The trend towards going green is now extending to thumbs. More and more people are turning to gardening as a way of contributing to a sustainable Earth, whether they are growing their own food, planting trees, or simply beautifying their neighbourhood. There is an ecological downside to the boom in planting, though. An increase in planting also means an increase in water usage.
The month of July starts out with a bang and things will continue to heat up as summer makes itself at home. July is generally the warmest month of the year and it is best spent relaxing and staying cool. Yet, there are still plenty of gardening tasks that can be done now that your garden is in the height of bloom.
Make flower cuttings to bring inside. Cutting your flowers encourages healthy plant growth and it brings the beauty of your hard work indoors. The night before you plan to make flower cuttings, water your garden. Cut your flowers in the early morning when blooms are at their freshest. It is best to keep cut flowers stems in cold water for a few hours before you arrange them in their permanent container. To prolong the life of your flower cuttings, remove all of the leaves below the water line and use a cut-flower preservative.
There are many types of fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers won’t feed the soil. Your soil needs organic garden fertilizer. When microorganisms break the organic material down, their work and by-products make the soil looser and more crumbly. You can create a gorgeous garden even without professional training and without using any special tools or skills. Organic liquid fertilizer is a great option.
However, the better alternative would be to use those leaves to fertilize your own lawn and garden. These leaves make excellent organic mulch through the winter and spring. The leaves have nutrients that can go back into the soil and save you money on fertilizer. Leaves will also break down into good, black dirt that the earthworms enjoy. More earthworms mean a healthier soil, which in turn mean healthier plants.
Identify the type of soil: For garden soil is a major factor in determining which types of plants you should grow in your garden. Some plants grow very well in soil that´s slightly acidic, while some like soil with higher alkali content. To figure out which type of soil you have in your backyard, you can have it examined by a gardening expert, bring a sample to a soil laboratory for evaluation, or buy a soil testing kit.
If you’re interested in planting perennial seeds, you have a lot of varieties to choose from. You can plant perennial flowers, which will bloom beautifully in your garden year after year, or you can plant perennial vegetables, which will yield produce for several continuous seasons. Herbs are also among the most popular perennials that gardeners like to plant because they can be used in so many different ways and are very easy to plant and to maintain.
Flowering perennials typically bloom during the spring and summer seasons but seem to wilt and die during autumn and winter. Not to worry, though, because these herbaceous plants will grow once again when spring comes the following year. Common examples of such flowering perennials are the lavender and most varieties of roses and daisies.
Most plants can be propagated by simple stem cuttings. These include coleus, geraniums, pothos, philodendrons, and dracaenas (the soft part of the stem only). A section of stem about 3 inches long is cut cleanly from the parent plant, just below a leaf node (the place where a leaf is attached to the stem) so the roots will start from that place. Strip the lowest leaves off the cut stem. Then place this cutting in an inch of soil. Vermiculite is a good rooting medium if you have it, but regular potting soil works fine. Cover the cutting with a little plastic wrap to keep it humid, and keep it out of direct sun. Once the roots grow out, transplant it.
Vegetable container gardening, organic container gardening and growing a container herb garden, in addition to growing flowers in a container are growing in popularity. Incorporate containers into your small garden design to be creative. Containers can range from old kitchen sinks or bathtubs, kettles, even a pair of old boots. An old claw-footed bathtub makes an attractive water garden. One disgruntled symphony musician planted flowers in his bassoon. Then throw a home garden party to celebrate all the wonderful colors and all your hard work!
Happy Gardening! – Brian Dick
I have been gardening for nearly 30 years and have successfully grown ev