3 Garden Care Tips For Novices

Gardening may seem to be complicated for those who are just beginning the hobby. However, if you have the basic knowledge to help you maintain your garden or lawn effectively, you can do just fine. All you need is the right tools, good routine, information and enthusiasm to succeed. A major concern novices have is using chemicals or practicing eco-friendly gardening options. To some, eco-friendly ways are safer and easier to apply without straining the pockets. Healthy gardens and lawns are often a result of natural gardening care.

Natural Fertilizers

Soil requires nutrients that are provided in a proper feeding schedule in order for it to remain healthy. Applying fertilizers is easy to do, as all you need is to first rake the area, then release the organic fertilizers and then water it. These fertilizers are produced without any chemicals and additives. They can be used on their own or combined with other natural fertilizers to maintain the quality and nutrient content of the soil.

One type of natural fertilizer is alfalfa meal that can be bought in pet stores as well. It is rich in phosphorus and vitamins K and P. Chicken manure is also a favorite because of its nutrient and phosphorus content. You can either raise your own chickens or conveniently purchase the manure from local farms. Cow manure is also used as a natural fertilizer and this can be bought from local farms. Just be sure that the cows graze on open pasture and consume nutrient dense food for quality manure. You can also make your own fertilizer by making compost. When you make compost, remember that meat, fish, animal waste, dead animals, salad dressings and plastic must not be added to the compost pile.

Keep A Watering Routine

A good watering routine will ensure that your garden is always healthy and well fed. However, your routine must match the weather you are experiencing. During the summer months, you will have to water your plants more often, though in smaller volume to avoid drowning them. This is why having a sprinkler system is convenient and effective. It will save you both time and energy, from having to constantly return to the garden and keep it hydrated. You can also opt for an automated sprinkler system which features a timer for easier operating. However, you may have to move the sprinklers around in your garden from time to time to suit your garden’s development.

Weeds And Pests

All gardens will have weed and pest problems at some point or the other. Both are dangerous to a garden because weeds can eliminate nutrients resulting in weak patches, while pests can seriously damage plants. Weeding must be done routinely and pest control must be done carefully to avoid removing beneficial insects as well.

Gardening will take some effort and determination to achieve remarkable results. It will require your regular attention and not just whenever you have time. You must also be curious to learn new gardening techniques and discover new natural gardening treatments. Stick to a schedule and devote at least 30 minutes to your garden. If you are unable to provide your garden with the care and attention it needs on a regular basis, you can always hire the services of a professional to help you have beautiful and presentable garden.

Valerie Parker is a freelance writer specializing in garden care. She regularly contributes articles to websites focusing on Idaho Falls Sprinklers and gardening.






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More garden safety tips

As with just about anything you do around the home or in the workplace, it’s important to practice gardening safety when you garden. There’d be nothing worse than seriously injuring yourself while you’re gardening and then ending up being unable to maintain your lovely garden.

Health Precautions

Since one aspect of gardening is digging in the earth, possibly working with thorny plants (roses anyone?) and sometimes working with tools that have a little rust on them it’s important to make sure that your Tetanus shots are up to date. Most people only require a Tetanus booster every ten years, but if you are an avid gardener your doctor might recommend that you get booster shots a little more frequently.

You can get some nasty infections from the fungus on rose thorns or the bacteria in your garden soil so if you are working in the garden and end up getting slivers or thorns stuck in your skin try to remove them as soon as you are finished your tasks. Wash the puncture wounds and any other wounds that you acquire while gardening and then apply an antiseptic to prevent infection.

Tool Safety

One major aspect of gardening safety is the safe use of gardening tools. Be sure to store them in an area where children or possibly even pets can’t get at them. When you are using your gardening tools also try to be mindful of where each tool is located, especially if you have friends or family members out in the yard with you. I’m sure everyone can either remember stepping on a rake that was placed on the ground the wrong way and being hit in the face or watching someone else do it.

Perhaps store you smaller gardening tools in a gardening belt or tool belt so they are handy and close to you at all times. A bucket with a handle would also be a great place to store tools as you work in the garden.

Dull gardening tools often make worse cuts (on plants and on our skin!) so make sure your pruners and other cutting tools and blades are sharp and kept free of rust, and handle with care.

Chemical Safety

If you use chemicals in your garden – fertilizers, weed killers or other chemicals please make sure that you are storing them safely and using them as directed. Of course you can make it really easy on yourself and be like me and just not use any chemicals in the garden at all!

Some chemicals are quite toxic when being used and require that a mask and safety clothing be worn when applying them to your plants. Be sure to read the directions before starting to use a chemical in your yard and where appropriate protection if necessary. Also be sure that family members, friends and neighbors or pets aren’t nearby when using potentially toxic chemicals and keep pets and people away until the level of toxicity goes down whether that be an hour or a few days.

Also remember to read the label when it comes to disposing of used chemical bottles or left over chemicals. Sometimes you can simple put the containers in your recycling and other times you might have to drop them off at a special depot.

If you always make sure that you practice garden safety you, your family, pets and friends will be able to enjoy the time in the garden.

Don’t forget to read the first article on Gardening Safety that I published earlier this month in order to avoid injuring yourself while planting new plants in the garden and more.

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New Question and Answer Page

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it yet, but across the top of the page under the header I have listed a number of what I feel are this sites important pages. Green Thumb Sunday, how to join the GTS list, A list of what I’m growing in my garden (just updated!), a contact form and now I’ve added the new Q&A page.

Every once in a while someone will decide to take a chance and they either leave a comment or contact me via email in order to ask me to help them identify some strange plant that’s growing in their yard or maybe they are writing to me to ask about a plant that’s not doing well in their garden or in their home.

I’m certainly not a master gardener, but I’ve been gardening since I was a young child and I’ve got a garden that’s chock full of a wide variety of plants, plus there’s a number of house plants in my home … certainly I can try to answer some questions.

As I suggested on the Q&A page – if you have a question for me about plant health, plant care or the identity of a mystery plant please feel free to leave a comment on that page and I’ll do some research and create a new post on this blog about the question.

If I can’t answer a question I’ll try to point the person towards resources that are sure to be helpful.

If you do have a question for me remember to try to give me a link to a picture of the plant in question. I may use the photo in a post (be aware). If you can’t point me towards a photo please do be as descriptive as possible as it will save me a bit of time researching the answer!

If you’re kind enough to send me your questions you’ll be helping me get more garden related content on this site. For the longest time I was doing pretty good about putting up new plant profiles and tips but that’s fallen off in the last few months. I’ll help you if you can help me. :)

Also, if you have a garden related event in your area and you’d like to get the word out feel free to tell me about it and if I feel it’s appropriate for this site I’d be happy to tell my readers all about it.

Send me your questions!

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