetable kingdom for our sustenance, clothing, furniture-absolute needs, in fact, to say nothing of our luxuries.” Propagation is critical to humanity and an appreciation of the means utilized to propagate plants can help us to develop a better understanding of our world.

A brief overview of each propagation method is provided here:

Seed

Seed propagation is the most common means of propagation. The seeds of a given plant are sown in an appropriate medium and are treated to plant-appropriate light and water levels. Germination times vary based on the plant being seeded, as does the amount of time required before a newly propagated plant can be successfully transplanted. Some seeds will germinate more quickly when treated to a higher temperature than what the plant will likely later encounter. Thus, many propagators use special frames or “hotbeds” to assist the propagation process.

Cuttings

Cuttings are probably the most commonly used means of asexual propagation. When using cuttings, one basically clones a mother plant by severing a portion of the parent and replanting it as a new entity. The success of cutting, in large measure is determined by proper selection of a mother plant. Other factors include the quality of the cuttings and the use of an appropriate root growth medium. New cuttings must be kept in moist state, and failures in propagation using this method can often be traced to a failure to provide adequate moisture.

Layering

One propagates via layering by taking a branch or other attached outgrowth of a mother plant and compelling it to take root on its own. Subsequent development of a root structure then allows the new plant to be separated from its mother. Layering can be accomplished through any number of means, including mound and air layering techniques. Layering can also refer to natural means of propagation that do not require human intervention. Many plants will self-propagate by layering without any encouragement or action taken by an outsider.

Division

Division is the process of cutting plants into pieces in order to produce separate and distinct plants. Generally, the cuts are made along natural lines. Division can be very easy and is a reliable method for a variety of plants. Division is commonly used with bulbs and other perennials.

Spores

Spores are collected by drying the leaf of a fern that had shown pustules on its bottom. Once dry, the dusty spores can be collected from the leaf where they are then placed on a sterile medium and subjected to high-humidity circumstances encouraging the growth of a new plantlet. Often, this process takes place in an enclosed environment devoid of light or outside oxygen sources. Eventually, the new growth will reach sufficient size to be transplanted. The process of propagation via spores is unique to ferns.

Grafting / Budding

Grafting and budding are accurately described as advanced propagation techniques. In these circumstances, a propagator will take part of one plant and merge it with another host plant to form a single entity.

Grafting and budding are particularly complicated and labor intensive. Grafting, for instance, requires perfectly implemented binding of the new part with the new host. In some cases, a grafting exercise can require regular maintenance for many years before a plant is truly ready to be left “alone” subsequent to propagation. Grafting and budding, though scientifically intriguing, are not usually used by amateur propagators due to their complexity.

There are other methods of plant propagation, but the six most common methods comprise the great majority of overall efforts. Almost all propagation occurs as a result of seed, cuttings, layering, division, spores or grafting/budding.

A simple understanding of these techniques can enrich one’s appreciation and understanding for what William Davis terms “the vegetable kingdom” upon which we all rely.

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