Whether you are green fingered or black thumbed, adding a garden to your home can add value to your property, when it comes time to resell. Not only that, the hobby of gardening can be a relaxing stress-buster when required. Below are some ideas on how to turn your back yard into a little green piece of paradise.
If your green thumb starts to wilt during those long winter months when your garden is buried beneath a foot of snow, learn how to grow microgreens to provide yourself with fresh, healthy salads, sandwich toppings and garnishes all year round. Microgreens require very little sunlight and are easy to grow indoors. Some common microgreens include kale, dill, basil, spinach, and chard.
Start a compost bin, and enjoy nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use for your vegetable plants, herbs, flowers and more. Food scraps and peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, newspaper, paperboard, yard waste and other organic matter are perfect additions to your compost bin. Keep a small bucket or bag in your freezer as an odor-free way to collect kitchen waste, and empty the container into the outdoor bin when it is full.
For a natural way to control aphids, populate your garden with ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids and scaly bugs. They are pretty to look at, and they are beneficial to your garden. They do not eat flowers, so you can safely use them on your flower beds. This is a good alternative to using commercial pesticides.
If you are looking to secure your garden from pests, you need to have some ladybugs around. The ladybugs will protect your garden from harmful pests and will not do any damage to any of your plants; it is a completely beneficial relationship for both you and the ladybug.
Create an illusion of space. If you have a small garden, use color to create an illusion of more space. A background of blues, grays, pinks and mauves will create a misty effect, giving you the feeling of depth. If you use a bright color in the foreground such as red, this will emphasize the effect, as it draws the eye forward.
For a healthy, weed-free lawn, cut your grass at the highest point recommended for the blend of grass you’re growing. Cutting your grass too short won’t mean you have to mow less often. Instead, it allows weeds to take hold, and causes water to evaporate. Longer grass can better protect itself against weeds, drought, and pests.
Make sure the hole you plant for a tree or shrub is at least three times wider than the root ball of the seedling. Most of the root system of a tree or shrub is found in the top foot of the soil. Planting a seedling in a small hole will result in slower growth and failure to thrive.
Old pantyhose make useful garden tools. Next time you find yourself reaching for some twine in your garden, consider using an old pair of pantyhose instead. Pantyhose are flexible, yet strong; and their soft feel will not damage plant stems by cutting into them. The elastic nature also gives your plants room to grow without strangulation.
Reduce the need for pesticides in your garden by planting native crops. Native plants will have a better resistance against the bugs and bacteria of your area, and will be better equipped to compete with native weeds. Native plants will attract beneficial native insects, such as ladybugs, which can naturally control pest problems without the need for chemicals.
A great trick for organic gardeners and a neat way to reuse plastic milk jugs are to use them as a form of self irrigation for your garden. All you need to do is poke little holes into the bottom of plastic 1 gallon jugs, bury the jugs next to your plants and make sure to leave an opening. Fill the jugs allowing the water to seep slowly into the ground.
Economize when watering. When watering your garden, try to water using a vessel instead of a hose: this way you will be able to direct the water straight to the roots. Using a hose means that a lot of water will end up on the leaves, and may evaporate before it has a chance to reach the soil. Only water in the early morning or late evening, as this can help to reduce evaporation. Whenever you plant something new, it will require constant watering to become established, so if possible, put off new planting until the Fall. This way, nature will be able to do much of the watering for you.
These hints should have given you an idea on how to begin adding a garden to your property. Always remember that in order for the garden to always look its best, regular care and maintenance is required. However, with a little effort it is easy to produce an area that you can be truly proud of.