Garden Master: Things in the Garage

Anyone who claims to be an expert in the garden obviously needs a large, expensive assortment of gardening tools…right?  No.  This doesn’t have to be the case.  A modest budget is all that is needed to wrangle even the largest of home gardens.  So what do I need?  Lets keep this as simple as possible.  Lets take a look and see what you already have in that garage of yours…heck…even a tool shed will do.

First and foremost, every one who dreams of gardening excellence is going to need a good rake.  There are two types of rakes.  Metal and plastic.  Are we following?  A plastic rake is great for removing leaves, grass, and other debris from sidewalks and patios.  However, these rakes are often not very sturdy and are known to brake or “lose arms” rather quickly.  The good thing is is that they are very affordable.  Most plastic rakes can be purchased for well under $30.  A metal rake, however, can cost a little bit more.  Look to spend closer to $50 for a good metal rake.  They will last forever thankfully and are much more effective when used on grassy areas or non-concrete areas than wooden rakes.  If you’ve ever tried to rake leaves off of your lawn with a plastic rake, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Shovels.  You have to have shovels.  How many you ask?  Simple.  A big one and a small one.  A large shovel will be needed to remove or place large quantities of dirt to the area where the garden is located.  Large shovels will also be needed to dig “holes” for large plants and bushes.  Make an effort to wash large shovels after using because they can on occasion rust.  A simple washing with a garden hose will suffice.  Small shovels, also known as spades, are also a must for any serious gardener.  I feel that this will be your most frequently used tool.  They are great for digging smaller “holes” for smaller plants and simply re-arranging dirt and other things in your home garden.  They can usually be purchased for less than $20 at any hardware store.  A good large shovel may run you about $50.  There are many styles and brands available.

A pair of gardening shears will also be required.   When your garden really starts to blossom and take flight, some of your plants and bushes will start to grow “too much” and they will need to be trimmed.  Regular trimming of these plants will keep them looking good and “tamed”.  Nobody wants to look at a sloppy, overgrown garden.  I can go walk in the woods if that’s what I’m looking for.

And of course, a reliable garden hose is a must.  Hydration is the most important element of any healthy garden.  A hose is the one item you may want to splurge a bit on.  There are super cheap garden hoses available but they will not last and can be a pain to use.  Get yourself a good hose that stores neatly and will last 10 years or so.  A sprinkler may also not be a bad idea if you spend a lot of time away from home in the warmer months.

So this is a good start…right.  You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a beautiful garden.  Just make sure you keep that garage door locked and you should have all you need to build the garden of your dreams for years to come!  Need help organizing your garage?  Columbiagaragepros.com is a great company that can provide any garage door solution you may need.  Good luck with your garden!

 

How to Control Weeds in Your Garden

Getting rid of weeds in your garden can be a challenge especially if you wait until they have taken root. Indigenous common weeds usually adapt and suit to the weather and soil conditions of your garden. This means it is important to prevent such weeds from sprouting rather than waiting till they come up. Although you may want to apply a herbicide there are other ways that can prevent these intruders from taking over your garden. Harm yourself with the right strategies and enjoy a well-groomed garden.

  • Don’t Disturb the Garden Soil

For your information, every garden contains weed seeds. These seeds are waiting for a call before they begin germinating. If not disturbed underground, most of these seeds usually remain dormant underground for years. You better avoid disturbing them if you want them not to come up.

Ensure you dig the garden only when it’s necessary. Mulching the disturbed spot can help keep the weeds from germinating. If you have a lawn avoid disturbing the soil by digging and use a sharp knife to when slicing through the roots of lawn weeds. Also avoid high-powered tillers.

  • Mulch

Mulching helps to keep sunlight away from the weeds thus preventing them from germinating. Whether you go for pine needles, back nuggets, wood chips, or straw apply the mulch to keep off the weeds. Other benefits of mulches include keeping the soil moist and cool. Organic mulches gradually break down and become part of the soil nutrients. When applying a mulch ensure the soil is not deprived of oxygen.  Having problems with squirrels removing mulch from your garden.  A good fence can take care of that problem.  Visit StlouisFenceCo.com for a free fence estimate.

  • Weed at the right time

Note that younger weeds can be removed much easier compared to those that have been around for a while. Get started when the soil is wet, probably after it has just rained. Equip yourself with the right tools such as gloves, a tarp, and a sitting pad. Make sure you sever the weeds from the roots. Remember to patch the open spaces after weeding. Chop off their heads if removing them is a challenge.

  • Water the Plants not the Weeds

Deprive the weeds in the garden water and allow your plants to thrive. You can use drip or soaker horses to irrigate the plants. This can help to reduce the germination of weed seeds by up to 70 percent. However, do not allow perennial weeds such as nuts-edge and bindweed to take advantage of the moist areas in your garden.

Water Saving Tips for Your Garden

Every home has a lot of things that need your attention in terms of money and time. During the hot, dry weather most homes struggle keeping their gardens alive because of limited access to water as well as restrictions and money. The cost of watering your garden can really be too high and it is important to implement several practices which will save you valuable money. Here are guidelines and tips that will help you save water or rather manage and conserve water efficiently.

  • Mulching

Mulching helps in reducing the evaporation of moisture and water from the soil. When you cover the soil with mulches, weeds are kept down and it also looks quite attractive. Natural mulches that you can use in your garden include pine needles, back chips, and compost. Spread grass chippings in your vegetable and flower gardens to save money. You may also use ground-up leaves. Using these organic mulches does not only reduce water loss but also adds to the nutrients in the soil as they gradually break down.

  • Native Plants

If you are struggling with water costs because of plants that can’t adjust to the areas climatic conditions, it’s time you changed to native plants. These plants can easily adjust and adapt to the area’s normal climate, soil, and rainfall meaning you might not need to water them at all.

  • Loose the Lawn

While a green lawn is attractive and adds to the beauty of your home it requires not less than 20,000 gallons of water annually. You can consider shifting your attention from a green lawn and going for drought resistant varieties such as the buffalo and Bermuda grass. Compared to other grasses, this grass requires much less water.

  • Consider putting thirsty plants in the same garden

Grouping plants into zones can help your save water. Plants that seem to require much water can be put near the house so that they can benefit from the roof run off. You can also have a zone for plants that need drip irrigation and another one where you can have native plants that don’t need any watering.

  • Plant and Water in early Spring or Early Fall

Avoid planting during summer when it’s hot. Because new plants and transplants do not need much water plant them when it’s cool. By the time it’s getting hot in summer, they’ll have established their root system and will need less watering.

Always water your plants early in the morning to reduce water loss through evaporation.

  • Ground cover

Having shade trees and ground cover will keep the yard moist and cool hence little or no watering is required.

 

  • Build a Berm

Keep the roots of trees and shrubs moist by building a donut-shaped berm. The purpose of the berm is to allow for the slow absorption of water and preventing water from running off.