Gardening 101

Hey everyone, Welcome back, It’s easy to go overboard when purchasing gardening tools. They can take up a lot of space and cost a lot of money, but staying focused on the basics can keep your shed or storage area from becoming overcrowded. This time inside is the perfect time to spend time in your garden, getting everything together. Here are a few essentials to get you going on any garden project you have in mind. Stay sane during the time indoors, but make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D. Also to remember to drink lots of water. Love you!

Using your garden tools: 

Gloves:

Gloves should be durable but not too bulky, especially for working with seeds or transplanting seedlings.
  • Fit is essential!!! Poorly fitting gloves can cause blisters or result in accidents from slipping off.
  • Water-resistant fabrics, but also breathable, will help keep hands cool and comfortable.
  • Longer cuffs protect wrists and forearms from scratches and keep soil from getting in.
  • Stow gloves away from sunlight, water, and insects.

Pruning Shears:

Hand pruners, also called secateurs, help reign in plants that are getting out of control and taking over. Anvil-style pruners cut with a sharp blade meeting a flat surface, similar to a knife on a board. Bypass pruners cut with a sharp blade passing by a sharp-edged flat surface, more like scissors.
  • Anvil pruners are best for dead wood and can cause crush injuries to fresh, green stems and branches. 
  • Bypass pruners are better for live plants and green lumber.
  • Pruners should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. 
  • Ratcheting pruners provide increased cutting strength, perfect for anyone with reduced hand strength or arthritis.
  • For cleaner cuts and less injury to plants, pruners should be sharpened regularly.

Garden Fork:

An efficient tool for turning soil, garden forks, can dig into dense soil better than a spade.
  • Forks with a slight curve to the spines are useful for scooping mulch or turning compost piles, much like a pitchfork.
  • Straight tines are better for digging; great for compacted, rocky, or clay soil.
  • Square tines are more durable than flat tines, which can bend when they hit a rock or root.

Spade:

These short-handled square shovels are garden workhorses. They make easy work of digging holes for plants, edging, lifting sod, and moving small mounds of dirt from one area to another. This tool can be more on the pricey side, but a good spade will last you the rest of your gardening life.
  • Treads on top of the blade give a sturdier and more comfortable foot surface when needing an extra push.
  • Ash hardwood handles are durable and absorb shock and vibration.
  • Generally available with long or short handles. Longer handles provide more leverage but can be massive.
  • Stainless steel heads are durable and WON’T rust.

Designing Your Garden:

Landscaping is a bit like creating a room. I know it may seem like a lot depending on the size of the garden you have. Here are a few tips to help you figure out what you need.

  • First, you should determine the landscaping wants and needs. Make a list; for example, “am I going to grow vegetables?” “Am I going to have a patio set?” Once you see a vision, it will be easier to plan what you want.
  • Think about the location of how you want everything. Where the sun will rise and where you will sit. If you live on the mainland, always make sure you take into account the four seasons. 
  • Start small I know watching HGTV is inspiring, but don’t bite more than you can chew.
  • Weed and Edge your garden beforehand so you can start fresh. It’s just doing some extra yard work.
  • If you don’t have many plants, this is even more important. Mulch creates a tidy look, but even more critical, it suppresses weeds and helps retain moisture in the soil. Be careful not to layer it any thicker than 4 inches, and leave a little room around the base of every plant.

What grows where?   

I know you are probably wondering well what I should grow? Here are a few plants to get you started.
  • Spider Plant – They require well-drained soil and little sunlight, lots of shade.
  • Aloe- As a medicinal plant, this is an ideal plant for a beginner to growing in their home. This is a plant that prefers a lot of light with well-draining soil. Since this is a plant that prefers the sun.
  • Pothos- Pothos, better known as the devil’s ivy, is an excellent plant for a beginner. This vine looks fantastic in a hanging pot, and it can do well in low light, which means that you can train it to go anywhere in your home. If this plant is not grown indoor.
  • Aspidistra-Also known as a cast-iron plant; this is one of the most natural plants to grow for a beginner. It can grow in nearly any type of lighting, but it does grow best in moist soil.
  • False Shamrock- With foliage that resembles a three-leafed clover, this is a unique houseplant to have in your home. It does require sunlight and water to grow, but if you neglect this plant, it will go dormant instead of dying until you water it again. 
  • Hoya- If you are having trouble getting plants to bloom, the hoya plant can flourish with very little water and sunlight, but it may take a few years to see the first blooms. This wax plant prefers warmer climates

I hope this helps you on your journey. I hope you heal until next time.

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