Gardening, be it for shrubs, trees, flowers, or vegetables, can be a very relaxing and rewarding activity. The smell of the dirt under our fingers as you plant seeds and pull up weeds, the thrill of the watching the tiny plants start to come up, and the pleasure you take in the results of your efforts, all make Gardening an affordable and pleasurable past time. here’s a few useful pointers.

When raising new plants, it’s helpful to identify the best soil composition that fits your plant. Plants require 3 major nutrients to grow phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. Learning the special composition for your soil will usually lead to the best plant growth possible. On the other hand having the wrong composition will generally result in average or stunted growth.

Invest in a electronic PH tester. Avoid liquid PH kits (the color coded ones) as they tend to be less accurate. It is very easy for first time users to botch readings. Also, do not use soil PH test kits as they are unreliable and are not intended for home use.

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.

Vegetable water makes a wonderful fertilizer. Next time you boil or steam your vegetables to eat, set aside the cooking water. This water is chock full of nutrients, and will provide a nice, nutritious boost to your garden. Make sure the water is thoroughly cooled first hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.

Gardening TricksBe vigilant about keeping moisture off your plants. Excess moisture creates an appealing environment for disease and parasites. Fungi are a very common and irritating pest in the world of gardening. Fungus can be handled with sprays specifically formulated for fungi control, but you must treat the area with spray before seeing any kind of problems.

Put a fence around your garden. It keeps out dogs, kids and a wide variety of other creatures that might try to invade your space. If there are gophers where you live, you can also try using raised beds in your garden with screened in bottoms. The extra effort is worth the frustration it will save you.

Create a nighttime garden by adding outdoor lighting. A garden should be enjoyed at all times of the day. It is easy to illuminate your yard with lighting that operates with solar or electric. Several manufacturers make lights of all designs for outdoor use that come in a range of prices to fit all budgets.

Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.

A great tip when participating in organic gardening is to always wash your containers. This is needed so that you will protect your plants from getting any diseases. You should wash them in warm, soapy water, and then rinse using a diluted solution of bleach and water. This will ensure that your plants stay healthy.

Take steps to protect earthworms in your organic garden. Till your soil minimally, as tilling can kill earthworms. The best tilling depth is 3 to 5 inches. Avoid using chemical fertilizers because they harm the micro-organisms in the soil, decreasing earthworm activity. Be sure that the soil never dries out too much, but at the same time avoid over-watering. By maintaining these soil conditions, you will notice your earthworm population increasing rapidly!

If your yard’s soil isn’t as healthy as you want, or has been contaminated in some way, you can still grow organic produce using raised beds. You can use wood, brick or stone for the border. Make sure that it is at least 16 inches high so that there is room for the roots. Fill it with organic soil and compost.

To help spread mulch easily, you can use a flat-head rake or a bow. If you are using a rake, you should use the rakes tined edge to pull and spread your mulch. Use the flat side of the rake to even your mulch on the bed. You will want to use a light push then pull action.

Gardening is a pastime that really gives back. It brings benefits to ourselves, to our family, and to our planet. So, turn your thoughts to outside, and to the pleasure to be had by tending our own piece of the earth, and work on that garden!

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