Backyard Garden Tips That Will Make You Look Up

 

backyard gardening tips

 

I don’t know about you, but when I am busy in my garden, I am usually looking down.  After all, that’s where all the plants and flowers are, right! But I’ve just realized that it could actually be worth looking up while you are gardening. Here are a few backyard garden tips and reasons why:

Check Your Trees

It’s not just the plants and flowers in the ground that are susceptible to various diseases and pests. The trees in your gardens are as well. So, how do you know if you need to contact a tree surgeon such as http://www.arboristusa.com/? Well, the first sign of a fungal tree disease will always be noticeable in the leaves. More often than not, they will be very discolored. Your tree might also start losing leaves at an excessive rate. Next time you are out in your garden, look up to make sure your trees are in good health!

Think About Lights And Lamps

Would you like to spend your summer evenings sitting outside enjoying your garden? If so, you might want to add some lights and lamps to brighten up the outside of your property. Look up to see the best places you could put your lights. Usually, most homeowners like to place outdoor lights on the side of their property and garden shed. Another nice idea is to wrap some fairy lights around the top of your fences and any railings that you have in your garden. Just make sure that they are safe to use outside: http://www.screwfix.com/c/electrical-lighting/weatherproof-switches-sockets/cat830538.

Look Out For Birds

When you look up, you might notice a few birds flying around and nesting in your garden. Don’t notice many? If not, you can always encourage more birds to come to your garden by adding a bird feeder. Make sure it is always filled with bird feed so you can to attract a wide variety of birds. You might want to also include a bird bath in your garden, as this will encourage birds to visit your property for a bath as well!

Hanging Baskets

If you want to add some more dimensions to your garden, it could be worth adding some hanging baskets. You can hang these from the side of your property and wooden fences. These will increase the amount of flowers in your garden, and will give you a chance to add even more bursts of color. You will be able to find a wide variety of hanging baskets in your local garden center. Or you could try making your own from flower pots.  If you don’t find hanging baskets appealing, you could install raised flower beds. This is another great way to add some dimension to your garden!

So, next time you are working in the garden, don’t just focus on the ground below your feet. Look up and see the rest of your garden!  We hope that you enjoyed our backyard garden tips.

 

 

Tips on Making Gardening Easier

gardening tips

 

As life becomes more demanding, we realize that time is of the essence. Work, cooking, children, school runs, housework and laundry.  The list is never-ending.  But with summer creeping up fast, there’s another job to throw into the mix, gardening.  We all know that feeling when the neighbours look down their noses at us because our garden isn’t pristine and flawless.

­Fear not! There are ways to adapt your garden to make it far easier to manage and save you that all-important time. From storage to installing artificial grass, here are some methods and techniques you can use to make gardening  minimum effort and stress.  Check out our making gardening easier tips below.  I have other gardening tips too.

 

gardening tips

Artificial Grass

When it comes to grass, you can fake it all the way.  Artificial grass doesn’t need to be fertilized or watered.  And you don’t need the lawnmower anymore. Fresh green grass can make all the difference to a garden and totally transform an outside area. It looks so good that it can fool anyone into thinking that your synthetic turf is the real deal.

The design, texture and color make artificial grass feel just like a natural lawn. The best thing about it is that there is absolutely no maintenance required. You can install it and leave it to look amazing. It’s also environmentally friendly because there is no water usage, no carbon emissions from a petrol lawn mower and no fertilizers. It’s win-win.

Use Kitchen Scraps

A really easy way to give your soil some nutrients is to mix coffee grounds into the potting soil or sprinkle it near to the base of the plants. If you have rose bushes, you can also plant banana peelings underneath.  Banana peels will give them potassium, which will encourage them to flower. Egg shells are amazing for deterring slugs from your beds because they don’t like the sharp edges.

When your neighbors have a luscious vegetable patch, you will understandably want one too. Well, now you can grow your own vegetables with the help of your food scraps, saving time and helping the environment. Mushrooms, garlic, potatoes and celery are all vegetables you can regrow just from planting the scraps.

Storage

Smart storage of your gardening tools can save you time and money. Get a large box and fill it to the brim with sand. You can then easily store your tools in there, whilst keeping it in a warm and dry space. Just simply wipe away the dirt after use and stab the metal part into the sand. The sand will pull the moisture away, keeping your tools rust free and ensuring they remain sharp.

 

 

Add Mulch

Mulch is amazing, it gets rid of pests, stops beds from getting too hot or cold and prevents those annoying weeds from growing. You can even DIY mulch yourself – just grind down fallen leaves, dead wood, yard waste and even shredded office paper. Eventually, the homemade mulch will just turn into soil amendment.

Keep a Diary

It may seem like an added chore now, but it will save you time in the long run. Keep a little notebook which can be your gardening diary. Write down the things that do and do not work. It will be like gold dust to you during the following year because you’re bound to have forgotten by then! You can refer to it to easily to see what you need to do in order to maintain your beautiful garden.

Last, take the stress out of gardening with these top tips.  Making gardening easier is what you are striving for.  These tips will make your time spent pruning a little bit smoother. You will never have to feel ashamed of your garden again!

Tips For a Healthy Garden

garden tips

 

Gardening can be tremendously therapeutic and good for the soul.  However, it is natural that problems will arise. You could be putting in love, time, and money, but still end up seeing your beloved plants suffer.  Check out our other gardening tips for a healthy garden.  Here are a few signs that your garden might be suffering and solutions:

The birds aren’t coming

Many of us enjoy casual birdwatching.  So, it can be troubling when the birds don’t come. One of the most common causes of birds refusing to come to your garden is that they don’t feel safe.  Do you have a cat or dog?  Or does your neighbor?  Try to place your feeder higher from the ground and out of reach of any ground-dwelling animals.  You should soon see them start to come back into your yard to feed.

 

garden tips

 

The bees aren’t coming

If your garden plants are flowering, but the fruit never seems to materialize, it probably means the bees aren’t coming. We need bees to move from flower to flower.  When they do, they are taking the pollen with them.  As a result, the plants can repopulate.  If doesn’t happen then the plant doesn’t fruit. The best way to counteract this problem is by adding more flowers. The more flowers you have, the most bees will be attracted to your garden, it’s as simple as that!

The trees don’t look right

Trees, just like humans, are susceptible to diseases.  Some are easily treated with fungicides, but others will need more professional intervention by people such as http://www.treeservicefortworth.org/tree-disease. They will be able to diagnose the problem and suggest treatment. Tell-tale signs include spots on the leaves, swellings and knots in the bark, changes in the rate of growth, and unseasonal color changes. If you have any concerns, it’s always best to speak to a professional for advice.

The moss is taking over

Moss can be a great addition to a garden for covering unattractive sections, and making it feel more natural and wild. But if moss seems to be taking over in areas where you don’t want it, it could be due to the soil.  Your soil could be too acidic. This is an easy one to solve. All you need to do is include some wood ash into the soil.  It will balance its pH, making it less hospitable for moss

The plants are struggling

In actual fact, the pH of the soil can have serious effects on all the plants.  So, it’s a good idea before you start doing any serious yard work to use one of the home testing kits to check the pH of your soil. This will allow you to neutralize it effectively, without harming your plants. When soil is too acidic or too alkaline, your plants will struggle to grow and could even die.

Gardens are open to the elements, so it’s easy to see why problems arise. As long as you keep your eye out for changes and react to them effectively, you should have a healthy and beautiful garden.  We hope you enjoyed our tips for a healthy garden.

Creating a Family Garden When You Have Little Space

gardening ideas

 

When you have a family, the garden is often one of the most important areas of the property.  After all, it offers a fantastic place for outdoor dining.  Furthermore, it offers a place for the kids to play.  You don’t have to worry about your humble abode getting messy when they’re outside.  However, as much as we would love acres of land, we are often stuck with a small garden.  But all is not lost if you have a small garden. Check out my other gardening tips. In fact, here are some ways for creating a family garden even when you have little space:

 

 

Grow plants vertically

We all love to grow plants in the garden. After all, they can look beautiful and bring some much-needed color to our yard.  If you do want to grow some flowers, you could always go vertical.   For example, you could grow them up a wall.  Additionally, you could get a vertical structure which you can lean against your wall or use a trellis.  Consider using containers to grow plants.  Growing vertical means you and your family still get to have fantastic plants without having to use a ton of space.  And it can make your garden look unique rather than the traditional flower borders around the yard!

 

garden furniture

 

Get furniture which stores away easily

When you have a small garden, it can make it tricky when it comes to your outdoor furniture.  Most families enjoy dining outside, but if space is limited that could be a problem.  However, there are some ways you can still have a good outdoor table and chairs without using a ton of space.  Get a Rattan Cube Set,  It comes as a compact cube for easy storage too.  It actually opens up to be enough seating for six people.  And when you are not using it for eating, it can actually convert to a coffee table with some comfy seats!  Another idea, skip the table and rely on just chairs.  Just put a blanket on the grass and have a lovely picnic!

Make the most of your corners

Make sure you are using the corners.  A lot of people skip this option, but if you have little space, you should make the most of them.  After all, they may be ideal for a small chair or for plant pots.  And you could even put a BBQ there for your outdoor cooking. Therefore, don’t leave them bare.  If possible, ensure you are making the most out of all the areas in your garden.

Finally, consider growing vegetables in containers.  After all, you may not have space for a greenhouse, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying fresh vegetables.  Furthermore, check out my blog for more information on container gardening.  We hope that you have found our tips on creating a family garden useful.

                   

5 Amazing Gifts From Your Garden

 

garden gift ideas, gifts for gardeners

 

First, did you know that you make amazing gifts from your flower and/or kitchen garden?  Second, family and friends appreciate homemade and handmade gifts.  Making gifts has become the norm in my house.  I know my family and friends appreciate them and I save money by not having to purchase retail.  Check out my other gardening tips too.

Next, when I’m planning my summer and fall gardens, I always add extra flowers and gourds to ensure that I have enough for myself, family and friends. Here’s a list of my favorite garden items for gift giving and uses:

Dried Flowers Plant plenty of roses, herbs, Hydrangeas, coneflowers, and wildflowers. Anything that can be used in crafts, to make potpourri, or sachets bags.

Pressed Flowers Pansies, daisies, violets, ferns, roses, daffodils, cosmos, poppies, gladiolus, and verbenas make great pressed flowers. They are beautiful on cards, bookmarkers and in crafts. Additionally, make sure the colors are bright and vibrant when you pick them.  Most importantly, they should also be dry when you pick them.

Dried and Fresh Herbs – Oregano, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme and Marjoram make the best dried herbs.  Find a cute decorative jar, pint size jelly canning jars, put a decorative label on with the name of the herb, and tie a pretty ribbon.  Grow fresh herbs in Mason Jars, tin buckets, chalk painted clay bowls, tea cups or anything imaginative. Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, and Chives make great gifts.

Gourd Birdhouses Grow bottle gourds and make decorative birdhouses for family and friends. You can paint sunflowers on them, paint them in your family and/or friends favorite colors. Be creative.  These make the perfect house for Purple Martins, Red-headed Woodpecker, Bluebirds, Tufted titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, and Northern Flicker.

Sunflowers Last, sunflowers make beautiful flower arranges.  Cut a few and place them in a mason jar, tall metal vase, a boot and any other creative container.  You can also dry them for floral arrangements and use the seeds to roast or feed the birds. Squirrels love to eat the sunflower heads.

Finally, get your children involved in planting flowers and gourds. They will love painting and turning them into birdhouses.  Also, they can also remove the seeds from the sunflowers and roast them or save the seed to feed the birds during the winter months.  As a result, make sure you plant plenty of everything.  You’ll want items for garden gift ideas and you will want to keep a few items for yourself.

You may also Holiday Gift Ideas for Bird Lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Grow Bigger Tomatoes

kitchen gardening, growing tomatoes, gardening

Over the years, I’ve gardened by trial and error. I’ve become successful with growing tomatoes, garlic, onions, beans, pepper, squash, zucchini, and watermelon over the years.  These items are the staple of my garden for the most part. Today I’m going to share how I’ve managed to achieve large, beefy, and juicy, tomatoes. Some of my heirloom tomatoes weigh up to 1 – 2 pounds each.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips before you leave. Here are the steps that I take to grow big, juicy tomatoes:

 



1.  Tilled garden soil –  It all starts with your soil. I row garden on a 20 x 30 plot, so I till my garden and I till deeply. Many gardeners use the lasagna method, turned soil method or raised beds because they don’t require tilling. I garden as my grandfather did, so I’m old school.   Before the garden is tilled, I add in manure, which can be purchased from your local garden center.


2Organic compost – I use only organic material in my garden. This is composted leaves that took about 2 years to break down completely. Many gardeners call it Black Gold. I mix the compost into the soil before placing my tomato in the hole and side dress the plant with a nice helping of this compost. If you don’t have organic compost use dried, crushed eggshells in the hole before planting along with a dose of manure. The eggshells provide calcium.

gardening


3.  Plant deeply
– I remove the bottom leaves from the plant. Only the top leaves should be exposed as shown above.  You want your plant to have deep roots, so the deeper you plant the better.

 

natural garden fertilizer, gardening

4.  Provide natural fertilizer – Coffee grounds are an excellent natural fertilizer for tomato and pepper plants. I mix a few tablespoons in with my organic compost, above, and side dress around the entire base of the plant. Coffee grounds attract earthworms, which are great for aerating the soil, and keeps away snails and slugs which are detrimental to your plants. If you don’t have organic fertilizer, purchase Miracle Grow tomato fertilizer and spread around the base of your plants.

gardening, tomato gardening

 

5.  Weed Control – I use straw or leaves that I’ve collected during fall around my plants to keep weeds down and to retain moisture. Keeping the weeds under control is important, you don’t want them taking energy away from your plant.
gardening, companion planting
6.  Companion Plant – I use marigolds between my tomatoes and pepper plants. They’re great for pollination, which your plant needs to produce healthy fruit.
 
gardening, gardening weeding
7.  Proper Spacing – You will need to reach around your plants for care and harvest so make sure you give each plant adequate space. I create paths between my rows by layering newspaper or cardboard boxes that have been broken down. I cover the newspaper or cardboard with leaves or straw. This also reduces the amount of time that I spend weeding too.
8.  Water and fertilize regularly – Add 2 teaspoons of Epsom Salt to a gallon of water and give your plants a good drink when you initially plant and regularly thereafter.  Be sure to water at the base of your plant only, you don’t want garden soil splashing on it. You can use a spray bottle to spritz the foliage of your plants with the Epsom Salt mixture too. Also works with peppers.  I found CVS Epsom Salt on sale last season for half price, so I purchased several cartons.  It will make enough spray to last through several growing season.
I hope you find my tips on growing bigger tomatoes helpful. Try them, and you will grow bigger and juicier tomatoes too. Be sure to subscribe to my blog for additional gardening tips and posts and follow me on social media.
 
You may also like:  How To Stake and Cage Tomatoes
                                         Planting and Harvesting Garlic

Growing Dill In The Home Garden

 

growing dill

One of the herbs that I grow in my garden is dill.  I started a few plants under grow lights this year, but it did not do well.  As a result, I purchased a plant from the nursery to place in the garden. This is what I found when I went into the garden.  Volunteer dill in several places.  I wished I had saved my money purchasing the plant from the nursery.  Lesson learned, check the garden for volunteers before you head to the garden center.  A volunteer onion is in the background.  Dill and onions are great companion plants.  Check out my other gardening tips too.

Wondering how to use dill?  I have several uses:

1.  Dill Pickles
2.  Dip for potato chips and veggies
3.  Garnishes
4.  Sauce for salmon

I’ve made make spicy dill pickles for the past two seasons and used fresh dill from the garden. This year I will be making bread and butter.   I also dry my dill and store it in an airtight container for dip.  Fresh dill can also be used on various fish, not my thing but many people love using it in that manner.

 

growing dill

Last, we hope you like our growing dill tips.  It is an easy herb to grow, and has given me lots of volunteers this season.  It loves my garlic plants.  I have to harvest often, so it doesn’t choke out my onions and garlic.  As a result, I should have more than enough to dry and store for dip and to share with family.  If you love veggie dip, this herb will enhance it immensely.  It’s much more flavorful than store brought dill.  I’ll be sure to post my dip recipe the next time make it, which will be soon.

Using Eggshells In The Garden

 

 

using eggshells in the garden

 

Don’t throw those eggshells away.  Eggshells are beneficial in the garden.  Start using your eggshells in the garden.  Your tomato and pepper plants will thank you.  So, grab a container and save them throughout the year.  Ask your family members or neighbors to save them for you if you don’t consume a large quantity of eggs.  Explain that using eggshells in the garden will benefit the tomatoes they will receive in exchange.  This will give them an incentive to save the shells for you.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips before you leave.

However, before you store the eggshells I recommend rinsing them thoroughly and than drying them in the oven on a low temperature. You can also set them outside on sunny days or leave them in an open dish on the kitchen counter. When your dish becomes full, have the kids crush them and than store.  Check out my other backyard vegetable garden tips.

 

using eggshells in the garden

If you decide to dry them in the oven, remember they don’t need to be in the oven long or on a high temperature.  Just long enough for them to dry on your lowest setting.  Once cooled, crush them and put them in a plastic bag or container. You can store them in your refrigerator if you don’t have counter space.  A rolling pin is a good way to crush mine or have the kids crush them with wooden spoons.

So, when garden season arrives place a generous dose of the crushed eggshells in the hole when you plant your tomatoes.  They are a great source of calcium for the plants.  Furthermore, I also sprinkle the shells around the plant once I get the tomatoes in the ground.  I actually do this throughout the growing season.  The eggshells will help give your tomatoes a calcium boost, and help fight off blossom end rot.

Secondly, I mix the crushed eggshells in with my birdseed.  Bluebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers and Barn Swallows love eggshells.  You can spread the eggshells on a log or on the ground if you don’t have a platform feeder.  We hope that you enjoyed our tips on using eggshells in the garden, and you will start recycling your eggshells.  You may also like 20 Flowers to Use in a Wildflower Garden.