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Tips For Spring Gardening

Tips For Spring Gardening
Tips For Spring Gardening

It happens every year. One day it’s blustery, bleak, and cold, and the next it’s warm and sunny. You want to begin spring gardening, but you didn’t prepare like you should have. What do you do? It’s easy.

Spring gardening can be a fun and relaxing activity, especially if it’s done correctly. By following these simple tips, you will make the most out of spring gardening.

The first step to spring gardening is sharpening your tools. Go early and have all your tools, such as shovels, hoes, and pruning shears sharpened to a fine edge.

You may even want to splurge on buying a second, well-sharpened blade for your lawnmower. That way you will have a spare if the one currently on your lawnmower needs to be taken to be sharpened. A sharp mower blade is very important is you want to have a beautiful lawn. Dull blades can injure your grass and allow disease to creep in, which can be costly in the long run to correct.

If you plan to put in a new lawn or plant bed, or if you had problems getting things to grow properly last year, you may want to call for soil testing. A soil test will tell you exactly what type of fertilizers and/or soil conditioners are needed to assure your yard looks the best it can.

A very helpful tip for spring gardening, especially if you need a little help getting your yard into shape, is contacting landscaping professionals early. The later in the season you call, the better your chances are of having to be put on a waiting list.

You may also want to make arrangements early to buy sod or for sod delivery if you plan to put in a new lawn. You should choose only moist rolls. Any that have dry roots or yellowed turf are no good.

Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of plants during spring gardening. You can write down what was a success last year, what was a failure, and what plants should be moved with the change of seasons. It will not only prove useful this year, but also next year when you may not remember all of the small details.

A definite must is throwing away any outdated chemicals. Following the instructions are the label are easy. Also check to make sure those you are keeping are stored where children and pets cannot get to them.

Tilling the soil where you plan to begin your spring gardening is important. Your soil should contain no ice crystals. Handfuls of the soil should easily crumble.

When should you begin planting? This frequently asked question can easily be answered. Weather, soil conditions, and what you are going to plant are the answers.

Lastly, while engaging in spring gardening you have to remember to prune. Since, for some plants, the flowers that will come up next year have set within 10 days of the end of a bloom, timing is very important.

Now that you know what to do, your spring gardening won’t be so much of a chore, but more of a pleasure.

How to Plant a Gardening Container Or Gardening Pots In Your Container Garden

How to Plant a Gardening Container Or Gardening Pots In Your Container Garden
How to Plant a Gardening Container Or Gardening Pots In Your Container Garden

When you are ready to mix ingredients for your container garden, be sure the soil is damp and workable. To determine this, take a handful, squeeze it and allow it to drop. If water comes out, it is too wet; if it breaks apart, it is too dry. But if the lump of soil retains its shape or cracks just a little when it is dropped, it is in good condition to work into your gardening pots.

Be certain your garden containers are clean when you start. Soak used or new clay gardening pots overnight so they will not draw moisture from the soil after planting. This is a very important step when you are beginning your plants life. If the pot draws off the moisture the new plant will be deprived. Clean dirty clay pots with a stiff brush and hot, soapy water. Clean gardening pots will be much more attractive in your container garden.

Though redwood, cedar, and cypress gardening pots may be left natural, they may also be stained or painted. First clean the surfaces then apply one or two coats of stain or paint. Let dry completely before planting. Concrete, metal, plastic, fiberglass, and similar materials all need cleaning before planting your container garden.

Suiting plants to garden pots is very important in container garden design. Consider the shape of each container, its color, and texture in relation to the color of flowers and foliage, as well as the ultimate size of each plant in your container garden. Don’t choose material that is too small, and if you want a group of plants for a large container, select one tall specimen for the center to give height and scale. Donít forget that you can plant vegetables in container gardens; try to incorporate them into your container garden design. And, for a tasty addition to your container garden plant herbs in garden containers or even hanging baskets, your recipes will become marvelous.

In low pots or bulb pans and in tubs, use low-growing plants like fancy-leaved caladiums, petunias, verbenas, Iantanas, ageratum and wax begonias. Hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils are also appropriate. In tall containers, plant specimens of geraniums, heliotropes, coleus, balsam, dwarf dahlias, fuchsias, and marguerites. Reserve the larger container pots and boxes for trees and shrubs or roses.

As a gardener, keep in mind the form of plants, particularly the evergreens which stand out boldly in winter. Rounded types, as clipped yews or globe arborvitae, look well in angular containers. Hollies or yews, sheared into squares or pyramids, look better in circular tubs. This contrast of the curving with the straight always gives interest to the garden and those guests that visit your container garden.

The first step in potting for a gardener is to place sufficient drainage material in the bottom of each garden container, allowing the water to pass through freely, but not so much as to interfere with the roots. An inch or two of flower pot pieces (rounded sides up), or chips of brick or flagstone, pebbles, gravel, small stones, or cinders can be used. The larger the container, the larger the pieces should be. Some gardeners spread a piece of coarse burlap and a layer of sand over large drainage pieces. A layer of Vermiculite or sphagnum moss over the drainage material is also fine to keep soil from clogging holes. If the holes clog the roots will drown in their gardening pot.

Above the drainage, spread a layer of soil, the amount depending on the size of the container and the root ball of the plant. Place the plant in position so that the surface of the soil will be an inch (more for big plants) below the rim of the container. This space is needed to hold water.

Fill soil in around the roots, firming gently with your fingers or a piece of wood so as to eliminate air pockets. Add more soil and firm, but do not make the soil too tight for fine feeding roots must be able to penetrate it with ease.

Finally, water your garden container plants well, let them drain. If water passes through the gardening pot very rapidly, press soil again to firm it; that means there are air pockets. If the soil holds water too long, loosen it a little.

Place the container garden in a sheltered spot out of sun and wind for the first week while they make new root growth and adjust to new conditions. This also helps to avoid shock. Once your plants have settled in, you ready to arrange your container garden according to your original container gardening design.

Happy Container Gardening!

Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at http://www.GardeningHerb.com http://www.CruiseTravelDirectory.com and http://www.ContainerGardeningSecrets.com or contact her at mary@webmarketingreviews

Getting Started in Container Gardening

Getting Started in Container Gardening
Getting Started in Container Gardening

Sometimes, the urge to garden might be stomped out by other circumstances, such as living arrangements or space constrictions. If you live in an apartment, you can’t really operate a full garden, just because you don’t really have a yard! I think that one of the best solutions for this problem is to grow plants in containers. You can hang these, or just
arrange them on your patio, window sill or balcony. Just a few baskets or pots, and your whole living area will look much classier and nicer.

A benefit of growing in small containers is the fact that you can move them around to suit your needs. If you rearrange your furniture and you think that it would look nicer if it was in the other area, it’s no trouble at all to scoot it over. As long as the lighting is about the same, your plant shouldn’t mind the transition at all. Another benefit of the containers versatility is the fact that you can adapt it to simulate any environment depending on the type of soil you fill it with and where you place it.

If you are trying to make an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of containers and plants, you can adjust the containers to be at different heights by hanging them from the ceiling or placing them on supports. Hanging them will allow you to make the most of the space you have. This is called vertical gardening. If you pull it off right, you can make a very pleasing arrangement of plants while conserving your valuable space. If you live in an apartment, you know how important it is to conserve space! One method of vertical gardening is the use of a wooden step ladder. If painted correctly, you can arrange all the plants on it in a beautiful, stylish cascade of color.

The maintenance of container plants takes slightly more time, since you have to water more often and go around to each individual container. However, the square footage for container plants is much less than that of an actual garden, so the time spent on maintenance and watering is more balanced. It is important that you don’t over-water your container plants, as this can be just as fatal to their health as under-watering.

When choosing containers for your plants, you’ll want to buy them all at once along with some extras in case they break or you add more plants later. You don’t want them to be all the same shape and size, but definitely the same style so that the compliment each other. Plastic containers are the best and require the least amount of watering, but if you want to stick with clay or earthen pots then you should line the inside with plastic. This helps it retain water more, as the clay will soak up water.

Another thing to remember when buying pots is the fact that the size of the pot will ultimately constrict the size of the plant. Make a careful choice of pots according to what you wish to grow in each one. If you search for the plant you chose on the internet, you should be able to find specifications as to how much root space it should be given. This can even be an advantage for you if you choose a plant that can grow very large. If you only have a limited amount of space for it, you can constrict it by choosing a pot that isn’t large enough to support huge amounts of growth.

If the benefits of container gardening sound appealing to you, then you should start planning out your container garden today. If you write a list of all the plants you desire to have, you can do the necessary research to find out what size and shape of pots you should get. After that, it’s just a matter of arranging them in a way that makes your home look the nicest

Easy Butterfly Gardening: Three Tips for Success

Easy Butterfly Gardening_ Three Tips for Success
Easy Butterfly Gardening_ Three Tips for Success

Butterfly gardens require several things to be successful: plants, water, and the right gardening attitude.

We can easily create lists of plants that butterflies love. Consider planting Asters, Joe-Pye weed, Black-eyed Susans, Lantana, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Liatris, Pentas, Coreopsis and Purple Coneflowers. These are gorgeous plants and butterflies will flock to them in large numbers.

Gardeners can easily provide water by soaking the ground in an area next to favorite plants or by having small dishes/birdbaths with water in the garden. By providing water, you’ll attract butterflies. If you have a small pond, lay a stick on the edge so one end is in the water and one end on the shore. This will provide an easy entrance way for both butterflies and frogs. It also looks more realistic than bare edged ponds.

And finally, we need to create a gardening attitude that says that in order to get those gorgeous butterflies, we need to feed the caterpillars that hatch out to be butterflies. It is OK to plant specific plants these immature insects require and it is OK if they chew them up. You have to have food in your garden for all phases of this creature if you want to attract them. The tip is to plant the following plants at the back of the garden so you wont see the damage. Plant Wild Asters, Clover, Hollyhocks, Lupines, Mallows, Marigolds, Milkweed, Nettles and Thistles, Parsley, Passionflower (in baskets) Plantain, Snapdragons, Sorrel, Turtlehead and Violets.

Container Gardening Tips For New Gardeners

Container Gardening Tips For New Gardeners
Container Gardening Tips For New Gardeners

Container gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby that is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. Not only is it relaxing and enjoyable, but you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re growing your own plants and you know where they came from! With more and more stories on the news about various outbreaks of food poisoning from things like lettuce and green onions, many people are finding it important to start growing as much of their own produce as possible.

Many people are afraid to deal with container gardening. They think it is too difficult or too expensive. On the contrary, it is actually very easy and can be quite inexpensive! Here we explore the ease of setting up your first container garden, as well as the expenses involved.

We’re going to walk you through the process of setting up your first container garden. In this example, we will be growing some basil.

Step One: Purchase your container gardening supplies. You will need the following items for this example. Three plastic pots with drainage holes in the bottom, preferably with trays underneath to catch soil and water drainage, about 5-6 inches in diameter, and 5-6 inches deep, one packet of basil seeds, one small bag of organic compost, one small bag of peat moss, one small garden trowel, one small watering can or clean spray bottle, and one very sunny windowsill (or a florescent or halogen grow light if no sunny window is available.) The total cost for these materials will be somewhere around $20 or less if you have a sunny windowsill. If you need a grow light, that will cost an additional $15-$20.

Step Two: Prepare the soil. Mix together 1 part peat moss with 5 parts compost. (For every one trowel full of peat moss, put in 5 trowels full of compost.) Fill the three pots up to about Ω inch from the top with this mixture.

Step Three: Plant the seeds. Simply make a hole about 1 inch deep in the center of each pot with your finger. Put about three seeds into each hole. Then cover the seeds with soil. Water lightly and place in the windowsill or under a grow light. Once the seeds sprout and reach about 2 inches in height, remove any extra sprouts so that you only have one plant in each pot.

Step Four: In order to care for your plants, all you need to do is water them regularly and keep them maintained. Check the soil daily for moisture. Whenever the soil feels dry, water lightly. To maintain the bushy growth, pinch off the tops of each stem every couple of weeks and remove any flower stalks as soon as you see them growing.

That’s it! It’s really that simple to start a container garden. In this example, we planted basil, but you can apply this method to practically any herb, small vegetable, or flower, with only minor modifications.

How To Use Feng Shui Outside Your Home

How to use Feng ShuiOutside your Home
How to use Feng Shui Outside your Home

It is fun to decorate your own house but sometimes, simple decorating can even lead to a very bad Feng Shui. It is understandable that we like to decorate our house to reflect our mood and taste; however, we will like to let you know some of the basic points to cover when decorating your house. The suggestions below are not a complete list of Feng Shui in your home but merely some essential steps to improve the Feng Shui in your house.

First, go to your house’s main entry and stand facing out from your house. Make sure that there is no Poison Arrow pointing to your main entrance. Poison Arrow can come in many forms. It could be a straight road heading straight to your house or a big tree directly outside your house. If you are facing this situation, you should relocate your main door away from this poison arrow or simply just plant a few trees to block this poising arrow.

From the back door, if the land at the back of your house is higher, that is good for you because you have the support of the Black Turtle. If there is a hill behind your house, that is excellent. If the land behind your house is low, if you are on a hill top for example then you need to install a bright light and shine it upwards to lift the receding Chi energy. You should also place a tortoise at the back of your house if possible.

Looking out from your main door, the land on your left side garden should be higher then the right side. The left side symbolizes Dragon and the right side represents Tiger. You should not let the Tiger be stronger then the Dragon or it will create problems for you in your house like arguing, family disagreement and so on. To rectify this, try to plant tall trees on your left hand side of the garden so the Dragon energy can be stronger then the Tiger. You should also plant a lot of leafy trees on the left hand side of your garden. Try not to have a garden water feature on your right hand side of your garden especially if you are married. By having water fountain on your side of the garden, it may cause a lot of married issues like sex scandals and third party relationships.

When you are opening your house main entrance door, there should be no mirror facing the main door. This is to prevent good energy, luck and wealth from flowing out again. It is also not good when your back door is facing the main door in a straight-line method. This has the same effect as a mirror. Good energy will flow into your house and then flow out from your back door. You need to capture this good energy in your house and donít let them flow out from your house..