Monday, May 16, 2011

Caring For Container Gardens

Water Keep soil evenly moist. That generally means daily watering in hot, dry weather. Stick a finger into the soil. If it feels dry, water. A moisture meter is ideal.

Pinch Encourage branching and bushy habit growth by pinching out stem tips once or twice early in the season.

Deadhead To encourage a steady stream of flowers, remove spent ones regularly.

Feed Container plants need frequent small feedings. Water weekly with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. Note that some bagged container mixes contain fertilizer. Read the bag, please, to see when you will need to begin feeding.

Prune If plants get leggy and if blooming slows, cut them back hard, then water and feed. They'll bounce back and bloom quickly.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bountiful Vegetables and Savory Herbs

Nothing tastes better than garden-fresh produce or newly picked herbs, especially when they're home grown. Use the three secrets presented here, and you are sure to be producing your own in no time!

Start Small: A 4 by 4 foot garden will produce a lot of vegetables, yet is still easy to maintain. You can always enlarge it once you have a bit of experience.

Work on Your Soil: Concentrate on improving the soil and ensuring good drainage. Also, don't forget to keep weeds under control.

Grow Easy Crops: Start with radishes, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

Plant in wide rows: This uses space efficiently. Traditional gardens, with paths between rows, use 50 percent of the space available. Wide rows devote 80 percent of the available space to crops.

Plant crop after crop: Plant a new crop as soon as one is finished.

Give your soil TLC: Intensive gardening takes nutrients from your soil. Amend it with compost or other organic matter after every harvest.