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Gardening

Organic Gardening – Helpful Tips For Beginner Gardeners

In this age of global warming of our planet, increasing pollution and fast food, many people no longer are confident of fresh products that are offered as many try to exert some control over what they eat.

Similarly, chemicals that have been used for so long within gardens are no longer accepted as the only means of channeling the vicissitudes of nature.

One of the key ways to improve our environment (and our health) is to ‘be organic. ”

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Why organic gardening?

Organic gardening is one that uses only naturally occurring materials and does not use artificial fertilizers or chemicals.

Try to work with nature rather than against it.

Advantage

Organically grown foods taste better than those grown with artificial fertilizers.

Costs: the organic material can be created by returning all waste back to the land, which is a cheap process compared to Inorganic which tend to be way more expensive in the long run.

Same with chemical sprays, If an orchard where parasites do not prove a problem is created, it saves a lot in the cost of chemicals.

Another advantage is that by adding organic material to Earth, it keeps getting better, pitching chemicals ultimately impoverishes the soil.

The size of the fruits of an organic garden are usually larger and higher quality.

Tips for planning organic garden

The first step to take when planning a garden is to make a list of what you want from it, imagine what you can achieve within the space and time available.

Once you have determined the priorities, then its time to situate or organize space available within that garden.

Some areas will be sunnier, others will have better land or soil, some spots much more humid and so on.

To cultivate a good garden you will have to look for the best position in relation to the sun and air.

If weeds grow better in one part than another, this may mean that the land is better there, Note the areas which have sun all day or only a partial day.

Caring for the Earth

Land is the most important part of your garden, the soil composition varies so keep a watch for this variance.

Sandy soils are very light and friable and easily drain.

The clay is formed consists of fine particles that stick together creating the stickiness characteristic of the clay. Clay drains very slowly, so clay soils create a wet and slippery environment in which few plants feel comfortable. Sticky and dry land is also very difficult to work.

Between these two types, clay and sandy soils can be improved simply by addition of fertile mulch.

A soil may be acidic or alkaline. The relative acidity / alkalinity of the soil pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 where 7 is neutral.

For the best organic garden soil it should be on the acid side of neutral point, at point 6.5, Below that the soil is too acidic and will not allow some minerals that plants need.

But clay soils, sandy, alkaline or acid can be modified.

Another consideration of soil structure is its profile. usually in a garden the topsoil contains the best land. The layer beneath it is known as groundwater. And below this is the true underground.

It is essential to keep these layers in their respective places.

Identification of layers of earth

Surface layer: is the darkest and richest part of the garden profile. It is where plants grow mainly and also where the most worms, bacteria and insects reside, many of them beneficial for plant growth.

Finally we must consider the area of hardness which can occur between the different soil layers. This is a correctable problem if it is not known early, If not correct it may compromise ones digging depth.

Soil analysis

To find out if your garden soil is clayey or sandy place a sample of it in a jar with water then shake it up, allow the different components to settle in layers and any organic material will float to the top.

For their ability to retain or lose water, dig a hole depth of a shovel and fill with water. Allow to drain and refill the hole. If that water disappears quickly that means that the soil drains well too. On the other hand if you still there after a few hours or even days it is clear that it is blocked to the opposite extreme.

If it disappears on a regular basis in half an hour or so, then its usage and capacity is correct.

There are several natural indicators of acidity or alkalinity of your soil. For example, if ferns are rowing in your garden or rhododendrons this means the soil is acidic.

Improve the land

Once the soil is analyzed only then will it be possible to see what can be done to improve it.

In light soils, such as gritty, its best to add decomposed organic material, this will help retain moisture and also provide nutrients for plants.

Clay soils are more problematic to treat, especially because they are hard and difficult to work. To improve it, you must add stones (gravel), because it improves drainage, separates the soil and makes it easier to work.

You can also add ash burnt weeds, organic material in the form of manure or poultry manure also help transform the ground into a lighter medium. Worms will constantly break it up and mix with the ground, worms will mulch most of the new layer down so that the original ground becomes fertile and usable again.

Sewer system

Drainage is an important part of improving the your soil. In the waterlogged terrain you can add gravel but if it’s a serious problem with water stagnating after each downpour, you must install a proper drainage system.

This is done by digging ditches in the form of drainage pipes.

Cover with small stones or simply fill trenches with gravel covered rubble.

An alternative is to use water to create a pond then install water drainage pipes.

Gardening is not just about planting seeds and then sit back and wait for the harvest. In between these two events weeds try to colonize the bare soil and crop eating bugs seek these succulent plants.

Gardener job is to prevent this from happening.

For some, hoeing and weeding can be a very relaxing and not to mention therapeutic. When control of weeds or soil balance is lost, the gardening becomes a battle.

The secret is “little and often”. If time permits devote an hour a day.

Another obstacle will be nature, it tends to get in the way of the gardener with occasional bad weather.

You can take steps to minimize their effect:

Wind

Creates several problems. First the wind can easily bring down the whole garden bed.

Windbreaks is something to consider in setting up any garden, although it may not be essential if you live in an urban area where the buildings protect it from the wind, but in rural areas it can be vital.

The best windbreaks are those that allow air to seep through. Although a wall or a fence will have a solid look and seem the best against strong winds, actually they cause much turbulence that can be as devastating as the wind itself.

A row of trees allows the wind to seep through naturally.

A much quicker solution is to build a fence to allow the wind to pass through it, It can be built of wood or bamboo.

A modern alternative is to use screens, sold especially for this. this type of wind shield must be firmly anchored in the ground and need to be renewed or replaced from time to time.

A hedge creates a perfect barrier slowing the wind causing it to seep through at a moderate stream.

Cold

The cold is not bad during the winter. It helps break down and kill the bugs that have surfaced. But when spring starts and you have started plantations, frost can be a killer or at very least a hindrance.

The gaps can be covered with metal or fabric, place a fence or a hedge at an angle across the slope above the frost hole so that the cold air is diverted to one side and go elsewhere. A row of shrubs or curve as V uphill also divert cold air frost.

It is always advisable to have a flower garden near a field of vegetables. In some cases it may even help to mix the two.

An alternative preferred by many organic gardeners is to create a series of raised beds, each with one type or more of vegetables, planted in blocks rather than in rows.

Some plants grow better in containers or trays for planting later.

It is best to plant on cold days, preferably if there is a possibility that a light rain may fall. The damp and cold help the plant survive.

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Gardening

Gardening Tools You Cannot Do Without

A garden is a piece of land or space that can be used to cultivate flowers, herbs or fruits. This piece of land or space could be your backyard, a hydroponic shed or small flower bed at the corner of your property. Gardening is therapeutic, it can help ease stress and provides and opportunity for self enhancement and increase in self worth through the process of bringing crops to life from just seedlings.

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When considering the idea of setting up a garden, it is important you take note of the required tools to help make the job easier or if you have already setup your own garden getting to know the right tools for the right purpose will also enhance your gardening experience. I shall be talking you through some of the ideal tools that is required to setup and make your gardening experience a blast.

Before we commence, I would want to say that when picking garden tools, make sure to invest only in quality and trusted tools, it is no gain saying that you invest in tools that can’t stand the test of work. Also ensure that all tools have a proper place for storage and also they are properly maintained to promote their useful lifespan. Establish a regular maintenance routine and make sure to have your tools kept oiled up to avoid rust. Remove all tools from area that are prone to dampness, let your tools be kept in clean and dry places just as the doctor ordered. There are some key tools required to guarantee an amazing gardening experience, I have outlined a few key tools below;

Rake

A hand rake is an inevitable tool for every gardener. The rake plays a vital role in loosening the top soil to allow the plant retrieve maximum nutrient from the soil. The rake is also used to clean up the garden of loose dirt and or dried leaves. It is important that you invest in rakes that are metal and hand comfortable handles, this would make the activity of cleaning and raking easy and less stressful.

Garden hose

Every home should have at least one garden hose, they serve multiple purposes. They could be used to water a lawn or wash the car. Rubber hoses have more flexibility and are less susceptibility to cuts and abrasions but are usually more expensive. A garden hose connects to a source of water by means of plastic couplings or of brass fittings. Layers make up hoses and their strength increases with each additional layer. When you have thicker hoses, the likelihood of kinking reduces and this ensures for constant flow of water. Usually, the length of a hose determines the weight. Treat your hose properly so it could serve you well. Avoid leaving pressure on it unnecessarily and running hot water through it. During purchase, make sure you ask the right questions before making your purchase. Avoid light hoses and hoses without adequate thickness.

Shovels

A shovel is an essential tool for gardening. They come in different sizes, shapes and a variety of forms. Shovels are made from metal with some having wooden or plastic handles. A shovel is used for scooping, digging and shoveling of soil or dirt. The shovel is important in any garden setup, it helps you save strength on otherwise difficult task of digging.

Garden Fork

A garden fork resembles a shovel only that it is pointed spikes like that of a rake. Garden forks are usually required in larger gardens and small farms to move large bales of dirt or grass. They are the most ideal tool for moving hay for livestock feed. The garden fork is usually metal and has wooden handles which makes usage easy. It is important that safety measures are observed at all times to avoid injury when making use of the fork and all gardening tools.

Pruning Saws

A pruning saw is a hand tool that has the same serrated blade as a normal saw and it’s used to trim live shrubs and trees. There are different pruning saws for different purposes and type of shrub or trees. We have the arborist saw and the curved hand cut saw to name a few. A pruning saw is an ideal tool to have in your tool shed, it allows you to take care of renegade shrubs and tree branches.

Pruning saws comes in different sizes and types. Just like every tool, for a pruning saw to be keep functioning, it need to be maintained. Ensure to clean it after every use and oil the blades at intervals, sharpen the blades when necessary and use the different pruning saw correctly for their required purpose.

Hand Trowels

A garden trowel is a small hand tool that is used For weeding and cultivation. They usually have wooden, plastic or metal handles coated with rubber. Garden trowels that do not have the metal handles are prone to breaking or bending. It hand trowel is very useful for most gardens, I am yet to see a garden tool shed that doesn’t have a hand trowel. It’s one of the mist basic gardening tool.

Like all gardening tool, it is important to have a proper maintenance routine. Your hand trowel should be kept clean, sanitized and wiped dry after every use. Infected trowels is harmful to your garden as they can spread disease from one plant to another. The best way to store this trowels is by hanging them up. Most garden trowels are built with a hole at the end of the handle which can be used to hang them.

Pruning shears

Pruning shears are sometimes called hand prunes. They are used for cutting and trimming of any unwanted branches and weeds. They can also be used to shape out your plants to allow for effective growth, pruning a tree at intervals helps to improve its overall growth potential by weeding off old and unwanted parts. Pruning shears are small and handy just as they are quite inexpensive. After every use, rinse your pruning shears with water, dry them and cover them with their protective cover before placing them back in your toolbox.

Like the hand Trowels, hand prunes are very important garden tool for every toolbox. It expected that every garden should have a pruning tool. Hand prunes come in various sizes and shapes for performing different types of pruning. Sometimes the differentiating attribute is the material used in forging it and the manufacturer. Invest only in quality prunes forged from stainless steel to ensure it last longer for the purpose.

Green House

A green house is a protected growing environment created for the purpose of growing tender plants and seedlings or cultivating crops that requires an all year round protection. They are beautiful and useful structures used by gardeners. It serves as a shield between nature and what you intend to grow or are growing and allow for plants to be improved and growing seasons to be extended artificially.

Green Houses serves as a shelter from excess cold, heat and pests. In making a buying decision of a green house, take into cognizance, the area you live and what you intend growing. The use of a green house can make you grow things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to grow, you have more time to concentrate on the successful growth of your crops as you no longer battle with pests. The price of your green house varies and it is most times a function of size and material used in its construction. Ultimately, before making a purchase, understand the benefits of a green house, conduct a little research to determine if a green house is right for you and which one works best for you for the purpose you intend for it. Examine your environment to decide the type of green house that works best as these factors will help you make the right decision.

Garden pots and plantera

There’s a large variety of pots and planters on the market. If you are looking to buy some, you should definitely get what suits your needs and purpose in terms of functionality, color and style. The kind of pot or planter you use depends on your needs, climate and the kind of plant you intend growing on the pot. Planters are made from different materials to serve different purposes. Some common choices include Concrete, clay, metal plastic or wood. Planters and pots are great ways to bring nature indoors, on your balcony or evn onto your patio.

The list of gardening tools is not exhaustive but I have chosen to educate you on this few, it is my hope that you have learnt a few things. I wish you a happy gardening.

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Gardening

Here Are Some Tools for Gardening That You Should Be Considering for Your Purchase

Best Pruners

Most of the gardeners swear by their work that it is totally worth spending a bit extra on manual and classic F-2 Hand Pruner, while many of them say that they will never ever buy a different model for their purposes of taming shrubs and small trees. They sing in the praise of this pruner, that stands at 8 ½ inches, in its ability in slicing through the branches whose thickness is lesser than one inch in thickness with no dulling or jamming of the blade.

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The F-2 model sports steel blades that are hardened, has an aluminum handle that is forged, and an alignment that is adjustable. The handle is rubberized and it has pads for absorbing shocks that makes it comfortable to work with them and the reviewers have reported that it does a very effective job of it. Some of the people recommend the other models for people with smaller hands – the F-6 in particular, or for those who have problems in their joints, they will really appreciate the ergonomic and rotating handles that are sported by the F-7 and the F-8 pruners. Another awesome feature that has become a favorite with many people happens to be the sap groove which helps in the prevention of sticking. The pruners are backed with a very good lifetime warranty.

Best Trowel

The Garden Trowel made out of Stainless steel and brought to you gets lots of rave reviews from the users who have found these to be indestructible, even if they are used for many years for the activities like light digging, planting and potting. Though most of gardeners fall in love with the versatile nature of the 14 inch trowel that happens to be the largest in the family, it is also made available in 12, 10 and 9 inches for tasks that are more delicate such as the weeding closer to the delicate plants.

The experts say that the longevity of the trowel is because of the steel construction of this single piece, which does not leave any joints that may break or get affected by rust. But apart from being durable, it also happens to be very effective. It can even be put to use as soil knife, all the time retaining its dexterity in more intensive jobs of digging. The users tend to agree, saying that it is sharp enough to be used in the tasks like digging effectively. They also love the handle that is so easy to grip and the convenient wrist loop made of leather.

Best knife for the garden

The garden trowel made out of stainless steel earns rave reviews from the users as being almost indestructible, even though they have been used for light digging, planting and potting for many years.

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Gardening

Importance of Using the Right Gardening Tools

Spring and summer are great times for growing plants and in order to do that correctly, you need to use the right gardening tools. As long as you use the correct tools and equipment in gardening, one can effectively and efficiently plant anything in your backyard. From producing yummy vegetables and herbs to maintaining beautiful flowers in your garden, one cannot do these properly with poor and inappropriate tools. Just like how a soldier needs his weapons or a writer needs his pen, so with planters and gardeners that depend on appropriate gardening tools.

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Having the right gardening tools for the job is just as important as picking out the seeds or plants you want to grow. If you don’t have the proper tools to tend and toil your garden or to take care of it after you plant it, then it won’t grow very well or would yield less.

Getting the Right Tools for the Job

First, you will need something to dig up the ground so that you can plant your seeds or seedlings. Some of the gardening tools that do this are shovels, trowels, spades, and garden forks. Each of these does a specific job. For instance, you will need a garden fork or a shovel to initially break up the ground and get it ready for planting. Which one you use may depend on if you have a small garden area to work with or as large one, or how hard the dirt is where you want to place your garden.

It is also a good idea to get a hoe, as you will have to deal with weeds and need a way to clear them out. If you have a large garden, this example of gardening tools is very vital. In a small patch of ground, the spade or trowel will probably work to get up the weeds. A garden hose, weed cutters, and water sprinklers would then be needed to maintain the garden.

Since gardening tend to be rigorous where tasks would include digging into hard ground and removing stubborn weeds, this requires gardening tools to be durable and should be made of the toughest materials. The garden shovel, spade or trowel should be able to dig up any kind of ground no matter how wet or dry it is. That would require these tools to be made of steel in order to function well. While some of these tools come with a rubber handle, it would be wise to wear gloves for added protection when gardening.

When harvesting fruits and vegetable, it might not be a bad idea to add a cart or wheelbarrow to your gardening tools. This way you can carry both your tools and equipment out to your garden, as well as the fruits of your labor from your garden and equipment. So, the bottom line is that if you plan on growing a garden you will need the proper tools with the right strength and function to plant, maintain and harvest crops. Remember to store them properly as well. Clean and remove dirt attached to your gardening tools before storing to prevent rusting and deterioration.

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Gardening

5 Awesome Gardening Tips for Inspiration

Gardening for some is a hobby, for others it’s a passion. Either ways, gardening demands patience, carefulness and a positive attitude. But knowing some tips and tricks always comes in handy. If you are a beginner looking for some guidelines or if you’re an expert who is trying to figure out where have you been going wrong, this article is for you. We have gathered some expert gardening tips that will help you take your gardening experience to a whole new level.

silver lace fern

Prepare the Soil well

Plants grow in soil, the soil is what nourishes and nurtures them and provides support to the roots to grow. Therefore, it is very important that you carefully prepare the soil before planting anything in it. Take into account the demands of your plant and the soil type that it tends to do well in. if your soil is not up to the standard, treat it. Divide the soil among different kind of plants that you are planning to grow according to their requirements. The best kind of compost to feed your soil is leaves. Leaves make for the best fertilizer and are totally natural. Also, they are abundant in any garden, so use them to your advantage.

Plan ahead

It is important to plan ahead of your plants. Take note of their growth period and the maximum size that they can achieve once mature. This is because a plant, planted without planning can lead to size constraints and no one wants to go through the hassle of relocating their plants. Moreover, plan the location of your plants in your garden according to their life cycles. If you are growing vines, plan what you want them to climb; this will increase the symmetry and will add to the beauty of your garden.

Tool cleaning is important

Sharp and clean tools make gardening easier and faster as compared to blunt and dirty ones. Always keep your tools in shape so that they may come in handy in case of a garden emergency. Allocate some time from your gardening time to clean and sharpen your tools regularly.

Regularly check for pest infestations

Pest infestations are always easier to avoid if a gardener is able to identify harmful pests before they have reproduced tremendously in his garden. Therefore, it is important that you schedule regular inspections of your garden. If you notice any signs like wilting plants or eaten leaves, take them into account immediately. Look out for pests that may be causing them and do your research on finding and controlling them.

Keep evolving

You just cannot keep growing the same thing over and over again forever, as a gardener. It will not only bore you out of your socks but will make any extraordinary garden seem dull after a little while. Find new varieties that may interest you. When a plant dies, look out for a replacement that you have never planted before. Try new techniques of planting like grafting. Experiment with your garden. This will not only polish your skills but will keep you motivated to put in more and more effort into gardening.