Handy Tips to Maximize the Harvest

Tips to Maximize the HarvestPeople have different ways and preference when it comes to make sure that they run a healthy lifestyle. Everyone knows that organic foods are better and healthier, and if you manage to grow your own herbs or food, not only you can expect healthier result, but you can get more delicious and nutritious harvest. Managing your own garden may not be easy, but there are some handy tips that you can do to maximize the outcome.

It doesn’t matter whether you are planning your garden through high tech software or you are doing manual work. Include these into your garden activities and you can enjoy more than satisfying result.

  • Make sure to grow valuable plants. The term valuable is different from one person to another, but it doesn’t mean that you should buy the expensive plants only. Consider plants that suit your climate the best. Or you can choose the plants that you consider very valuable and very important for your cooking experience. If it means that you should grow tomato next to the garlic, be my guest – do it. You can create different zones and sectors for different kinds of plants. Who says you can’t have a variation of flowers, herbs, or vegetables within your garden?
  • Remember to always start early and then end late. If you want to move the spring salad, be sure to do it a month earlier or a month later. Use tunnels, cold frames, or clothes to help you with the removal. You can use row covers in fall to protect the plants from the winter frost. Choosing cold tolerant plants will also help to deal with winter.
  • Consider having shoulder season supply. It would be a good idea to have different crops for different seasons. For instance, you can harvest raspberries in fall and keep them as a stash, while having another supply from your veggies summer harvest.
  • Focus on what grows well in your garden. You may choose the types of plants that are suitable with the soil and climate, but it also depends on your garden. If you keep carrots and beets, and you find out that your beets are growing better than the carrots, limit the carrot within a smaller space while providing bigger space for the beet.
  • Don’t focus on the food only; considering growing things that you can drink as well. In my experience, the rhubarb stalk tea and apple mint are great for my garden. The stalk tea is good for the lemonade, while the apple mint is often used for my tea session. Consider having strawberries, berries, or grapes for more enjoyable drinking time.
  • Add perennials into your garden. Having them will limit your activity for weeding, mulching, and fertilizing as you only need to do it annually. Rhubarb and asparagus are excellent to deal with winter cold, while horseradish and Jerusalem artichoke can be grown at any spot. If you live in area where the winter is mild, having bamboos shoots or onions can be great.
  • Include important kitchen herbs. Mint, dill, parsley, or basil can be easily planted and grown, but they are quite costly when purchased. Having them in your garden will save you loads of money.

Different Garden Themes to Check Out

You may not know this, but garden has its own different themes. Each theme has its own arrangement, layout, and structure so you can expect different form from one to another. With thematic layout, you can expect different arrangement as well as the function of the garden itself. What do you think about sandy desert theme or the Japanese Zen look? Do you prefer the English rose structure to tropical garden?

Here are some possible garden themes and styles that can help you determine what look to achieve:

Formal gardenFormal garden. The unique trait of a formal garden is symmetry and balance, making it looks elegant and classy with its simplicity. In other garden themes, strong boundaries and lines are avoided, but not with the formal garden. In fact, you should use such strong partition and set up different zones. Use walkways, groomed hedges, or even pools to create the boundaries. In formal garden, you should plan a single color arrangement; meaning that you should plant single color greenery that matches the fence, house, or other buildings within the property. If you are going to use contrast colors from the one your house uses, that’s okay, but stick to one color scheme. It doesn’t hurt to add statues, gazing balls, urns, or pots, but keep it simple and moderate; you don’t want to overdo things and create messy effect instead.

Asian gardenAsian garden. In Asian themed garden, raked stones or sands over large plain area are quite common. Traditional plants can be arranged on ground as well as in pots. Go for Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, azalea, bamboos, iris, or trees with flowering fruits. To even create Asian or exotic eastern influence, add water basin, bamboo fencing, or lanterns. Asian garden is known for its broad and simple arrangement; Japanese maples next to a water basin or a fishpond can deliver peaceful and stylish effect altogether.

Tropical gardenTropical garden. On the contrary to Asian or formal garden – where everything is kept in simple and moderate ways – tropical garden focuses on bold and big plants. Leafy plants are the favorite types, including taro, hibiscus, cannas, or coleus. Palm trees are included in such garden type. These plants are often contained in large pots or planted on the ground. The more colorful the plants are, the better it will be. If you are able to group bright flowers producing orange, yellow, purple, or red, then you are successful in delivering tropical atmosphere. To spice things up, add water elements such as stream, fountain, or pool. Adding details like colorful pots, birdcages, or playful décor will also help.

Woodland garden. Its unique characteristic is the shade. You can choose tall and big leaves tress or bulbs flowers and groundcovers. Make sure to plan the layout carefully if you don’t want to make your garden look dark and gloomy.

Cottage garden. It is about being cheerful and colorful. Include colorful plants in this theme is certainly a great idea. The concept is pretty casual, where you can mix roses with other herb plants or even fragrant plants. To spice things up, add wind chimes, picket fence, or an arbor. Not only stylish, it will also look peaceful.

Small Considerations before Starting a New Garden

Having your own green garden sounds appealing and interesting; not to mention if you are able to plant something useful and be able to enjoy everything later on. However, you can’t have a garden without starting one, and starting a garden requires steps that you may overlook or underestimate.

how-to-plan-your-vegetable-garden

The first thing that you need to do is NOT about planning or making arrangements, but about being logical and reasonable.  You should start small, especially if you are new to this. Sure, you can imagine having colourful flower prairies where your new garden will be stunningly beautiful like in fairy tale land. But grasping reality is important, so you won’t be hoping too much or too high. Determine what you want to have first, and take baby steps from there. If you want to have a flower garden, your front yard can be the best place. If you want to have vegetables garden, your backyard should be the ideal spot. Flower garden should be located close to the window or door, or in any place where you can easily spot it from your house. Don’t underestimate the small front lawn; it can actually add curb appeal and add focal points to your house.

Afterwards, you need to really inspect and check on your lawn. It is better for you to choose what types of plants you want to have first, so you can learn about its growing condition. If you want to grow veggies, for instance, keep in mind that they need around 6 hours of sunray exposure per day, so you can determine the exact spot. In case you have shady lawns, the types of plants you want to have may be a bit limited, but you are still able to have them. Do you know that afternoon sun is actually more drying and hotter than the morning sun? If you have such spots, carefully manage and arrange them, along with other consideration of foot traffic and the wind. Don’t forget to include water source into your arrangement.

Small Considerations before Starting a New GardenOnce you have decided on a particular spot, check on the soil. Plants are able to grow in soil with neutral pH from 6.2 to 6.8, but if you want to be sure, check your soil at nursery or Cooperative Extension office. You can check the mineral content and the texture – such as sandy loam, rocky, clay, or sandy. If you take the seed or the plant from nursery, they usually come with tags that include specific info, including the pH requirements. In case you don’t find such tags, it means that they can be planted in neutral condition.

Do these before doing any planting:

  • Don’t remove the plants from the pots if you aren’t going to plant them right away. The roots can dry out from sitting too long in the sun.
  • Make sure that you bury the plants as deep as it is when it is in the pot. If you bury too deep, the stem will be rotten, but if you bury them too high, the roots will dry.
  • When covering the plants with soil, don’t press too hard. Simply water them so they will settle nicely in the ground

Tips on Redesign Existing Garden

In case you have yourself an already existing garden, but somehow you dislike it or you wish you had never created such garden, there is no need to cry over spilt milk. Instead of mopping and hating your garden, you should do something about it. Come up with better and healthier solution for your garden. No, you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to redesign your garden. With simple tricks and steps, you can turn your garden into a (seemingly) new one that matches your dream and wishes.

Redesign Existing Garden

1. The first thing you can do is to learn from your previous mistakes. It doesn’t hurt to make a list of what you have done, including jotting down your mistakes and disappointments; things you wish you have never done. From that list, create another list of what you want to do to correct the past mistakes. From the next-to-do list, you can check your supply and see what you need to remove and which to order. Not only you can avoid making the same mistake, you know for sure the details of your gardening activities – including the supply.

2. You should know which area within your garden is humid, sandy, sunny, or arid. By knowing the specifications of each area, you can determine which plants to remove and which you keep. It doesn’t matter whether you want to make your garden as a world’s class exemplary case or a simple home-based garden, the important thing is to make your plants happy and healthy. When they are happy and healthy, they tend to grow better – despite the harsh obstacles they get.

3. Consider mulching – especially the early one. Do you know that mulching the garden will help keeping the soil stay cool and moist, which is good for your plants? Some garden owners require longer time to mulch their garden – thinking that it is the appropriate time. But there is nothing wrong with early mulching; especially if it is going to do good things for your garden.

4. Consider going organic. Over the years, many garden owners rely so much on the pesticides. Well, they can be good and also bad at the same time. Not all insects are nasty or bad; some are even good for your plants longevity and condition. Not to mention that pesticides are containing dangerous chemicals that can harm the environment on longer run. Consider the alternative option of organic substances and products that will also deliver healthy and organic results.

5. Consider adding shrubs. Not only they are long lasting and easily cared for, they are also beautiful in their simplicity. When you have shrubs in your garden, you can have different textures and colours that will improve your garden in such simple manner. Today’s shrubs also come with berries and flowers, so imagine how colourful your garden is.

6. Consider adding fragrance flowers and plants into the garden. Your option isn’t limited to roses only. Lilacs, for example, have this nice distinctive smell that will refresh your garden in such fun way.

Gardening Basic: Steps of Having Your Own Garden

Gardening Basic- Steps of Having Your Own GardenNever underestimate the process of starting a garden because it is not easy as it look. If you want to create a work of aesthetic within your property, taking care of small and detailed items is important – unless you want to create a garden that looks like a mess.

Before starting your project, ask yourself what are you going to use the garden for. It is going to be your kids’ playing area? Is it going to be used to grow food and other handy veggies? Or are you going to turn it into an entertaining spot for your guests and visitors? And then ask yourself this question: how you visualize your garden will look like? Once you have created answers for those two main questions, consider these factors along the way.

When you are about to start a garden, you should really consider everything carefully.

How is the access to the water?

How much exposure of the sun can your garden get?

Which spot is most exposed and which is quite shady?

By knowing those answers, you can determine where the perfect location for your plants will be. Remember, some plants require more sun rays, while some shouldn’t be exposed to the sun directly, so know the types of plants and consider the planting spot carefully. Don’t forget to pay attention to the soil. You can even have it check at the Cooperative Extension so you know the quality hidden within your backyard. Keep in mind that flower gardening is different from veggie gardening, so determining what you are going to plant will help a lot.

gardening basic tips

The second step is to choose the plants. This can be tricky as there are loads of different types of plants with different characteristics. Basically, the soil type and the hardiness zone will determine what kind of plants you can choose, but you should really decide the types of plants before turning the backyard into a pile of chaos. It would be wise if you can do your own research about different types of plants available. Some people will divide their yards into different areas and zones so they can plant different types of greeneries. However, some people like to start small, so they only choose a little spot for a type of greenery and see how it grows. It is up to you to choose which method suits your style.

The third step is to design the garden as you envision it. You can have a particular type of plants only, or you can have a mixture of different types altogether. Who says you can combine perennials, shrubs, annuals, or trees together? After all, combining them all will deliver this ever changing and different looks for your garden.

Don’t forget to consider the gardening tools as well as they are quite important to make your gardening activity more enjoyable and much easier. Watering can or hose is a must, while pruners should be included in every garden. You don’t have to buy all the stuffs just like that; consider which ones you are comfortable with and stay with them.