Gardening can be more than a relaxing pastime. A well-maintained garden can be the crowning glory of a fine home, and even the humblest abode looks better with a nicely-tended garden. Read on to discover how caring for the growing plants around a house can reflect powerfully on the house itself and its owners.
Plant crops compatible with each other in order to add even more efficiency to your garden. Plant crops that take longer to mature next to faster growing varieties. You can also get ahead of the season by planting cooler climate crops in the shade of larger summer crops. Greens such as lettuce do great in the shade of a large tomato plant.
Before planting anything, clean up as much as possible the area where you plan on having flowers or any other delicate plants. Remove all the weeds and the grass if you think it is necessary. Your flowers should not have any competitors for the nutrients they need while they grow.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
It is important that you not forget to water your garden on a regular basis, especially when it is hot. If your plants do not get enough water, roots stay near the surface which can kill your plants or cause them to take even longer to grow. About an inch of water a week is sufficient.
To kill off aphids on rose plants, spray them with a powdered milk and water mixture (1/3 cup powdered milk to one quart water). When the mixture is sprayed, the aphids get caught in the liquid and eventually die. Every few weeks spray down the roses with water to rinse off the mixture and reapply it if needed.
Did you know that a tablespoon of powdered milk sprinkled around your rose bushes early in the season can help to prevent fungus growth on your beautiful flowers later in the spring? If you prefer to use a spray, you might try diluting some skim milk and spraying the plant leaves. The lower fat content in skim milk reduces the chance that it will turn rancid.
A good garden says a great deal about its gardeners. The best gardeners are innovators, always on the lookout for new ideas and handy tips. A garden tended well, which features a rotation of novel plantings and features, conveys to every observer the diligence, sensitivity and imagination of the gardener who maintains it.