One of the things which I’ve really started to struggle with is the garden. I do have a few beds dedicated to vegetables (I tried and failed at flower crops this year), but aside from that I’m plagued by the wrong sort of soil, water logging and a lack of light. I look out the window and struggle to know even where to start on a regular basis. I garden mainly for the children as its a great, cheap way of getting them outside. Anyway, when I was sent five garden tips I thought you might find them as useful as me!
Gardening professionals put in a huge amount of work to get their laws, beds and arrangements correct, built upon knowledge amassed over years. Those displays of patio roses, and those splendid salads, fruits and vegetables don’t grow themselves and one article won’t turn you from knowing nothing to knowing everything – but here are five tips to put you on the correct path:
Repot in spring
Master gardener Brian Minter, CBC News gives his top tips here. Remember although its tempting as we have a bit of time at the moment it really is best to wait until spring.
He suggests that when you’re planting trees in containers, use a very open porous soil with lots of very fine bark mixed in. Regular potting soils hold too much moisture. When I bought some new trees the local garden centre advised me to make sure the trees are regularly watered in the first couple of years as this is when they lay down their roots.
Don’t dig your beds
Rachel Halliwell, The Telegraph advocates the no-dig method for getting manure into the soil as she thinks it upsets the natural structure of soil. Interestingly she also thinks that giving the beds a good dig through might encourage weeds more than the no-dig method. I think I can vouch for that one myself as I spent a long time preparing my beds this year digging them through and I had tons of weeds!
Slug it out with onions
Joshua Berman Thayer, Mother Earth News uses an onion moat to prevent slugs. He also suggests spraying the tops and bottoms of the leaves with peppermint oil which slugs dont like.
Colour your garden
Louise Midgley, The Express suggests using lots of shrubs and trees with colourful berries. This is a very good time efficient way to utilise the space and create lots of colour without a lot of effort!
Be confident with vegetables
Mr Digwell, Daily Mirror: Suggests that the first thing to think about in the new year is sowing cabbage seeds. I’ve found that its a good idea to think carefully about the vegetables you grow, its great to experiment as you might find some grow a lot better than others in your garden (as I did) but do bear in mind that its pointless growing what you wont eat!
One of the things which has helped me a lot in recent years has been to read as much as I possibly can about gardening. Gardeners World magazine is great and you can even get hold of it in the library. I’ve also looked at lots of blogs where people are gardening with their children. For me, gardening is all about getting the children outside and involved to help them gain an understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the processes of food production.