Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable gardening has lately become just as popular as going to the grocery store fore produce. Vegetable gardening can produce vegetable that are usually cheaper than store bought, and vegetables from a home vegetable garden definitely taste better by far. Vegetable gardening is no different than growing herbs or flowers and if the proper steps are taken and the plants are give the proper care they will flourish and produce very tasty vegetables.

First you must decide what size of garden you wish to plant and then select a place for it; somewhere that has good drainage, good air flow, and good, deep soil. It also needs to be able to get as much sunlight as possible. Because vegetable gardens have such tasty rewards, many animals, such as dogs, rabbits, deer, and many others will try and get to your veggies. One way to prevent this is to surround your garden with a fence, or put out a trap to catch mice, moles, and other animals.

Before planting, the soil must be properly prepared. Good soil for vegetable gardening is achieved by cultivation and the application of organic materials. The soil must be tilled (plowed) to control weeds and mix mulch into the soil. If you have a small garden, spading could be a better bet than plowing. Mulching is also a vital part of soil preparation. Organic matter added to the soil releases nitrogen, minerals, and other nutrients plants need to thrive. The most popular and best type of mulch you can use is compost. While the kind and amount of fertilizer used depends on the soil and types of plants, there are some plants that have specific needs; leafy plants, like cabbage, spinach, and lettuce usually grow better with more nitrogen, while root crops like potatoes, beets, turnips, and carrots require more potash. Tomatoes and beans use less fertilizer, while plants like onions, celery, and potatoes need a larger amount.

One thing that is vitally important in vegetable gardening is the garden arrangement. There is no single plan that will work for every garden due to varying conditions. One popular way to arrange a vegetable garden is to plant vegetables needing only limited space together, such as radishes, lettuce, beets, and spinach, and those that require more room together, such as corn, pumpkins, and potatoes. Try and plant tall growing plants towards the back of the garden and shorter ones in the front so that their sunlight does not get blocked.

When you are finally ready to begin planting your vegetable garden, make sure and plant at the right time of year. If you are dying to get an early start, you may want begin your garden inside in a hotbed and then transplant when the weather permits. After you are finished planting, make sure your vegetables receive the appropriate amount of water, which depends on the type of plant. Most plants will need the equivalent to about an inch of water per week.

Weeds must be controlled in vegetable gardening because they will take up water, light, and nutrients meant for the vegetables and they often bring disease and insects to the garden. You can get rid of weeds by cultivation or mulching. To protect against disease and insects you can buy seeds that are disease resistant or use controlled chemicals.

Vegetable gardening is many people’s favorite form of gardening because you can actually taste the fruits of your labor. Vegetable gardening is not that expensive to start and the taste of home grown veggies definitely beat out that of supermarket vegetables. Your vegetable gardening days will be full of produce if you take the proper precautions when planting and continue maintenance of your garden.

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Rose Gardening

Roses have gotten a bad wrap over the years for being difficult to grow and maintain. If you are thinking of rose gardening don’t let this rumor stop you. While rose gardening can prove to be challenging, once you get the hang of it, it really isn’t that bad.

When you first start rose gardening, you will have to choose what type of rose you wish to plant, and no, I’m not talking about the color. You will have to choose between bare-root, pre-packaged, and container-grown roses. Bare-root roses are sold in the winter and early spring. They should be planted as soon as frosts are over and the ground is warm and workable. Pre-packaged roses are bare-root plants that are sold in a bad or box with something around the roots to retain moisture, such as sawdust. Container-grown roses are grown; you guessed it, in containers. They will be either budding or already in bloom when they become available in the early spring.

Planting in rose gardening is not that much different than any other type of plant. The most important thing, as always, is good, healthy soil and a prime planting area. It doesn’t matter whether your roses are bare-root or container-grown, the planting methods are the same as any other shrub. Make sure the spot you choose has good drainage, gets plenty of sunlight, and will not overcrowd your roses. Before planting, any dead leaves and thin or decayed shoots need to be cut off. Any damaged or very long roots also need to be trimmed. Soak bare-root roses in water about 10-12 hours to restore moisture in the roots before planting and water the soil before planting as well. Make sure the hole you have dug is large enough for the root growth of the rose. Also it is a good idea to use compost or mulch. After all, roses like extra nutrients just like any other plant.

Roses need the same things as other plants; they are just a bit needier. One of the most important things to remember in rose gardening is that roses are heavy feeders and will need several fertilizer applications. Fertilizing should be started in early spring and discontinued in early fall. Make sure not to over-fertilize (fertilize should come with instructions) and water after each feeding. Roses require large amounts of water; a thorough watering twice a week should be enough.

Pruning is an essential part to flower gardening. It increases blooms and encourages healthy plant growth. Different varieties of roses have different instructions for pruning, so you might want to read up on your rose types and see what is suggested.

The main thing to remember in rose gardening is to water, water, and water some more. One other thing about rose gardening is the amount of fertilizer and nutrients you will need to use, and the pruning that needs to be done to keep your roses under control and healthy. Even though rose gardening takes a little more time and roses are more work, they are one of the most unique and beautiful plants, and definitely worth the extra work.

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Organic Gardening

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Organic gardening is the exact same as regular gardening except that no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used. This can make certain aspects difficult, such as controlling disease, insects, and weeds. Organic gardening also requires more attention to the soil and the many needs of plants.

Organic gardening starts with the soil. Gardeners must add organic matter to the soil regularly in order to keep the soil productive. In fact, compost is essential to the healthiness and well being of plants grown organically. Compost can be made from leaves, dead flowers, vegetable scraps, fruit rinds, grass clippings, manure, and many other things. The ideal soil has a dark color, sweet smell, and is full of earthworms. Some soil may need more natural additives than regular compost can give, such as bonemeal, rock phosphates, or greensand. A simple soil test will tell you the pH balance and which nutrients you will need to use.

One thing that makes even gardeners that are very serious about organic gardening reach for pesticides is insects on their plants. The best way to defend plants against insects is to take preventative measures. One thing that can be done is to make sure plants are healthy and not too wet or dry because insects usually attack unhealthy plants and if healthy, they can often outgrow minor insect damage. A variety of plant types is a good idea to keep pests of a particular plant type from taking out the entire garden.

Perhaps the best way to defend against insects is to make your garden enticing to insect predators, such as ladybugs, birds, frogs, and lizards. You can do this by keeping a water source nearby or by growing plants that attract insects who feed on nectar. Other ideas are sticky traps, barriers, and plant collars. There are some household items that prevent against insects too, like insecticidal soaps, garlic, and hot pepper.

To avoid plant disease in organic gardening, choose disease resistant plants and plant them in their prime conditions. Many diseases will spread because of constant moisture and bad air circulation, so the site of your garden and the way it is watered can help ensure against diseases.

Weeds can be an annoying and frustrating part of organic gardening. Organic mulch can act as a weed barrier, but for even better protection put a layer of newspaper, construction paper, or cardboard under the mulch. Corn meal gluten will slow the growth of weeds if spread early in the season before planting, as does solarization. There’s also the old-fashioned art of hoeing and hand pulling that always works. Your best bet in weed prevention is persistence. Mulch well and pull and hoe what you can; after a few seasons you can beat the weeds for good.

Organic gardening is an excellent way to assure that your plants will be free and clear of all pesticides and, if taken care of properly, will be as healthy as possible. Organic gardening may take a little more time and care than regular gardening, but after gardeners get the hang of it and figure out all the quirks of their garden, it is definitely worth the extra time.

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Japanese Gardening

Japanese gardening is a cultural form of gardening that is meant to produce a scene that mimics nature as much as possible by using trees, shrubs, rocks, sand, artificial hills, ponds, and flowing water as art-forms. The Zen and Shinto traditions are both a large part of Japanese gardening and, because of this; the gardens have a contemplative and reflective state of mind. Japanese gardening is much different than the Western style and most would say it is far more meditational and soul soothing.

In Japanese gardening there are three basic methods for scenery. The first of these is reduced scale. Reduced scale is the art of taking an actual scene from nature, mountains, rivers, trees, and all, and reproducing it on a smaller scale. Symbolization involves generalization and abstraction. An example of this would be using white sand to suggest the ocean. Borrowed views refers to artists that would use something like an ocean a forest as a background, but it would end up becoming an important part of the scene.

There are essentially two types of Japanese gardening: tsukiyami, which is a hill garden and mainly composed of hills and ponds. The other is hiraniwa, which is basically the exact opposite of tsukiyami: a flat garden without any hills or ponds.

The basic elements used in Japanese gardening include rocks, gravel, water, moss, stones, fences, and hedges. Rocks are most often used as centerpieces and bring a presence of spirituality to the garden. According to the Shinto tradition rocks embody the spirits of nature. Gravel is used as a sort of defining surface and is used to imitate the flow of water when arranged properly. Stones are used to create a boundary and are sculpted into the form of lanterns. Water, whether it be in the form of a pond, stream, or waterfall, is an essential part of a Japanese garden. It can be in the actual form of water or portrayed by gravel, but no matter what form water is in, it is crucial to a Japanese gardens balance.

There are several forms and types of plants that are signature of Japanese gardening, the main one being Bonsai. Bonsai is the art of training everyday, average plants, such as Pine, Cypress, Holly, Cedar, Cherry, Maple, and Beech, to look like large, old trees just in miniature form. These trees range from five centimeters to one meter and are kept small by pruning, re-potting, pinching of growth, and wiring the branches.

Japanese gardening is a tradition that has crossed the Muso Soseki, poet, said “Gardens are a root of transformation”. A Japanese garden is sure to bring about many different feelings and is definitely a transforming experience.

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Indoor Gardening

A lot of people stick a fake tree in a corner, dust the leaves off every week, and call it indoor gardening, but indoor gardening has grown into much more than that lately. There are also a lot of people that thinks plants belong and should stay inside, but there are many reasons for starting an indoor garden. For instance, plants don’t only remove carbon dioxide from the air, they also remove many poisonous toxins and pollutants as well. Indoor gardening will result in beautiful decoration in your house as well as cleaner air.

When picking out plants for indoor gardening, make sure the plants are adaptable and will be able to thrive in the conditions and setting in your house. Consider how much time you will be able to spend caring for the plants, how much light your house offers, and also how much money you want to spend on your indoor garden. If you are on a low budget, start with seeds or cuttings. If you have a little more money to dish out you can buy a plant that is already grown. Another thing to consider is if you want a plant that can be displayed all year or just for a season. Herb gardens are a good thing for indoor gardening; they are both attractive and edible. They will grow pretty quick and you won’t have to wait a long time to see results. Some popular herbs, especially for cooking, are chives, dill, sage, thyme, and oregano.

When indoor gardening, consider the amount of experience you have before choosing a plant. There are some plants that are stronger and harder to kill and therefore better for a novice gardener. Examples are Fatsia, Cyperus, Scandens, Popular Succulents, Coleus, and Bromeliads.

Some things, such as the basic rules of maintaining plants, are different in indoor gardening that in a regular outdoor setting. Since plants won’t get the sunlight they do outdoors, lighting is essential. You need to know exactly how much light your plants need and pick plants that only need medium to low light, such as ferns or Philodendrons, unless you plan to supply artificial lighting. If you buy a plant already grown, wherever you get it probably has better lighting than your house so you will need to “condition” your plant and gradually reduce the light it receives. Once you get the plant inside, make sure and rotate the plant to encourage upright growth.

Just because you are indoor gardening, don’t think the plants don’t have to have water; they still do. How often you water, once again, depends on what type of plant you have. Make sure the water can drain out of the bottom of the pot and try to use water that is about the same as the temperature of the room. Also pay attention to temperature in your house in order to ensure healthy plants. A 10-15 degree range won’t hurt any plants, but rapid changes could cause damage.

Indoor gardening is not all that difficult; in fact, it is pretty much the same as outdoor. There are even some advantages to indoor gardening. For example, you won’t have to worry as much about bugs and insects bothering your plants. You also won’t have to worry about wind or frost reeking havoc on your garden.

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Home Gardening

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Over the last few years home gardening has become an increasingly popular past-time and hobby. In fact, studies show that home gardening is at an all time high in India right now. Obviously from the number of people that are doing it, home gardening is one of the most popular recreational activities in nation.

Most people that try their hand at home gardening plant flowers; at least they start out planting flowers anyway. Roses will probably be the first thought into any gardeners mind, but roses will take extra time and work, and should probably be left to those who have gardened before. When planting flowers many choices are available, such as bulbs, perennials, and annuals.

Edible plants are another big thing in home gardening. Perhaps the best thing about edibles is the reward of eating them. The list of edible plants that gardeners can grow at home is endless. Some of the most common edible plants in the vegetable arena are, potatoes, peas, corn, carrots, squash, and cucumber. Many gardeners opt for fruits, such as, watermelons, tomatoes, peaches, plums, apples, pears, and apricots. Small fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries usually require less work and less space, making them much more feasible for home gardening. Herbs, most often used as spices in cooking, are growing in popularity every day; some of the most grown include basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and cilantro. One of the most important things to watch for when planting edibles is insects and disease, after all, you don’t want to miss out on the feast you will get to enjoy from healthy plants.

Many people don’t realize it, but landscaping is a form of home gardening. Landscaping covers many different areas and forms of gardening. You can even classify mowing your lawn as landscaping! Keeping in the line of grasses, landscaping nearly always involves decorative grasses, and the great thing about them is they don’t take much work for upkeep. Types of grass include monkey grass, pampas, buffalo grass, flame grass, and ornamental millet. Landscaping is not just limited to plant life, but also includes anything done to a yard for decoration, such as adding rocks or stones, putting a small pond, statutes, or a waterfall.

There isn’t much difference between home gardening and gardening anywhere else. Plants still need to be planted in a good location. The plants still need water and they still need the same nutrients. Home gardening shouldn’t cause anyone to get nervous. If you do decide to try homing gardening and finding out that you don’t have a green thumb, don’t get discouraged. Get some information, read up on gardening, and try it again the next planting season.

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Herb Gardening

Herb gardening is becoming more and more popular every day, and for a good reason. Herbs have practical value, serve a purpose, and with herb gardening you can actually use your plants. When most people think of herb gardening they automatically think of cooking, but herbs are also grown for their pleasant aroma and their beauty.

One important part of herb gardening is drying the herbs for use during the winter months, especially if you plan on cooking with them. First the tops of leafy herbs have to be cut, washed, and hung up for the water to evaporate. Then, tie stems together and hang up in a paper bag to dry. After two to three weeks they must be removed; crumble the leaves, dry them out in the oven, and store in a glass jar.

One of the most common herbs gown in herb gardening is basil. “Dark Opal” and regular green basil are beautiful additions to any garden and often used as decoration. Dark Opal has light pink flowers and dark red leaves. Basil isn’t just used for its looks; it is used for extra flavor in tomato juices and pastes.

Chives are very petite looking and resemble a blade of grass. They are much stronger than they look, however, and will grow well through a drought and a drought. Their toughness and sturdiness makes Chives a perfect plant for herb gardening, especially if the gardener doesn’t want plants that require a lot of hassle. Chives are good used in salads, egg dishes, and many different sauces.

Mint is also very simple to grow and is good to use in mint jelly, mint juleps, lemonade, and any other kind of fruity drink. Mint is also good in herb gardening for its unique minty smell. Two herbs that appear in nearly everyone’s herb garden are thyme and sage. Both of these herb gardening favorites are used for flavoring soups, chicken, turkey, pork, and other sausages. Sage is also grown sometimes for its beautiful blue spiked flowers.

Lavender is probably the best smelling herb in all of herb gardening and is often used in candles, as a perfume scent, and to improve the smell in linen chests. The light purple flowers smell absolutely lovely.

Other types of herbs often grown in herb gardening include borage (used in salads), chervil (used in egg dishes), sweet marjoram (flavors lamb, fish, salad, and soup), sesame (flavors crackers, cookies, and bread), and dill (flavors meats and used in pickles). Herb gardening allows gardeners to use herbs from their own garden for cooking, looks, and smell. Herb gardening will produce much fresher herbs with more flavor than store-bought herbs, and are a lot cheaper.