Home Vegetable Gardening – Preparation Leads to Weed Prevention

Next to wildlife eating your vegetation there is nothing more frustrating then weeds in the home vegetable garden. They seem to come out nowhere, and are extremely resilient. They compete with your vegetable plants for the very nutrients that exist within your soil. The more weeds that you have the more resources they are using which means less for your plants. Here is how you can take a few steps and reduce the weeds.

The only supplies you will need are newspaper and mulch. I like to mix black, dark mulch with compost from my compost pile. You will see why in a moment. The tools you will need are a rake and/or a shovel, but you can also do this all by hand. Throw in your garden hose with a spray nozzle that has the “mist” setting and you are ready to go.

Your first step is to take your newspaper and layer it over your topsoil. The newspaper acts as a weed barrier. You could use the commercial weed barrier that you see at many home and garden centers, but newspaper can be free if you convince your neighbors to give you their copy after they have read it.

When putting down your newspaper, I like to double layer it. That makes it “thick” enough to act as a great barrier, but porous enough for water and nutrients to get to the soil. As a side not, do not use any laminated sections of your newspaper as they may not be safe for your garden due to the inks used.

It’s best to wait until it is not very windy out as the newspaper is very light and will blow fairly easily. If you are working on a windy day you might want to throw some mulch on now to keep the paper down.

With your newspaper spread out over your entire garden, use your garden hose and set your nozzle to mist and water the paper. This will help keep it down while you prepare for the next step. You don’t want to drench it. You want to lightly mist it with water so that it is damp and has some weight to it, to keep it down.

In our next step we want to cover the newspaper we had just laid down. To cover the newspaper, I like to use a black mulch mixed with compost I have made so as both resources decompose into my garden they also add nutrients. Take your mulch/compost mix and put it down over top of the newspaper no less than two inches thick. This gives plenty of weight to keep the paper down, enough to cover the paper, but more importantly, impedes weed growth while retaining water moisture in the soil, especially when it gets hot during the later summer months.

Weeds are annoying but they do not have to be a problem, and they certainly should never be a reason as to why you should not have a home vegetable garden. If you follow the information above you will eliminate ninety to ninety-five percent of the weeds that you will get on occasion. Now all you have to do is get up in the morning and pick the one or two weeds you will get and that will keep your garden 100% weed free.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A guide to vegetable gardening for the rest of us, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and where ever gardening books are sold. He can be reached at his wesbite: AveragePersonGardening.com where you can sign up for his free newsletter and he will send you a pack of vegetable seeds to get your home vegetable garden started.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_C_Podlesny/125919

 

Advantages of Conservatory and Garden Furniture

The arrival of summers makes you think for garden furniture. Summer is the season for outdoor activities and sun baths. So this summer, enjoy your garden activities and outdoor relaxing time with new furniture. Furniture in the garden is very important goes a long way in beautifying the look of your garden.

For facilitating a nice sitting area in the garden you need some chairs and a table. Garden sofas and chairs come in a variety of materials and you can have furniture made of cane, rattan, wicker etc. for enjoying some leisurely time in the garden.

There are different types of furniture in varied style and colour. An important thing which one needs to consider while buying furniture for their gardens is that it should be weather resistant. As the furniture would be placed outdoors and has to bear all kinds of weather, be it summer or winter.

Nowadays, everybody wants to decorate their homes and gardens in a trendy way which is stylish and visually appealing as well. You can also make a great impression on your friends and neighbours by making a conservatory in your garden. Conservatory is a kind of additional room in the home which is built separately from the rest of the home.

You can have glass windows in your conservatory to get a clear view of your garden while relaxing in it. You can make the wooden flooring in it in order to give it natural look. The furniture of a conservatory should also be weather resistant as it would be subjected to more humidity compared to others. You can decorate your conservatory with thickly cushioned furniture made of cane.

This additional room in a garden is especially made for enjoying a peaceful and comfortable relaxing time. An important feature of it is that you can enjoy natural surroundings sitting in a comfortable sofa. You can play with your children or read a book.

So, now you know how useful a conservatory is and what the importance of furniture in the garden is.

For any help on outdoor furniture, check out the info available online; these will help you learn to find the garden furniture!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Meadows_Leland/459685

 

Home Vegetable Gardening – Two Tools You Should Not Be Without

Like most home vegetable gardeners, I started with simply planting seeds of the vegetables I wanted to grow, adding some water, pulled weeds, and waited it out. Over time I realized that although this simple method works to grow great vegetables, I was doing me and my garden a great disservice.

By not paying attention to the soil’s pH level and the amount of moisture in the soil I was limiting the production of certain plants that could have benefited by making some adjustments. Just like a really good NFL head coach who makes game time adjustments, you too as a home vegetable gardener need to make adjustments in your soil as the season moves along.

There are two tools you should get to know that will help you make these adjustments based on the vegetables that you grow. They are the pH tester and the moisture tester. Each tool can be found at a local home or garden center in your area or purchased online. Simple ones cost as low as five or six dollars while more advanced models can go as high as one hundred dollars. How advanced you want to get is up to you, but most home vegetable gardeners usually go with the low cost varieties since they do an adequate job for the tasks at hand.

Soil pH Tester
Let’s start with the soil pH tester. The pH level is the measure of how acidic or alkaline your soil levels are. If you remember from your high school chemistry class, the scale goes from zero to fourteen, where anything under seven is considered acidic and anything over seven is alkaline with seven being neutral which is water.

Certain plants like the soil more neutral. Cauliflower for instance grows best when the soil pH level is in the 6.5 to 7.5 range, where as carrots like the soil a bit more acidic in the 5.5 to 6.5 range. So what happens when the pH level of your soil is not in the ideal range? If it is too acidic or too alkaline then you may not produce anything, or your harvest is very limited. By using a soil pH testing kit you can get an accurate reading of your soil’s level and then make adjustments based on what the test tells you (most kits come with recommendation charts for your soil so you can adjust the level accordingly). For the cost of less than seven bucks at some home and garden centers it is well worth the price.

Soil Moisture Tester
Testing your soil for its moisture level means you are looking for a reading of how much water is in your soil and around the roots of your plants. This can become extremely important so as you do not overwater your plants. A couple of things happen if when you overwater.

First, too much water can wash away valuable nutrients in the soil such as nitrogen. Ever see your vegetable plant leaves turn yellow? A common cause of this is lack of nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen washes away easily and when you water too much you are removing a nutrient your vegetables need to grow.

Second, too much water can cause the roots of plants to develop what is called root rot. This is caused by overwatering creating a condition around the roots where they are unable to obtain the air they need. When this happens the roots will begin to rot and will kill the plant. If your land has excellent drainage you may never run into this problem but I would recommend investing in this inexpensive tool and measure your soil’s moisture level just to be sure.

With these two valuable tools you will now be armed with the information you need to ensure a healthy and prosperous harvest. Combined these two tools can cost you less than fifteen dollars (depending on where you buy them from of course). Do yourself and your vegetable garden a favor, use the tools.

Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the Rest of Us, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and where ever gardening books are sold. For more vegetable gardening advice, Mike can be reached at his website: AveragePersonGardening.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_C_Podlesny/125919

 

Accentuate Our Home With Gardening Gifts

Have you received gardening gifts during special occasions? Are you planning to make use of these gifts to utilize them at home? I have some suggestions on gardening gift ideas that you might have received and haven’t used it for awhile. These may not be the usual gifts that we receive during special days but we might be given some of these on our birthdays and Christmas. Who knows, right?

The first one would be the plant stand. This may not be the usual gift that we receive but this will eventually be one of our home and gardening decorations at home. The useful part is that we can just have some potted plants placed on it. We may have two or three potted plants on the plant stand to make it more beautiful. Bountiful flowering plants are ideal to maximize the usage of the gardening gift.

Next on my list would be hanging baskets. These baskets are simple but we may try to customize them and personalize the designs to make it suitable for our home theme. Using colorful flowers will surely make the basket look stunning. We may create a simple gardening ornament but it will be a great accent to our home.

Another home and gardening accent that we can add to our interior decoration are terrariums. As we all know, terrarium is made of glass and is actually an aquarium but was modified so that we can place live plants in it and attach it either on walls or hang it on the ceiling. There are different types of terrariums, the glass, globe and bubble terrariums. These three are made with the same materials but differs on design. All three have the option to hang on the ceiling or have it posted on the wall.

These gardening gifts are great for our home interior decoration if we just know how to make use of them. Let us see what you can do with your gifts to make your home decoration. Great decorating!

Ernest Penuela specializes in hay rack and residential planters such as ustom window boxes and provides expert tips and ideas about indoor gardening. For more information, you can visit WindowBox.com and HooksandLattice.com or call 800-896-0978.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ernestus_Penuela/797682

 

Home Vegetable Gardening – Tips For Growing Eggplant

The most popular variety of eggplant that people will recognize immediately is the black beauty. It is that dark purple colored eggplant that is about ten to twelve inches long and an oblong shape. However there are more than a dozen varieties available.

Eggplants like it warm. In fact they like the ground to be hot. This does not mean if the ground is a bit cooler they won’t grow. What it means is to have your eggplants excel in growth and produce faster the temperature of the soil should be around eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit (twenty-nine Celsius).

The best way to keep that temperature up there is by placing grass clippings around the base of the plant. When the grass clippings begin to decompose heat is generated and that heat transfers to the soil giving your eggplant the optimal growing temperature.

Because eggplants like it warm, I recommend that you start your seeds indoors. You can buy a portable mini greenhouse for less than five bucks at home and garden centers. Place them on your window sill where the sun hits first thing in the morning and in a few days your eggplant seeds will have germinated. Once there is no fear of frost outdoors and your eggplants are at least three inches tall you can them move them to the outdoors.

Once you have planted them in the ground, keep in mind that eggplants require lots of water and full sun. Without one, the other or both, it will take longer for them to produce their fruit, if at all. So make sure you pick a spot in the garden that receives sun all day and give them a heavy watering every couple of days or so.

For you advanced gardeners or those of you that want to take your vegetable gardening to a whole new level, planting beans, peas, peppers and/or potatoes alongside your eggplant all make for great companions to the eggplant. Although companion planting goes beyond the scope of this article, it is the process of planting different vegetables together in the same area because they compliment each other for a number of reasons. You can learn more about companion planting at our website.

Another advanced technique is monitoring the pH level of your soil. Soil test kits are available at your home or garden center for a couple of dollars and you can obtain this reading in just a few minutes. Eggplants like the soil to be a bit more acidic. Optimally the soil pH level should be in the 5.5 to 7.0 range for best results. Again, you can find more information about pH levels at our website.

Eggplant is best harvested when it reaches maturity, which is about ten to twelve inches in length for most varieties. Letting it go longer could result in flavor loss and too soon makes for a less tasty and harder fruit. When picking the eggplant I recommend that you use shears or garden scissors and cut the eggplant from the plant at the stem leaving half of the stem connected to the plant and half connected to the fruit.

Regardless of which species of eggplant you grow, the growing techniques for all varieties of eggplant are virtually the same. How you prepare them once you harvest them, well, I will leave that up to you.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the Rest of Us, available where gardening books are sold. Sign up for Mike’s vegetable gardening newsletter at his website: AveragePersonGardening.com and he will send you a free pack of vegetable seeds to get your garden started.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_C_Podlesny/125919