"Teach me how to garden"

Photo by Downing Street | flickr.com

The long awaited spring weather has finally arrived. It’s warm, school’s nearly out……..and, just in time to do a little gardening!

My parents certainly invest much of their summer tending to our moderately-sized vegetable and fruit garden.  We grow tomatoes, raspberries, mint, coriander, basil, strawberries, and many more lush greens!  What I love most about it is the fact that we can eat a full meal by picking out some fresh greens from the backyard.  And, home-grown food only not tastes better, it definitely looks better! 

I like helping them out with their garden, but this summer, I’d like to add my own plants (a little garden renovation, I suppose).  If any of you are looking to do the same, here are some cool tips and ideas:

1) Creating healthy soil is the most important step in the gardening process. The key is to add compost before planting, repotting container plants, replanting existing garden beds or perennials. Compost forms via the microorganism activity of decaying plants. Under the correct temperature and moisture conditions, such microorganisms are able to create loose, well draining, nutrient-rich compost that is the heart of what makes plants flourish.

While compost helps plants grow from the roots up (bottom-up growth), mulch can also be added to help plants survive rough conditions. Mulch is typically made of various types of wood bark.

Add a layer of mulch (2-3 inches) around plants and trees, making sure the mulch doesn’t touch any part of the plant. Mulch helps to reduce erosion, water evaporation, moderates soil temperature, and restricts the growth of unwanted weeds.

Organic mulches eventually break-down and blend with the soil to nourish your plants. Mulch your garden areas at least twice a year–once in the spring and again in the fall.

2) Never use a hoe! Turning soil with a hoe tends to move around weed seeds, mixing them with the top layer and contributing to weed explosions!  Turning soil also disrupts soil ecology by moving structureless soil to the surface. Structureless soil has very low moisture holding capacity, so you’ll end up watering your garden twice as much!

3) Plant what you want! If you like tulips, read up on care instructions, get some gardening gloves, and head on outside! If you like lavender, do the same thing. We should plant the things we love. After all, that’s the great part about having your own garden.

Planting your own veggies, fruits, and flowers is a great way to liven up your backyard. It’s also a great way to save your well-earned money.  Check out GardenPiece.info for more valuable ideas.  Happy gardening!