Its #GardenerIsShe2020, and I just wanted to present the Top 10 Gardening Tips- EVER for beginning and advanced gardeners. Weather you’ve never gardened and want to know how to do it hassle-free or of you’ve been gardening for years and are wondering what you’re missing, to enhance your garden- these are the hands down best tips for all gardeners:
1. Go it small– starting off small one can get the groove of gardening without having to stress about mass production. However, don’t under-do it or you may not achieve the learning level you desire. Find out your specific needs for a specific amount of time and start there. This allows for less waste, more effective growing, and a greater knowledge gain.
2. Know your USDA hardiness zone– The USDA provides maps and charts explaining the plants that thrive and struggle in your climate ‘hardiness’ zone. Knowing your zone can help tremendously when selecting your garden items. Unless you are willing to experiment, consider vegetation that has proven hardy for your hardiness zone, topography, and soils. This will help alleviate much strife during and after planting season. It can also help you to know what time of year to plant.
3. Test your PH- Your garden’s PH is very important to its success. A PH test is an analysis that determines exactly the acidity/basicity of your soil. The lower the overall number (ex. 2) the greater the acidity and the higher (ex. 9) the greater the alkaline. If the number is 7, then the soil is neutral. Most gardens are comfortable at a PH of 6.5 to 7.0, however this varies vastly depending on your given garden plant-life. You can manipulate the PH ratio by adding different organic/inorganic materials to better suit your garden wants.
4. Go beyond the Miracle Grow– Starting potting soils can be a quick go-to but it can also be an excuse for laziness and can hinder your plant’s health potential. Actually customizing your soils with PH testing and organic composting is a much more effective and healthier choice for both you and your garden.
5. Plant in the sunshine– SUN SUN SUN SUN. Plants need sun like we need water… just a lot more! In order for a plant to photosynthesize properly it needs lots of adequate UV light. Be sure to know the amount of direct and indirect sunlight your plants need before choosing where to plant your garden.
6. Not fruits but leaves– According to SELF “If you want a super-quick return on your garden, your best bet is to focus on plants whose main bounty is their leaves, like lettuce and herbs”, (SELF). These plants grow faster and more bountiful in a short time, than fruit-bearing trees and plants.
7. Know how often to check– Know how often your specific plants need attendance. Some such as a Boston fern, are known for their high maintenance and constant needs. Others are known for their low maintenance and needs, like the Coneflower. By knowing specific plant maintenance needs, you can choose the best plants for your lifestyle and time affordability.
8. Water your garden– Be sure to water regularly according to your plant’s needs. One needs to take into consideration the plant’s genus, species, climate, and individual water requirements. For example, cacti usually need to be watered every 10-14 days with a need for less during their dormant season, whereas lone blueberry bushes need anywhere from 5-7 gallons of water daily to reach individual needs. Drip irrigation is a better form of watering than a sprinkler-system or water hose, as it doesn’t allow for as much water waste from evaporation or runoff. It also is better as it soaks into the soils directly- providing the nutrients and hydration the roots need immediately.
9. Harvest right and cool– You’ve come so far and you don’t want to trash it all in the end! Correct harvesting of your garden is an essential to the proper preservation of your foods later. Make sure your plants are ready to be picked. Do not harvest until they are ripe and full, or as instructed for you given species. Most gardeners agree to harvest in the morning when it is still cool out. This helps eliminate unnecessary exposure to heat induced stress and deterioration in your fruits and veggies. The sooner your foods get cool- the better! Also, you will want to keep certain produce separate from other types of produces- to avoid revolting odors, quickened rot, etc. A prime example of this is keeping potatoes and onions separate- from the planting ’till your mealtime. Try to keep your picked produce cool, out of direct sunlight, sanitary, with adequate airflow, and retaining their moisture.
10. Preserve the ‘Proper Way’– Canning, vacuum-sealing, dehydrating, grounding, powdering, freezing, pickling, fermenting, minimal processing, freeze-drying, salting, and alcohol immersion are all proven ways to preserve foods. To find the proper version for your produce research is necessary. Some foods to wonderful in one and horrible in another. To choose the correct one find what your foods can handle. For example, you cannot can broccoli but it does wonderful storing frozen, after a quick blanching.
I hope you enjoyed reading the top 10 gardening tips!
God bless you and yours,
About Isabella Morales