Posts Tagged ‘gardening tips’

What To Do In Your Garden In January

January is probably not your idea of a month to be going around outside and working in the garden. Just because it is winter, your garden does not need to be brown and dreary.

Cold January days are the perfect opportunity for planning your garden for the following year. The snowdrops are beginning to emerge from the ground, scented shrubs are beginning to flourish and Hellebores begin to show their faces in the shadiest patches of the garden. For me, January is a time to dream about the gardening season ahead and get my hands dirty too!

(C) Grayshaw & Yeo Gardening

1. Continue to clear away any decaying perennials from your borders to deter slugs and snails and allow spring bulbs to grow fully. Empty compost heaps that are ready to use as mulch and spread it on the garden. This will enrich your soil and provide you with healthy plants later in the year.

2. Ensure that you continue to water pots and containers – particularly window boxes and containers that sit on balconies or the lee of the house. Containers planted with bulbs should be given a good water at least twice a week. Try not to water during periods of heavy frost and ensure tender plants are protected with fleece or hessian.

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6 Ways To Look After Your Garden When You’re On Holiday

This coming Christmas holiday, you and your family may already be planning for your long holidays away from home. However you start to worry about your garden. But if you are planning a week or two’s vacation, then the following tips should help to save much of your potential harvest.

There are so many things to think about when going on holiday, from sorting out travel insurance to trying to remember where you’ve put your passport.

It’s easy to forget about garden maintenance when you’re searching for those missing flip flops, or forcing your bulging suitcase shut, but a few simple steps will ensure you minimise the amount of work to do when you get back.

(C) Better Homes and Gardens

Rune Sovndahl, co-founder and CEO of domestic services company Fantastic Services, shares his tips for looking after your garden when you’re away.

1. Preparation is key

“The key thing about maintaining your garden when you are going away is preparation and making sure you have done everything you can to limit the work you will have to do upon your return,” says Rune.

“Get rid of all the weeds, cover any bare soil with mulch and trim the hedges to protect these areas of your garden.”

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A Beginner’s Guide To Saving Seeds From Your Favorite Vegetables

Many gardeners like to save seeds they have collected from their own gardens.  It’s easy to save seeds especially to those fruits and vegetables that we eat. After eating them we can save those seeds, dry them up and plant them for the next season.

If left to them their own devices, fleshy fruits naturally fall to the earth, where some of their seeds sprout when spring arrives again. Saving seeds from these plants mimics nature’s way—and it’s not at all difficult to do. But remember that only seeds from open-pollinated, not hybrid, plants will produce the same crop next year. (The packet that the original seeds arrived in will tell you whether the variety is open-pollinated or hybrid.) And, except for tomatoes, the plants shouldn’t be cross-pollinated by insects (which would happen if several varieties grew in the same area).

(C) The Cookful


Peppers are the easiest. The seeds are mature after the peppers have changed color, indicating final ripeness. Cut the peppers open, scrape out the seeds onto a plate—reserving the flesh for eating—and let the seeds dry in a nonhumid, shaded place, testing them occasionally until they break rather than bend. What could be simpler?

(Note: Dry all wet seeds on a glass or ceramic plate. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface of the plate and stir twice daily to ensure even drying and to keep them from clumping together. Don’t dry seeds on paper plates or paper towels—they’ll stick like glue. A food dehydrator set at 85 degrees works well, but don’t dry them in a warm oven or any place the temperature exceeds 95 degrees.)

Melons And Squash

Muskmelons, watermelons, and winter squash? Super easy. Cut muskmelons open, scoop the seeds into a strainer, rinse, and set out to dry. Watermelons are almost as easy. Put the seeds in a strainer and add a dash of dishwashing liquid to remove any sugar left on the seeds. Rinse and dry.


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Top 23 Surprising DIY Ideas To Decorate Your Garden Fence

Your garden can play an important role in improving the look of your home. Here are a few tips to help you decorate your garden.



Like a disagreeable child, the humble garden fence is always neglected by us. We take pains to decorate our garden to make it more and more beautiful. But for the garden fence, we just simply paint it or even make it nude. However, the garden fence can also add color to our garden if we well dress it. So let me give some of our loves to our garden fence to make it a unique landscape on our garden.
But how can you decorate your garden fence? You can get a luxury fence by spending a lot of money, or you can also dress it with the material around your home. Anyway, as long as you have the ideas. Here we collect some amazing ideas for you. Come and make your garden fence look unique and beautiful.






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15 Common Lawn And Garden Weeds-Guide To Weed Identification

Garden weeds have always been a nuisance for all those who want their gardens to be in a tip top condition. There are times that you as a gardener would have realized no matter how much you hack and slash them, they have a great propensity to grow back as though you did nothing about it.


A garden with a beautiful lawn and a few flower beds is an asset to a home a housewife will love to have. She will toil to nurse the plants and will take care of the lawn but there is one thing she will hate to see and that is weeds. These unwelcome guests will appear in your lawn and will invade your flower beds using up the nutrients you provide for your plants. The best thing one could do in order to control all types of weeds is to identify them and to use the right methodologies to control their growth and ultimately make the garden free of weeds.

The following are some of the common weeds and ways to control them in order to minimize the damage caused to a garden by them.

1) Crabgrass:

This is an annual weed that thrives on warm weather. It will appear in early spring and is one of the most common weeds that could create lawn problems. Since this plant propagates mainly through its seeds the best thing to do is to remove the plants before the flowers appear. Using the organic pesticide of corn gluten meal in your garden could bring about good results as it will prevent seeds from germinating.

weed Crabgrass

2) Pigweed:

This annual is a weed that spreads through its seeds. Therefore, you must remove it whenever it appears in your garden before it flowers. You can make it out easily with its taproot of red color. However, it is also good to remember that well grown plants of this weed is edible.

Pigweed grass weed

3) Chickweed:

There are two species in this common weed. The annual common chickweed and the perennial mouse ear chickweed are the two. Both these have roots that won’t go deep. Therefore, if you see these weeds in lawn pull them with hand in order to get rid of them.

Chickweed identification


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What Your Garden’s Weeds are Trying to Tell You

Weeds stick out like a sore thumb in yards because they may be of a different color, size or texture. They are distracting from the beauty of the otherwise sprawling green turf.


The best way to learn about your soil’s health is to get a soil test through your local cooperative extension service or at a local nursery. However, there are a few simple things you can do to get a general idea about your soil’s health. One of the best ways to find out more about your soil is to observe what’s growing well in it.Different weeds thrive in different conditions. Note that we’re not talking about one or two weeds here. If you’re seeing several of the same weed in an area, that can give you a good general idea of what type of conditions you have in that spot. Here are some common weeds to look for, and what their presence means. Where possible, I’ve linked to a photo of the weed so you can identify them more easily.

Weeds, and What They Mean

Photo Credit: Joost J. Bakker Ijmuiden, Flickr Creative Commons.

  • Bindweed: This morning glory relative, a vining plant with white and pink blossoms, thrives in compacted soil.
  • Chickweed: This low, spreading annual weed is a sign of high fertility.
  • Chicory: Chicory is most easily identifiable by its bright blue flowers. You’ll often find this plant growing along roadsides, where it is a sign of compacted soil.
  • Dandelion: Probably the most easily identified weed on this list, the dandelion is common just about everywhere but will absolutely thrive in acidic soil.
  • Henbane: Henbane, also called “black henbane,” is common in the northwestern U.S. as well as southern Canada. It is a sign of alkaline soil.
  • Horsetail: This perennial weed, which spreads both by spores and rhizomes, thrives in damp, poorly-drained soils.


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No Dig Gardening

“No dig gardening is actually an approach to cultivation favored by many organic gardeners. No dig method relies on nature to carry out cultivation operations such as letting the experts do it, the earth worms. Though some may not agree to it, read first why organic gardeners are advocating it.”


No Dig


Everyone agrees that gardening would be way more fun, and many people would be more inclined to take up gardening if there wasn’t the need for all that back-breaking hard work such as digging… It may be a surprise to many people, but digging IS NOT a necessary part of gardening at all!

So how did we get into the habit of digging up our gardens in the first place?  Basically it’s just old tradition. Historically people have treated their gardens like miniature farms, people looked at how huge areas of land were farmed , and then did the same on a smaller scale, because that’s what they knew how to do.

You may be asking “Why do farms till the soil anyway?” The answer is because tillage (i.e. ploughing)  helps loosen compacted soil which makes it easier to plant into, rips up weeds, and buries the scraps left over from harvesting.

This then raises the logical question, why is the soil compacted in the first place if it’s constantly tilled? There are several causes re-compaction of tilled soil, namely animal-powered and mechanised farm equipment, such as tractors and oxen, people walking on the soil and rain impacting on bare soil!

Before we can understand the reasons for not digging soil, it’s important to understand what soil is, otherwise it’s not clear what we’re dealing with.


Why We Shouldn’t Dig!

The soil is not just ‘dirt’ to anchor plant and tree roots, though that’s how many people treat it! The soil is a very complex ecosystem, teeming with very diverse life.

In fact, the soil is more abundant with life and more complex than any other ecosystem above the ground. There are about 50 billion microbes in 1 tablespoon of soil. By comparison, the human population numbers just over 7 billion currently. These organisms include Bacteria, Actinomycetes, Fungi, Yeast, Protozoa, Algae and  Nematodes. Furthermore there are arthropods and insects in there as well, including earthworms. That’s a lot of life in the soil!

So what are all these critters doing in the soil? The soil bacteria form a beneficial relationship with plant roots, and soil fungi form a beneficial relationship with …


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Gardening in Clay Soil Hints and Tips to Help You

“Anyone can have different types of soil. Therefore, we cannot just assume that just because your neighbors have clay soil, you will too. Clay soil is sticky but smooth, and can be rolled into a tight ball. So before you do anything on your garden, you need to confirm first if your soil is really clay.”


What is Clay Soil?

gardening in clay soil - cracked clay soil


Have you got clay soil?

Clay soil is:

    • solid and sticky when wet
    • it will easily roll into a ball when wet
    • when dry, it is solid and lumpy – may crack
    • it drains poorly, and may often get waterlogged
    • difficult to dig
    • often neutral pH, or alkaline


How to Improve Clay Soil

Gardening in clay soil can be really hard work – it’s tough going getting a spade in…

…but, digging your soil will really help to improve it’s condition, by:

    • breaking it up
    • getting some air into it
    • Never dig down through the yellow, white or blue subsoil, or mix it with the topsoil
    • Dig the topsoil only, and mix it with lots of organic matter, such as:
      • compost
      • composted bark
      • leaf mold
    • Also add some horticultural grit
    • Autumn is a good time to do this – so winter frosts can help break up the soil structure even more, and open it up more too.
    • Try not to tread too much on the soil, as this compacts it back down again.




Common Types of Garden Weeds

One of the major issues that one finds in gardens is garden weeds. Eliminating them is totally essential because they remove the nutrition from the soil that might otherwise happen to be used by the grass. The garden weeds hamper the growth of grass along with other plants and so it’s obligatory which they be removed. The very best defense is always to quickly detect them in order that you will understand how to prevent them also. Here are six of the most common weeds:

– Daisy weed
The perennial daisy weed is considered the most popular weeds to attack the lawn. Daisies appear to be with a yellow center that is surrounded by white petals and develop to around 3 inches. This weed is fairly resilient to typical mowing and trimming, as a result it aids to use a hand-tool such as daisy grubber to rapidly lift and take away the weeds.

– Wild Onion
Wild onion looks like a grass at a glance. Close up examination will disclose triangular leaf design as opposed to a lance or linear-shaped blade that a person notices on a lawn grass. It could grow from its small buried bulb to as much as 2 feet once it flowers in late summer. You’ll see a one of a kind onion odor whenever close to this weed.

– Dandelion
You’ll be able to quickly them because of its little yellow flower with the milky stems and extremely long taproots. It is virtually impossible to prevent dandelions from scattering in the event it starts to flower and seed. So it’s vital that you take them out immediately before it starts so. Any section of the root left will grow to another plant. In case there are seed heads, cover it with a paper bag being careful not to disturb the seeds.

– Plantain
This weed is very common in gardens. It’s a perennial that grows in cooler seasons and it is discovered almost everywhere. The foliage is rosette-shaped and have conspicuous veins. Leaves may seem parallel-veined, green to purple and may also be hairy or smooth. Seed heads resembling rats’ tails will be the distinction of this weed.

– Crabgrass
Once this grassy weed has begun to occupy a place in your garden it might be very hard to eradicate it. This kind is annual and it germinates by seeds spread during the previous year. Sun rays is the best friend of crabgrass where by it will help it to sprout. With this type of weed, it is practical for one to prevent it from growing instead of controlling it once it has sprung.

– Creeping thistle
The creeping thistle is for certain to cause destruction of the lawn with bare areas or freshly seeded lawns. This kind of weed has thistle-like foliage with purple colored flower heads. The spiky nature of the leaves cause them to really irritating to walk or rest on. Creeping thistle is best removed by using a fork or daisy grubber.