Picking the Right Gardening Tools

If you’re thinking about taking your gardening seriously and getting out there every day to increase the attractiveness of your garden, then you will want to get the right tools to help you in this. You might be tempted to go out to the store and just buy the nearest things you see, but you’ll be much happier if you put lots of thought into the styles and types of tools you’re buying. There are styles designed just for gardening, and you’ll be better off buying those.

You can find most of the tools you will need at your local gardening or home improvement shop. Usually the employees will be simply thrilled to assist you in finding the ideal tools. If you go to a shop that specializes in gardening, you can usually get some advice in addition to service. Gardening store employees are usually an untapped wealth of wisdom, and they are how I learned almost all that I know about gardening today.

If you are having a hard time finding the right tool or if you want to save some money, you might try looking online for the supplies you need. You’ll have to pay the shipping costs and wait an extra week or two, but often if you buy more than one tool, the total savings will be worth it. You should always buy from a reputable seller, though, and search around beforehand for anything negative that people had to say about their buying experience.

As far as basic digging tools go, you might already have all you’ll need. There are several types that you should get though, for different specific tasks. A round point shovel is good for digging holes for plants. A spade is necessary for all the more intricate work. A garden fork you might not use as much, but I have one in my tool shed and I’ve been thankful for it on multiple occasions. Having these different varieties of digging tools can help you to minimize the work you have to do. For example, if you try digging a big hole with a little spade then you’ll end up rather tired. The same goes if you are attempting to do more detailed work with a big clumsy shovel.

A rake is an absolute necessity. You most likely already have one, but I’m guessing it’s a lawn rake and not a garden rake. There is definitely a difference, and if you try to use a lawn rake in a garden then you will not be happy with the results. Same if you buy a grading or a contractor’s rake. You’ll want to look for a bowhead rake. I’ve found these are the best for gardening purposes. They will provide you the maximum control and accuracy, so you don’t accidentally tear up your precious plants.

Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is the exact same as regular gardening except that no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used. This can make certain aspects difficult, such as controlling disease, insects, and weeds. Organic gardening also requires more attention to the soil and the many needs of plants.

Organic gardening starts with the soil. Gardeners must add organic matter to the soil regularly in order to keep the soil productive. In fact, compost is essential to the healthiness and well being of plants grown organically. Compost can be made from leaves, dead flowers, vegetable scraps, fruit rinds, grass clippings, manure, and many other things. The ideal soil has a dark color, sweet smell, and is full of earthworms. Some soil may need more natural additives than regular compost can give, such as bonemeal, rock phosphates, or greensand. A simple soil test will tell you the pH balance and which nutrients you will need to use.

One thing that makes even gardeners that are very serious about organic gardening reach for pesticides is insects on their plants. The best way to defend plants against insects is to take preventative measures. One thing that can be done is to make sure plants are healthy and not too wet or dry because insects usually attack unhealthy plants and if healthy, they can often outgrow minor insect damage. A variety of plant types is a good idea to keep pests of a particular plant type from taking out the entire garden.

Maintaining a Compost Heap

Many people who maintain gardens have a large amount of organic waste, from grass clippings to leaves and dead plants. Unfortunately, many waste money and time having these wastes transported to a landfill. It isn’t just a waste of good compost; it’s a waste of everything that goes into the process of transporting it (the garbage man’s time, the money you pay for the removal, etc). It is truly a travesty.

All this garbage that people are trying to get rid of can be a better supplement for your garden than any fertilizer or chemical. If you properly facilitate the decomposition of all of the garbage, it will alter chemically until it is in such a state that it can be nothing but beneficial nutrition for other plants. Therefore you can turn all the stuff you would have thrown away into top grade fertilizer for your garden.

Usually compost is maintained in a pile somewhere in your backyard. Usually the thought of a compost heap brings disturbing images to ones mind; heaps of rotten garbage emitting a horrid odor. However, if you maintain it correctly you’ll be able to produce great compost without producing an offensive odor. When I first began my compost pile in an effort to improve environmental health, I made several major errors. These included preventing the pile from the oxygen it truly needed, and keeping it to dry. It ended up decomposing in a very non-beneficial way, and producing an odor so foul that I had government agents knocking at my door.

When you are choosing your spot where you will be putting all of these materials, you should aim for a higher square footage. Having a really deep pile of compost is not a good idea, because generally the deeper sections won’t be exposed to anything that is required for the process to work. It is better to spread it all out over a large area. If you have a shed or a tool shack of some sort, it is a possibility to spread it over the roof (with boards to keep it from falling off, of course). I have seen this done several times, and it helps keep the pile out of the way while still maintaining a large square footage.

Installing a Drip Irrigation System

If you’re looking for ways to keep your garden watered without wasting too much time and money, you’ve probably gone through a lot of options in your mind. Maybe you’ve considered a sprinkler, a hose, or a good old-fashioned watering can. All of these methods might be convenient, but most of the time you will end up wasting water on plants that don’t need any more. If you live in a drought stricken area like I do, you know that every bit of water counts. I ended up getting a drip irrigation system. I haven’t regretted this decision at all.

When you install a drip irrigation system, you can choose one of two varieties: above ground and below ground. The above ground version drips small amounts of water continuously onto the ground, and allows it to soak in. It is all regulated from a pressure controller, which ensures that the water just comes out at a drip instead of a spray or a stream. These pressure regulators are very inexpensive. The whole drip system can be set up with a pressure regulator and a garden hose with holes poked in it (although it is ideal for you to get a pipe designed for this type of use, I’ve found that the hose method works acceptably).

The underground system is a bit more of a pain to install and maintain. But if you’re really into the aesthetic aspect of your garden and don’t want any visible watering system, then you might consider it worth it. It’s essentially the same as the above ground version, only a small trench is dug for the hose or pipe prior to any planting. This allows the water direct access to the roots for the most watering efficiency. Plus, you can impress your neighbors by having a beautiful garden without ever going outside to water it! They’ll be baffled.

Dealing with Garden Pests

While tending to my own garden, I have found that one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a gardener is to walk outside to check on your plants. It’s just a routine walk to make sure that your garden is thriving, but you end up finding holes in all of your plants that looked fine only hours before. The explanations for some of these plant-destroying holes are garden pests. Some of the main garden pests are slugs, worms, caterpillars, birds, snails, and the occasional gopher.

Although you can never wipe out these pests entirely, after all your hard work in the garden you have to do something.

Insects are one of the worst things to have in your garden; they can live under the soil, in old weeds or piles of leaves, or in a number of other places. In order to help keep insects away, always try and eliminate places in your garden and near your garden that these insects and other plant diseases could be living. Remove old leaves, weeds, or any other decaying matter that insects and diseases could be living in from your yard. Also, regularly turn over your garden soil and break apart any clumps of dirt so that you can eliminate the living spaces any insects that might be hiding underground.

Another way to rid your garden of the pests is to use dormant spray, which is used to keep destructive insects and diseases under control. It is best that you use dormant spray when your plants are dormant, usually around February or early March. I have used dormant spray many times on my garden and it has worked wonders on keeping insects out. But as I learned from experience, dormant spray is only effective if you follow the correct instructions.

When I first decided to use some on my garden, I just dumped it everywhere in hopes of killing everything harmful. Unfortunately I ended up killing my entire garden along with my neighbors. Some insects can be beneficial to your garden though, so be sure to find out which insects help your garden.

Choosing a Garden that is Perfect for You

If you’re thinking about starting a garden, the first thing you need to consider is what type of garden you will have. There are many different choices and often it can be hard to pick just one, but hopefully you can narrow it down. But by narrowing it down, you’ll make the gardening experience easier on yourself and the plants. If all your plants are similar, then it shouldn’t be very hard to care for them all. So here are some of the main garden ideas for you to choose from.

If you’re just looking for something to look nice in your yard, you’ll want a flower garden. These are usually filled with perennial flower. Perennial flowers are flowers which stay healthy year-round. They’re basically weeds because of their hardiness, only nice looking. Different areas and climates have different flowers which are considered perennials. If you do a quick internet search for your area, you can probably find a list of flowers that will bring your flower garden to life. These usually only require work in the planting stage – after that, the flower take careof themselves. The only downside to this is that you don’t have any product to show for it.

Another choice for your garden is to have a vegetable garden. These usually require a little more work and research than a flower garden, but can be much more rewarding. No matter what time of the year it is, you can usually find one vegetable that is still prospering. That way you can have your garden be giving you produce almost every day of the year! When starting a vegetable garden, you should build it with the thought in mind that you will be adding more types of veggies in later. This will help your expandability. Once all your current crops are out of season, you won’t be stuck with almost nowhere to put the new crops. A vegetable garden is ideal for someone who wants some produce, but doesn’t want to devote every waking hour to perfecting their garden