Friday, March 29, 2013

Tips for Tomato Success

Investing the time and energy into growing tomatoes in your own garden or patio space can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. Not only will you save money at the grocery store, but you will be eating tomatoes that are superior on many levels. Vine ripened tomatoes are healthier, fresher and more flavorful. Read on for some tips on how to successfully grow your own tomatoes with little effort.

Knowledge is essential to success in everything, including growing tomatoes. Know what varieties of tomatoes are specifically recommended for your location and climate. Check your growing zone and choose the plants accordingly. Do not be fooled into thinking that all tomatoes are the same and will thrive in any locale. There are dozens of tomato varietals, so get to know them before investing in them for your garden.

Unless you are growing straight from seeds, you will be choosing plants that are already established. Look for ones that are healthy and have deep green leaves. Inspect them for signs of disease and fungus, which will be very hard to get rid of. Even if the affected areas are only on the leaves, it can harm the tomatoes themselves. Remember that they will be going directly into your food chain, so take precautions. The disease can also spread to other plants and flowers in your garden.

Always keep your plants moist, watering often and deeply. A mere sprinkling on the top will not suffice; give them a good soaking at least once per week or more often in the hotter months. Be careful not to over-water, as this could have an adverse affect on proper growth and nutritional value. You don't want to see standing water on the surface or excessive runoff from beneath the pots.

The quality of your soil is important, since this is where the nutrients for your plants will come from. Try out different organic soil additives to see which one has the best effect on flavor and size of the final tomatoes when picked. Avoid additives with chemicals or a long list of ingredients. Look for labels that certify the product as organic. Read up on what organic actually means and know how to read the labels correctly. Just using the word "natural" does not mean it is organic or certified as being so.

Harvest new crops of tomatoes on a regular basis. This will encourage new growth and keep your garden evolving in healthy ways. Let the tomatoes ripen on the vine but not sit there too long afterwards. Have a tomato harvesting party with friends and family, letting them take some home afterward. Alternately, use the excess tomatoes for making party drinks, salsas and dishes. Simmer them for a huge pot of marinara sauce, and crush cold ones for Bloody Mary cocktails on the deck.

If you liked this post and it has inspired you to start a vegetable garden, then you could try speaking to Barmekin Groundcare. We offer a range of garden services in Aberdeen, including hard landscaping  garden remodeling and tree pruning.

Use these ideas to fully embrace the experience of having your own tomato garden. Incorporating fresh healthy tomatoes into your daily life will be a benefit enjoyed by the whole family.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gardening 101: Your Guide to Growing Your First Garden

Growing your first garden does not have to be difficult. There are many simple techniques you can incorporate into your first garden to help ensure your success. Continue reading to learn how to prepare your soil, choose your plants, and tend your garden.

Before you begin preparing your garden soil, you should have it tested at your county extension office. After you receive the results from the test, you can easily amend your soil to create perfect soil for your plants. If your soil is too acidic, you simply have to work some peat moss, compost or sawdust into your soil. Low pH soil can affect your crops. To increase your soil's pH level, add fertilizer or lime to your soil and work it in. Lime is powdered limestone; therefore, it is safe to add to your vegetable garden.

One mistake that new gardeners make is beginning with a large garden. Instead of making a large garden, start out small. Find your favorite vegetable and plant a few varieties to see which ones do the best. For example, if you enjoy eating salads, plant a variety of leaf lettuce or tomatoes.

When choosing plants for your garden, opt for ones that are commonly grown in your location. This will help ensure that you do not need to do anything special to the soil. Additionally, plants that grow easy in your location will not need extra watering or fertilization.

You can find information and guidance by talking with your local county extension officer. He can guide you toward plants that are suitable for the growing conditions in your area. You can also talk to friends and family members for advice on plant selection, plant spacing and watering requirements of a variety of plants.

After the first year, you will know which plants produced well and which ones did not. The next year, plant the varieties that did the best. If you had types of vegetables that did not do well, choose different varieties or seek assistance at your local nursery for advice on which varieties work well in your location.

Although you must keep your garden free from weeds, it is not necessary to hoe your garden weekly. Doing so can actually cause more harm than good. Hoeing can disturb your plants roots which can result in lower yields and weaker plants. Instead, limit the number of times you hoe. Wait until your plants are well-established before you hoe. Then, carefully hoe around each plant avoid the area right below the plant. For any weeds that have cropped up right under your plant, simply weed by hand being careful to not damage the plant.

There are many things you can do to ensure that your first garden thrives. Follow the advice from this article, and you will be well on your way to having a bountiful harvest that you and your family can enjoy. Experienced gardeners know that gardening is all about trial and error. Once you find the plants that work best in your location, stick to them and they will abundantly produce for you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tips for Nurturing A Herb Garden

Whether you are a gourmet chef or a throw-it-together at the last minute mom, there is no arguing that fresh herbs make a meal better. They add flavor, nutrition and color to any meal that your prepare in your kitchen and serve to your family and friends. Anyone who has strolled the aisles of a typical grocery store, or gasped at prices in a natural foods outlet, can tell you that herbs are not cheap. They also do not last long after they are picked. This makes growing your own herbs at home a desirable option. Read here about how to get started and what techniques to employ for successful herb gardening.

The very first and crucial thing to do when planning an herb garden is to choose the location. This is something that your local Aberdeen gardening services provider can definitely help you with. Depending on how ambitious you are, it can be a large dedicated garden of its own, or it can be a simple container garden on your patio. The important thing is to make sure that it has adequate sunlight and shade, and that it is accessible to you at all times. Particularly in the winter months, you want to have the plants close at hand. You may even want to consider growing some smaller herbs in clay pots on your windowsills inside.

Choosing which herbs to plant comes down to three things: preference, availability and care. You obviously will want to plant herbs that you enjoy eating and that are healthy additions to meals for your family. Think about flavors that you like and that will enhance the dishes you prepare often. Then check to see if these herbs are readily available in local nurseries, and whether they are recommended for your specific climate zone. Nothing leads to failure faster than choosing herbs that are unsuitable for your locale. Finally, take into consideration the amount of care needed for each type of herb, and whether you have to time to devote to it. You may also want to check the prices in grocery stores for purchasing certain herbs and then decide how much money you could save by growing those particular ones yourself.

Just planting and watering a herb garden is generally not enough to make it successful. You will need to do some research on what kind of fertilizers are good for herbs and whether plant foods are recommended for each varietal you plant. This may sound like a lot of work, but remember that you only have to do this research once, and you only have to prep the soil in the beginning. You will then be knowledgeable enough about the process that you can use the insights you gain in maintaining the garden for the long term.

You want to control pests in your herb garden, but fortunately this is much easier than with other types of edible plants. Many insects are naturally repelled by herbs and will stay away from them anyway. In fact, natural gardening experts often recommend planting herbs in the middle of standard vegetable gardens to thwart the efforts of invaders. If you do develop problems with pest, use only chemical-free deterrents. Remember that you will be eating what your herbs are treated with.

Fresh herbs are considered a luxury, but they can now become a standard part of everyday life. Use these tips to improve your meals and increase good health.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Start an Organic Garden

Starting an organic garden is a great way to avoid the pesticides, genetic modification, and bio-engineering that comes with buying produce that is mass produced and sold at many supermarkets. Organic farming can keep you and your family safe. By following these simple tips, you can grow you own organic garden.

Start composting to create a great fertilizer. Composting is the process by which organic materials are broken down to fertilize soil. To compost your kitchen scraps, break up pieces of fruit peels, potato skins, coffee grounds, newspapers, and other biodegradable materials, and place them in a composter or compost bin. Then, disperse the compose over the soil by placing handfuls of compost around plants, or turning under the existing stalks and roots with a pitchfork and pouring in the compost at the end of the harvesting season.

Consider the climate you live in to decide what you should grow. Some plants require warmer climates. Others require more shade or a different amount of humidity. Consult with other gardeners in your area about which vegetables grow best where you live.

Collect rainwater instead of using your outdoor hose to water your garden. Rain collectors, which look like giant vases with a spigot at the bottom, are great for watering your garden at no cost to you days after it has rained.

Reduce the amount of weeds in your garden by using mulch. Mulch prevents weeds from getting their roots in your garden's soil and growing, where they can suffocate your plants and cause them to compete for resources like sunlight and water.

Use lady bugs, frogs, and lizards to help remove pests. These creatures are all natural enemies of many of the parasitic insects that can devastate a garden. You can catch these animals wildly, or buy them from pet stores. Be sure to find animals that are native to where you live; otherwise, they may die.

Be sure to remove sick plants in their entirety to prevent them from killing other plants. Pull out the roots and dispose of them separately from your compost bin. Burning them may be effective if you have a small fire pot or smoker.

Be sure to put a fence around your garden to keep pets, pests, and wildlife from getting into your garden. On this fence, you can put CDs or bells to deter birds from eating your seeds. Additionally, you can put mesh over the top of your garden if other animals cause problems for you.

When washing your vegetables, soak them in a diluted vinegar mix to remove dirt, grime, and bacteria. This also helps your fruits and vegetables remain fresh longer, meaning you can pick more vegetables as they are ripe and chill them so they are still ripe when you want to eat them.

Organic gardening can be very rewarding. In addition to providing nutritious, safe produce for your family, you also get the benefits of having raised plants for yourself. By following these simple tips, you can have your own organic garden at a low cost.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Gardening On A Budget

Caring for your garden can quickly become expensive, unless you make an effort to cut down on costs. Go over this article for some tips that will help you garden on a budget.

Do not spend your money on expensive products designed to help your plants grow. You can easily create your own compost, if you have enough space for a compost pile. Save all your organic waste and throw it on your compost pile. If possible, find a shady and dry area for your pile. You might have to shred large materials and add some water to your pile if the materials are too dry. The material at the bottom of your pile will be ready within a few months. You can then use it to enrich your soil and help your plants grow.

You do not have to buy chemicals to get rid of parasites and illnesses. You can for instance get rid of mildew by spraying a mix of water and baking soda on your plants. If you need to keep animals away, build a small fence or wrap the bottom of your trees or shrubs with some wire mesh. Inspect your plants regularly for signs of parasites or illnesses and take action before things get any worse.

You should talk to your neighbors about gardening. You will probably find someone who enjoys this activity as much as you do. You could, for instance, trade seeds with your neighbors or start building a community tool shed everyone can contribute to and use. You can save a lot on tools by borrowing tools or buying them with your neighbors, but avoid sharing things if you do not get along well with your neighbors.

Gardening will become more affordable if you can produce your own food. You should use a part of your garden to grow your own fruits, vegetables or aromatic herbs. Choose fruits, vegetables or herbs that will grow well in your area and respect the growing schedule of the foods you choose to plant. Inspect your fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and make sure there are no signs of illness or parasites before eating them.

Avoid purchasing expensive plants. You might be tempted to buy some exotic plants but you can create a beautiful garden with simple and affordable plants. When choosing your plants, make sure they are adapted to the weather in your area and find out how fragile they are. If you cannot afford to buy new plants regularly, it is best to spend your money on robust plants that are easy to take care of. Keep in mind that purchasing some more expensive plants will also require you to spend money on quality soil or products to treat them.

Gardening is a fun, exciting and rewarding hobby but it does not have to cost you a lot of money. You should establish a budget for this hobby and apply the tips you have just read if you need to cut down on your expenses.

How To Create Visual Impact In Small Gardens

If our home has a large yard then maybe its time to think about growing some flowers and vegetables. However, if you live in a larger town or city, then perhaps you don't have the space available to do this properly. Just because you have chosen this type of lifestyle does not mean that you cannot enjoy the therapeutic and visual benefits of having your own garden. You just need to be creative with how you implement it. By following these simple tips, its possible to urn even the smallest space into a garden that you can be proud of

Of course, the first thing to get right, in gardens of any size, is the layout. In smaller gardens this is particularly important. Try and set aside a particular area to concentrate your efforts on. This way your work will have a bigger impact. Choose a specific focal point and then narrow down your choices based on the location and its assets.

A container garden will likely be your only option,but don't worry, because this can actually work to your advantage. Using containers you will enjoy much more control in the placement of plants , as well as care techniques. They also enable you to spot any unwelcome guests,in the form of bugs and pests, that could ruin all of your hard work. It is, however, important that you choose containers which fit in with the environment and complement the aesthetics of the garden. For example, if you really want to make a statement, then use brightly colored pots, but if you want to be more natural then choose green or terracotta colors.

You should also consider the kinds of plants you will be using, and their relative heights and densities. Of course, its easy to set up an assortment of shelves to keep things looking nice, but ultimately, its the plants that will dictate how your garden is laid out. Make sure that you understand how big each plant grows and plant accordingly. The density of the leaves and foliage is also another important consideration. For example, try to place plants with thicker leaves at the back so that they don't obscure the smaller plants which should be placed closer to the front. Keep this in mind when planning the layout.

Depending on the outdoor furniture and overall color scheme in which your garden will be located, you need to try and choose flowers whose colors don't clash. A handy tip is to try and choose neutral colored furniture since this makes it easier to plan your flowering plant layouts and gives yo more scope to add color. Likewise, if you already have a lot of color in the environment, it may be a god idea to opt for more subtle colored plants.

Use the outdoor wall space that you already have. You should also keep in mind the colors of the surrounding walls, as well as their texture. By paying attention to this, it will be easy to choose the appropriate climbing plants for the garden Using climbing trellises is a great way to make the most of the available space, and enable the plants to climb vertically. Using these tips can make for a very impressive display of plants. If in doubt, contact a knowledgeable Aberdeen landscape gardener for more advice

Pay attention to how the light falls on your patio or other chosen garden space. Not only will this make a difference in how the flowers and vegetables grow, but it can also affect the visual appeal of the entire garden. Experiment with different kinds of lighting, including the use of small solar powered garden lights. Properly done, this can give you a wide range of looks depending on the time of day.

By employing these simple tips you can create a very special space no matter how large or small your garden is, or whether its in the country or in an urban area - even on a roof! It is your space, so make the most of it with your own style and creativity.