All You Need to Know About Gardening

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All You Need to Know About Gardening

Gardens serve many purposes in a person's backyard or, for those with limited space, deck or patio. First, a garden adds colour to what can otherwise be a dreary space of cement or uninspiring grass. Secondly, a garden lessens a person's carbon footprint as plants produce oxygen and serve as food for bees, which help propagate plants. Finally, a vegetable garden actually produces food, which helps keep food costs down. Getting a garden to grow properly can be a tricky endeavour, because there is much to know about soil, sunlight, water availability, fertiliser, and other issues. Once a budding gardener has a handle on the basics, setting up a garden is the next step.

Decide Which Type of Garden to Grow

The first step to a successful garden is to decide which type of plants to grow. Often, gardeners have instances where they try to grow too many plants and their garden becomes overrun and unmanageable. Also, some plants work well with other plants while others can actually prove harmful to others and inhibit their grown, such as limiting pollination. Options include growing flowers, vegetables, or fruits, or a combination of two or all three.

Know the Soil Composition

Knowing the soil composition also helps to determine the type of garden to grow. A sandy soil absorbs a lot of moisture but does not allow some plants to put down good roots. The main types of soil for gardening are sandy, clay, and loamy, sometimes known as peaty.

Soil Composition

Characteristics

Ideal Plants

Clay

Moist or dry to the touch

Most water runs off and can dry out quickly

Takes longer to warm up, especially after cold mornings

Black-eyed Susan

Japanese iris

Garlic

Lettuce

Summer squash

Winter squash

Sandy

Dry and gritty to the touch

Absorbs water well, but does not hold it

Heats up faster in warm weather

Lavender

Crape myrtle

Potatoes

Onions

Cauliflower

Loamy or peaty

Moist to the touch

Retains water and nutrients well

pH level must be monitored

Roses

Blueberries

Strawberries

Bell pepper

Tomatoes

The ideal soil is loamy, which is a balance between clay and sand, which gives the soil structure, but allows it to absorb moisture and nutrients. Other types of soil that a gardener may encounter include silty, which retains water well but not nutrients, and saline, which has a high salt content and is virtually unusable.

Learn the Keys to a Successful Garden

Although soil is probably the most important factor in growing a successful garden, it is by no means the only one. Other key factors to consider when planting a garden include the following.

Light

The garden, for almost all types of plants, should receive moderate to heavy sunlight. Morning sunlight is best as it helps the plants dry from any overnight dew buildup, which can cause funguses to thrive. Also, the sun is not as hot as it is in the afternoon. Six hours of sun per day is necessary for plants that require full sun. Grow partial-sun plants in areas that get morning sun.

Water

Water serves as the nourishment delivery system for plants, although the sun does that in small parts as well. However, water must occur judiciously. Too little water can starve a plant for moisture and nutrients and cause it to wither and die. Too much water, however, is equally bad, as it can loosen the plant's root system and even drown the plant. When not relying on rainwater, hand watering should occur in the morning to keep the plants healthy.

Fertiliser and Mulch

Both of these provide food for plants, while certain mulches, such as wood chips, also serve as cover to protect plants against certain pests. Fertiliser can be chemical-based or natural, such as from composting or peat moss. Fertiliser often mixes with water and feeds plants at the same time.

Plants

The plants themselves are also key to a successful garden. Although there are many varieties of plants available for gardeners, they fall in two categories: annuals and perennials. Annuals grow only once and die off once the first freeze sets in, which is usually around late May or early June. Perennials, meanwhile, grown through the season, go dormant during the colder months, and then begin growing again after the last frost of the season, usually around August or early September.

Sow or Plant, Then Harvest

Seeds for vegetable gardens can begin growing indoors while it is still cold outside. In general, most seeds should begin growing about four to six weeks before the last frost. This allows the seedlings to be strong enough to withstand wind and other hazards. People can plantseeds directly in the ground after the first frost. Pest control is also a common issue for gardeners as insects and even small animals can make quick work of a garden.

Once it gets late into the season, the harvest can begin for vegetable gardens. Some plants, such as bell pepper, tomato, okra, and summer squash, produce all season, while other plants, like winter squash, melons, and berries only produce once.

How to Buy Gardening Products on eBay

Finding all of the necessary gardening products is easy when searching on eBay. Using the proper search terms, like "tomato seeds" or " plant food", returns several results from which users can choose. Make sure to review the eBay Deals section, where gardening tools and accessories are available.

Gardening is a wonderful pastime for anyone who has a little free time and wants to try their hand growing their own flowers and vegetables. Above all, a successful garden takes patience as the gardener works to maintain it through the heat of the season. However, the rewards are great when a gardener can supply his or her family with fresh produce.

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