Gardening Tips A-Z

There has been a surge of interest and desire towards gardening in recent times. Gardening can most times be a daunting task due to the commitment and time involved. However, with a little bit of planning, patience, and these very helpful gardening tips[1], you will be able to enjoy a flourishing garden of your own. But first, what’s a garden?

Garden is a piece of property near or around our house where various fruits, flowers, vegetables, and so on are cultivated. A garden is usually split into various parts. Each section is divided into beds and every bed is surrounded by an earthen uplift. In distinct seasons, people raise different types of vegetables, trees, and shrubs too. Gardening, on the other hand, is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture.

Brief History Of Gardening

The oldest form of gardening is the forest-based food production system which originated in prehistoric times along jungle-clad river banks and the wet foothills of monsoon regions. It was as a result of families trying to improve their immediate environment by growing and protecting useful tress and vine species while getting rid of undesirable species.

After the emergence of the first civilization, the rich and the middle-class individuals all over the world began to create a garden for aesthetic purposes. For example, the Egyptians used gardens for providing shade and are seen as a sign of higher socioeconomic status. Assyria was also renowned for its beautiful gardens, some were used as a game reserve while others were used as leisure gardens.

The middle-age represented a period of decline in gardens for aesthetic purposes. Gardening was done to grow medicinal herbs and vegetables. During the next two centuries, Europeans started planting lawns and raising flowerbeds and trellises of roses. Fruits trees were common in these gardens. At this same time, the gardens in the monasteries were a place to grow flowers and medicinal herbs and there was also space where the monks could enjoy nature and relax.

What Are The Types Of Gardening?

  • Indoor Gardening

This has to do with the growth of house plants within a residence.

  • Water Gardening

This is concerned with growing plants adapted to pools and ponds or even within an aquarium tank. They require special conditions and considerations.

  • Container Gardening

This has to do with growing plants in any type of container either indoors or outdoors. It is usually seen on rooftops, balconies and living rooms as a form of decoration.

  • Community Gardening

It is a land gardened by a group of people providing access to fresh produce and plants as well as a sense of community and connection to the environment.

 

Why Is Gardening Important?

Whether we like it or not, gardening is one of the most beneficial activities of human existence. These are some of the reasons why;

  • Gardening provides healthy food. We all know that fruits and vegetables are the life source of a healthy body because they contain minerals and vitamins needed for our growth and survival.
  • Gardening is a great form of physical exercise which is good for our minds and body. According to recent research, gardening helps to reduce the risk of stroke, burns calories and reduces the risk of heart diseases and other life-threatening diseases.
  • Gardening has a way of making meaning out of our lives and allows us to see the beauty of nature.
  • Growing your fruits and veggies gives you more control over the amount of chemical your plants will be exposed to.
  • It reduces your bills at the grocery store!

Now that we all have a little idea about gardening, let’s dig right into some gardening tips that will help us achieve that perfect and healthy-looking garden you have always dreamed of. These gardening tips are great for a healthy garden.

Gardening Tips

  • Apply The Right Fertilizer

You need to be very careful when fertilizing plants as too much fertilizer can burn the roots reducing their ability to absorb water. This can make the plant prone to stress from drought, cold, and heat.

  • Brainstorm New Ideas To Improve Your Garden Environment

Many a time, one must think of new ways to get an improved result based on your garden environment. Not all solutions are to be searched for on the internet, some solutions must come from within, and then applied.

  • Choose And Site Plants Appropriately

Successful gardening is based on using plants appropriate for your zone and site. It’s very important to understand your plants and there growing conditions. This means putting sun-loving plants into a sunny spot and giving plants like pumpkins and melons ample elbow to climb. And if the plant needs partial shade, make sure they get it even if it means creating it artificially. Make your research and pick varieties that will grow well where you live and in the space you have.

  • Don’t Crowd The Plants

The spacing of plants is very important as crowded plants create their humidity, which allows diseases like powdery mildew to thrive. Plants that are spaced too closely together tend to grow poorly due to competition for light, water, and nutrients. Give the plants breathing space!

  • Examine Plants Carefully Before Buying

The best way to eliminate diseases in your garden is to avoid introducing them in the first place. Getting a disease with a new plant is not the kind of thing any of us would want. It is important to make research on any plant you want to buy to see what a healthy specimen looks like. Always inspect the tops of the plant, the root quality too.

  • Follow The Sun

We cannot underestimate the importance of sunlight to plants. Misjudging the sun is a common mistake people make. Pay apt attention to how the sunlight plays through your yard before choosing a spot for your garden. Most of our edible plants like vegetables, herbs, and fruits need at least 6 hours of sunlight to thrive.

  • Grow The Right Plants For Your Soil

Be sure of your soil type before you buy any plant. Is it light and sandy, or heavy and clay? Many plants thrive better in one type than the other.

  • Harvest Your Edibles As They Ripen

The statement is very clear! You must monitor your plants and harvest as soon as they ripen. You do not want the little animals around to beat you to it. It also gives space for the upcoming fruits to ripen too.

  • Improve The Soil

Plants will always benefit from nutrient-packed soil. Improving the quality of your soil is not as difficult as you may think. Get compost and put into 8-12 inches (20-30cm) of the soil with a spade or fork. The compost will be broken down over a few months, so the best time to do this is either during winter or at the beginning of spring.

  • Just Have Fun With Your Plants

Allow yourself to experiment and try new things now and then, the outcome may be awesome!

  • Keep Your Pets Away From The Garden

Those little ones can be very mischievous at times. You do not want them messing around in your garden and damaging your plants.

  • Prune Your Plants

Learn to prune your plants properly and at the appropriate time.

  • Never Underestimate Those Mulch

Mulch is your friend! Whether you are growing in a pot or a garden bed, mulch will help keep moisture in the soil by slowing evaporation. It will also reduce weeds by blocking light to weed seeds that may have been laying around on your soil before you planted. Straw, compost and coffee grounds make great mulches.

  • Organic Matters

Buying organic means that you can rest assured that your plants are free from persistent pesticides and will produce a healthy seed. Fertilizer is not always the best answer in all cases; soil quality is. Go for organic amendments such as compost and well-aged manure to your soil. If you choose fertilizer, then make use of an organic one to add nitrogen, phosphate, and potash.

  • Plant Disease-Resistant Varieties

Disease-resistant varieties are those plants that will fight off a disease instead of succumbing to it. Isn’t that great! Tomatoes are coded as “VFN resistant”, which means that tomato variety is resistant to fungi verticillium and fusarium.

  • Quality Gardening Tools Are a Must-Have!

Once you have a garden, you will need some basic gardening tools unless you intend on digging with your hands. The following is a must-have tool

  1. A pair of pruning scissors for cutting dead or unwanted plants and bushes.
  2. Spade and trowel for digging
  3. The garden fork for removing the roots of old plants.
  4. Rakes
  5. Garden hoses for watering etc
  • Remove All Weeds And Grasses

Get those weeds out of the way! Always remove the unwanted plants so they don’t stress your precious plants out.

  • Site it Right

It is advisable to site your garden where you can see it regularly. That way, you would be much more likely to spend time on it. The concept of out of sight out of mind also applies to garden.

  • Use Fully Composted Yard Waste

Not all materials in a compost pile decompose at the same rate. Some materials may have degraded sufficiently while others may have not. Thorough composting brings about high temperature which can kill any pathogens in the material. Fresh manure is too high in nitrogen and can damage the plants. It may also contain pathogens or parasites. Manure from animals like dogs and pigs should never be used in gardens because they contain parasites that can infect humans.

  • Vegetable Gardening Tips

According to research, 68-77 degrees F is the right temperature for ripening tomatoes. Once it rises to 85 degrees F, it becomes too hot for the plants to produce Lycopene and Carotene which is the pigment responsible for fruit colour. Again once the temperature drops below 50 degrees F, green fruits will not ripen properly. At this point tomatoes that have a bit of colour should be brought inside complete ripening.

  • Water Properly

It is a well-known fact that water is life, but be sure to water your plants moderately. Plants with thicker stems and leaves require less frequent watering than flowers with thinner stems and leaves because they can store more water efficiently. Make sure not to overwater your seeds and starts. Overwatered soil can cause seeds to migrate and then pop up where you didn’t want them. It can also cause root rot which will kill your plant. Not sure if to water? Dip a stick pencil about an inch deep into the dirt and pull it out. If the pencil comes out damp, skip watering for the day, and if it comes out dry then go ahead and water.

  • Zone Discovery Is Important

Knowing the hardiness of your zone is very key as it can help you choose the best plants. Zone hardiness describes the coldest place a plant can grow. The higher the zone number, the warmer the climate. If a plant is hardy to zone 4 and your garden in zone5, that plant will survive in your yard. If however, you are in zone 3, it is too cold to grow that particular plant.

  • X-ray your garden constantly for any changes that might occur at any point in time. This will enable u to start a corrective measure early.
  • You should always keep your garden neat and tidy.

 

So there we have it, starting or maintaining a garden is not as scary as people think. Even if you are a novice, with the gardening tips above you should be able to enjoy a thriving garden year after year no matter the type of garden you choose to operate.

Glossary

[1] Gardening tips – Link

 

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