8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 8 Visiting

The eighth step is to visit your garden regularly. Spending a measly 10 minutes a day wandering around your lawn and garden like inspector 12 is all you need to do. I like to inspect my garden while enjoying a cup of coffee. Bonding with your plants is priceless and you might stop and pull a few weeds while you’re at it. You may also notice a plant needing water or notice a huge tomato worm devouring your favorite tomato plant. The more in touch you are with your garden, the better gardener you shall be.

Dealing with those little things each day keeps you from getting overwhelmed or frustrated because you are spending quality weekend time working in your garden. In fact, you may discover that by tending to your garden often and on a daily basis keeps it from being an obnoxious chore.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by clicking on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” . I will keep you up to date with my blogs and occasionally will give you free items like my Free Gardening Journal that you get when you subscribe.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!

Advertisements

8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 7 Maintenance

The seventh step is to minimize the maintenance required. As a whole, steps one through six will reduce the amount of time you have to spend in the garden. Another tidbit is to cut back on fertilizers and prune when necessary.

Fertilizing and pruning can cause plants to produce new growth providing a buffet for bugs as the prefer this type of growth the most. Besides, plants shouldn’t be forced to grow faster than their normal growth rate. Pruning is not the way nature intended them to grow. No matter how many people believe that, I am not one of them.

My answer is to organically fertilize, which these types of fertilizers have small numbers for nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

And now I would like to offer you a Free copy of my Gardeners Journal so that you can easily document your gardening experience and track what you do. Click on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” and I will send you a copy of this file.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!

8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 6 Plants

The sixth step is to use native plants. Meaning, use plants that are suited for your zone and don’t use plants suited for another zone. The fact is, there’s no getting around the fact that native plants tend to be easier to grow with fewer pest and disease problems and require less supplemental watering. As a result, growing mostly native plants will offer you fewer hassles.

There are plenty of native plants well adapted to various areas of the country and are easy to grow. On the other hand, non-native plants are notorious for pest and disease problems or require special care. Gardening is supposed to be fun and rewarding, not a chore. To learn more about native versus non-native plants in your area, visit your local nursery, call your local extension office or contact your local master gardeners’ group.

And now I would like to offer you a Free copy of my Gardeners Journal so that you can easily document your gardening experience and track what you do. Click on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” and I will send you a copy of this file.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!

8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 5 Watering

The fifth step is to water properly. Your garden needs about one inch a week. If you aren’t sure how much that is, set out a measuring cup every time you water and do the math. The optimal scenario is to water 2 to 3 times a week, depending on how hot it is, and long enough to saturate the ground.

Watering frequently for short periods of time causes plant roots to hover near the soil surface because there is no reason for them to go deep and remain strong. Deep soaking each time you water encourages roots to grow deep down into the soil. The best time to water your garden is early in the morning allowing plant leaves time to dry during the day, which helps to minimize fungal diseases. If you use soaker hoses, you could water any time of the day as your foliage isn’t being watered.

And now I would like to offer you a Free copy of my Gardeners Journal so that you can easily document your gardening experience and track what you do. Click on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” and I will send you a copy of this file.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!

8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 4 Mulch

The fourth step is to mulch. Mulch stabilizes soil temperatures, maintains soil moisture, suppresses weed growth, and breaks down over winter putting nutrients back into your garden.

You don’t have to go buy expensive pine straw. It is cheaper and more effective to just use regular hardwood mulch instead. I practically mulch the whole garden.

So do yourself a huge favor and mulch everything in sight with whatever mulch you like. If you have a large garden, I recommend you find the cheapest mulch around. If you have a small garden, well, it probably doesn’t matter. You could use pine straw, hay, black plastic or hardwood mulch.

And now I would like to offer you a Free copy of my Gardeners Journal so that you can easily document your gardening experience and track what you do. Click on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” and I will send you a copy of this file.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!

8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 3 Soil

The third step is to maintain healthy soil in your garden. The use of compost helps with maintaining healthy soil, but there are other things to consider:

Try to avoid walking on the soil in established gardens, because every step compacts the soil, and compaction makes it difficult for roots to grow. Create paths between rows or in beds, or place a board on the soil adjacent to areas where you work to distribute your weight more evenly over the soil.

Avoid working the soil when it’s wet. Otherwise, once it dries, you’ll wind up with big clumps of hard-packed soil. And finally, don’t overwork the soil, especially with a rototiller. Good soil isn’t powdery; it’s a mixed bag of particles of varying sizes and shapes.

Personally, I don’t use a rototiller because, in my opinion, the tines disturb the soil way too much. And I rarely turn the soil with a shovel. What I occasionally do is loosen the soil with a broadfork, which aerates the soil without disturbing its complex structure.

And now I would like to offer you a Free copy of my Gardeners Journal so that you can easily document your gardening experience and track what you do. Click on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” and I will send you a copy of this file.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!

8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 2 Composting

The second step is to start a compost pile. Whether you choose to build a compost bin out of 2×4’s or simply have a pile away from your house, make sure you put it in a sunny place and water accessible. What better way is there to be rid of all your kitchen scraps (not fatty items) then to make gold for your garden? You will actually be surprised at how easy it really is.

You can take an ice cream tub with a lid and handle to hold all your daily compost. When it is full, then take it out to your pile and dump. Spreading a thin layer over your garden or flower beds at least once a year will bring you tons of joy as well as for your plants. Mix it with your soil when planting or apply it as a top dressing to lawns and container plants. Compost can also be used as a compost tea for a fertilizer.

If you don’t want to make a compost pile, you can always buy compost in bags or in bulk. Your local city or parks department will generally sell it in bulk as do nurseries. Bags of compost may be bought from farmers’ coops or your local feed store.

And now I would like to offer you a Free copy of my Gardeners Journal so that you can easily document your gardening experience and track what you do. Click on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” and I will send you a copy of this file.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!