Posts Tagged ‘garden’

PostHeaderIcon Plant Care Tips for a Beautiful Garden

Taking care of plants can be an enjoyable past time, especially when you are rewarded with the fruits of your labor. Many people treat plant care like an experiment when they first started gardening. How do you know when or how much to water, how much sunlight do my plant need, when do I need to add fertilizers? These are just some of the common questions that most gardeners have at the top of their mind.

Gardening is meant to be a relaxing hobby, so plant care should not add on to your stress. If you are one of those trial-and-error gardeners, here are 3 gardening plant care tips to guide you along.

1. Watering

Plant care tips on watering your plant

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Water is life. All living plants need water; hence it is a must to have a watering can in every garden. To ensure your plants have sufficient water, it is recommended that you buy a watering can with a narrow spout. It should also be noted that plants absorb different amount of water at different stages of its life cycle. More water is absorbed during the growth stage and lesser during rest periods.

How do you know if your plant has enough water? One way is to use the finger test. Insert your index finger into the soil and feel the moisture level of the soil. If the soil feels damp, don’t water your plant. Alternatively, you can use a soil moisture meter to test the moisture level if you don’t wish to dirty your finger.

The size and type of pots and containers that you use has direct influence on the moisture level too. Porous clay pot will require frequent watering as compared to a plastic pot. Meanwhile, water in smaller pots tends to absorbed more quickly than a large pot.

2. Fertilizers
Fertilizers are added to plants to provide nutrients and help them to grow strong and healthy. Does that mean it is the more, the merrier when it comes to adding fertilizers? The answer is no. Over-adding fertilizers to your plants will cause it to have wilting leaves. The edges of your plant leaves will also appear scorched; sometimes there might be pigmentation that looks like brown spots on the leaves.

The type of fertilizers you should use depends on the type of plants you are growing. Generally, fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in different proportions depending on the plant type that it is meant for. Read the labels before you purchase and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on usage. Do not over fertilize your plants.

Here are some signs that indicate your plants need fertilizing. Weak stems, slow or weak growth, dull colored leaves, dropped leaves and lacking in flowering. It is worthy to note that newly repotted or relocated plants are not suitable for fertilizing. Plants can get stressed too and will need a month or so to get used to its new home.

3. Lighting
Sunlight is needed for plants to thrive and stay healthy. Different types of plants have different needs on the amount of light it requires. If you are planting tomatoes, ensure that your tomato plant has lots of sunshine. Tomatoes thrive in warm temperatures. If you have insufficient sunlight for your indoor tomato plant, consider using artificial grow lights.

Most flowering house plants require adequate sunlight to bloom. If you have plants like Begonia, Bromeliad, African violet or Orchid, ensure that they are exposed to sufficient sunlight. Likewise, if your indoor lighting conditions is less than satisfactory, use artificial lights to supplement lighting.

When we talk about lighting for plant care, it is not just the amount of light but its intensity as well. How do you know which spot in your house is best for your plant? You can get more information on getting the right location and learn more about plant lighting here.

In this post, we have covered the three basic elements in plant care tips. In our next post, we will discuss more about the other 3 tips that you should not miss if you are serious about caring for your plants.

 

PostHeaderIcon Garden Soil (Part 1) – Understanding the Basics

Garden soil is one of the most basic elements required in gardening. A gardener cannot do without soil, regardless of the type of plants he is planting. Good quality soil is essential to your plants’ health but have you ever thought what the humble garden soil is made of?

What is Soil Made of?

There are four main components of soil – mineral matter, organic matter (humus), water and air. Within the soil contains inorganic elements such as stones and gravel. These are the mineral matter and they make up to 40%-60% of the soil volume. Mineral matter originates from the bedrock that is under the soil.

Organic matter or humus is the decomposed remains and waste products of plants and animals. Soil nutrients or the chemical properties of the soil are largely affected by organic matter. In between the mineral matter and organic matter is the space occupied by water and air.

Purpose of Soil

The role of garden soil is much like the role played by parents. They provide support and help the plant to grow strong and healthy, just like the way our parents supported and provided for us when we were young. Soil is needed to support the plant by allowing its roots to grow through the soil and hold itself in place. With its ability to store nutrients and water, soil also plays a vital role in the biological support for the plant.

In addition to supporting plant life, garden soil also supports other life forms. Microorganisms and insects rely on soil to survive while contributing to the plant by decomposing organic material and adding structure to the soil. Microorganisms like fungi and bacteria that live in soil are used to produce antibiotics, which have benefited much to mankind. Soil is also used to support vegetation growth for mankind’s consumption to ensure survival. All life on earth is dependant on it either directly and indirectly.

Now, let’s explore further the different types of soil texture.

Different Types of Soil Texture

Soil texture is determined by the different mineral particles and its respective size distribution. These mineral particles are sand, silt and clay. Sand particles are 2 to 0.05 mm in diameter, silt particles are 0.05 to 0.002 mm in diameter and clay particles are less than 0.002 mm in diameter. These particles exhibit different properties and their combinations in different proportions will have favorable outcomes for certain plant life. Let’s take a look at the most common classes of soil texture:

Sandy soil
As the term suggests, sandy soil feels gritty to the touch and contains a high percentage of sand particles. There is a lot of space in between the particles and therefore, it does not hold water well. Hence, essential plant nutrients also get washed away due to the free draining nature of sandy soil.

Clay soil
Clay soil has small size particles which makes it clump together easily. What this means is, there is less room for air spaces and drainage capability is relatively poor. Besides, clay soil does not hold nutrients well, thus it’s not an ideal garden soil. Clay soil is heavy, feels lumpy and becomes sticky when it’s wet, making it difficult to work with.

Silty soil
Contrary to clay soil, silty soil feels smooth to the touch. It contains a high percentage of silt particles and has good drainage capability due to the small size of the particles. Water is able to permeate through easily with silty soil. Silty soil holds nutrients better than clay soil and is easy to cultivate but it can be compacted quite easily.

Loamy soil
Loamy soil has the best soil texture and is a gardener’s dream soil. It has a good proportion of clay, silt and sand particles thereby providing the perfect amount of drainage. Unlike sandy soil, it does not lose water excessively. Loamy soil is able to retain nutrients for your plants. Thanks to its good structure, loamy soil is also easy to cultivate.

Healthy soil provides the basis for healthy plants. In the second part of our Garden Soil series, we will look at what constitutes healthy soil and how to create healthy soil.

Stay tuned.

PostHeaderIcon Where Should You Put Your Composting Tumbler?

For practical reasons, most people would place their composting tumbler near their garden or kitchen. To encourage composting, it helps to have the composting tumbler placed at a convenient location tat makes it effortless to recycle your organic waste. Besides close proximity, what other considerations should you take into account when deciding on the position of your composting tumbler? Read on to discover more pointers on composting.

Read more here:
Where Should You Put Your Composting Tumbler?

PostHeaderIcon Plastic Garden Planters

Planters are not just for indoor gardeners. If you have an outdoor garden, you can also use planters for their various advantages. Planters make it a breeze when you need to move your plants around to catch more sunlight during certain times of the day. Besides the functional aspect, planters can also be an aesthetic piece in your garden. There are many different types of planters available in the nursery. Here, I’ll be focusing on plastic planters in this article.

Plastic offers strength, durability and mobility to your garden planters. They also have the added benefits of being able to deal with water and sunlight without deteriorating.

To read the full article, click on the link below:
Plastic Garden Planters

PostHeaderIcon Gardening Tools – What To Buy, How To Choose?

As with all types of work, the right tools will make your job much easier, and this fact holds true for gardening as well. Gardeners tend to have many gardening tools but some tools are definitely more useful than others and which the gardener just cannot do without.

Here are some gardening tools that will definitely make a difference to your gardening efforts.

1. Shovels

Shovels have either a round or pointed blade. They make a gardener’s job in moving soil, digging holes much easier. In selecting garden shovels, do try to get those that have a flat edge at the top of the blade. This will enable you to have better footing when using it.

2. Hoes

Weeds and gardens go hand in hand. It is almost impossible not to have weeds growing in the garden. Hoes can help you to remove weeds. You can also use hoes to loosen the soil, if necessary. When you’re shopping for a hoe, look for one that has a rolled steel blade that is riveted to the handle. Such hoes are stronger and more reliable.

Hoes with a smaller blade will allow you to get between the plants, if necessary, to eliminate the weeds.

3. Trowels

A trowel is a tool that is indispensable when you’re doing planting. Durability is key when looking for a trowel. Go for those that have a steel blade. Trowels with soft rubber handle offers better grip. It pays to get ergonomically designed trowels if you have the tendency to work long hours in your garden. Well-designed trowels will alleviate the stress off your wrist and helps to reduce strains and lethargy.

4. Rakes

Rake will help to remove all fallen leaves from your garden and also allows you to collect all the debris that gets collected in the garden. There are two types of rakes – narrow rake and wide rake. Narrow rakes are easier to maneuver between the plants, while a wide rake allows you to remove the fallen leaves much faster and easier. Hence, it is good if you own both types of rakes in your garden. Do remember to get rakes with ergonomic handles.

5. Pruners

Pruners are essential gardening tools that no gardeners can do without. Pruners do not rip or tear the plant; they are used whenever gardeners need to shape a plant. As this is an ongoing task throughout the year, you should invest in a good pruner to have a cleaner cut on your plants.

Generally, there are two types of pruners available in the market – the anvil pruners and bypass pruners. As pruners are not cheap, it is advisable to do your homework before making the purchase.

6. Garden Forks

Garden fork is the best tool for breaking up the garden soil. Garden fork differs from a pitch fork in that it is thicker and shorter. Opt for those with square tines instead of flat tines. You can even use a garden fork instead of a spade if it is of suitable size and shape.

7. Water cans

A good watering can is a necessity in every garden. Watering plants is made easier if you have a good watering can. Go for watering cans that can be easily tilted, maneuvered and balanced in your hand.

There are many different types of gardening tools but these are the more popular and essential ones. If you have these tools, you will find that gardening is so much easier and you will enjoy your hobby even more.