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Gardening for Dummies

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Everything you need to cure Cabin Fever.

Kind of a get out of jail free card. So please enloy!

Here are some gardening tips to make you King and Queen of Spring.

We'll discuss what to plant, when to plant, how to plant, and make it fun.

The weather is about to get better everywhere, except here, where I am. Does that sound all too familiar? Do you feel the effects of cabin fever, Is your spouse beginning to look like plant fertilizer? Do you think Spring will never get here? Well, I’ve got a secret for you,

Spring is Coming, just as surely as Winter is Coming proved true in the Game of Thrones, only not half as scary. We can avoid the Night King and his deadly frost if we pay attention to a few simple rules.

Timing is paramount, and the prevailing wisdom says pay attention to the ground temperature. Be patient and wait for the proper time so you don’t plant in vain.

Here are some freshly pruned tips, hints and suggestions from the experts. What works best in each season and why.

In Spring,

Some of the veggies that really do well during this season are carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, honeydews, peppers, garlic, onions, potatoes, and raspberries.

When planting your veggies, make sure you water them for two weeks after you’ve planted them, so that the seeds have enough time to sprout.

In Summer when you are planting, you should grow vegetables that take less time to mature.

These include veggies like cucumbers, lettuces, squash, tomatoes, peppers, greens, berries, sorrels, and heat tolerant plants. And remember when planting during the summertime, it is a good idea to water your garden every day so there will be enough moisture for the plants, not only when they’re young, but also when they become mature.

Plus, you should water plants at night in the summer, this gives plants enough time to absorb the water before the sun rises again in the morning, while the lower humidity at night reduces the risk of disease.

In Fall. All spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips and hyacinths need a period of cold to bloom, which is why they need to be planted in fall even though you won't be able to enjoy them until the following spring. Many bulbs come in a wide assortment of varieties, so you can choose colors, heights, and bloom times that work best in your garden. If deer or other critters frequent your yard, plant bulbs they don't like to nibble, such as daffodils, grape hyacinths, and alliums.

In late winter, you can plant spinach, potatoes, peas, lettuce, radishes, chard, rhubarb, garlic, onions, leeks, kales, and similar leafy greens.

When planning your late winter vegetable garden, plant quick maturing vegetables like cabbages, radishes, and spinach in early spring, so you will be able to harvest them in the summertime.

And for all you city slickers with only little space for a garden, check out all the Hanging Basket options.

If your "South Forty" is in square feet you can still cultivate, just on a smaller scale. You can do all of this in miniature, right on your porch. There are a ton of varieties of hanging baskets to handle a private garden. And don’t forget those upside-down hanging tomato gardens. Everything old is new again. They are making a comeback.

Plant vegetables in intervals

To help space out produce throughout the year, the generations before us would sow seeds in intervals. Also known as succession planting, this is a simple method that’s been around for centuries. Sow seeds roughly 14 days apart to maximize garden space, optimize quality and guarantee yourself a constant stream of harvestable goods. Plus, everything won't be ready all at once, so there’ll be no need to freeze mountains of berries or give away bucket-loads of carrots!

Add mulch to your soil in summer

Every seasoned gardener swears by this method. Adding a layer of mulch to your garden beds and pot plants has several benefits depending on the type you use. Adding mulch for vegetable plants isn’t necessary, but it may be the key to larger fruits and vegetables and easy-care beds. Biodegradable mulch, such as wood chippings or bark, can improve the nutrients in the soil, while other options, such as gravel and slate shards, aid with moisture retention and protect plants against extreme weather. Mulch can also prevent weeds from growing and gives your flowerbeds a neat finish.

Swap cuttings with friends to get new plants

Many may remember their grandparents coming home with plant cuttings from neighbors and friends. Also known as propagation, you can simply snip a piece from an established plant, such as lavender or rosemary, and grow a new plant from it. There are various methods, but one effective way is to take a cutting just below the leaf node – the point where leaves appear on the stem – then place the stems in water. Leave in a bright place to take root for a few weeks, then pot with peat-free compost.

The importance of plant companionship

While some plants compete with one another, others are friends that help each other out in truly amazing ways. Your grandma probably knew which plants worked well together and that placing certain species side by side can encourage growth, attract pollinators and deter unwanted pests. For example, lavender makes a great companion for leeks, while thyme will help you grow beautiful roses by keeping blackfly away.

Caffeine… feed your habit to your plants. Don't discard your coffee grounds

You may recall your grandad tipping his cold coffee over the plants – and with good reason. Coffee contains beneficial nutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen and magnesium. Coffee grounds can also improve drainage and water retention in the soil, plus they're said to attract earthworms too

Tough Love…But don't coddle your tomatoes

Old garden wisdom says that despite your instincts you shouldn't take too much care over your tomato plants. Leaving them to dry out a little between waterings will encourage the roots to grow deeper as they search for water and will create a strong plant overall.

If you are ready to start planning, these ideas should help get you started sooner than later.

In early spring, the temperature may seem too chilly, and the ground might be too damp for many vegetables, but there are a handful of hardy performers that can go in the ground. As a bonus, there are fewer insects and diseases around in early spring, so your vegetables should get off to a good start.

If you are ready to start planning, these ideas should help get you started sooner than later.

Here are six vegetables that you can plant even before the last frost date has passed.

1. Asparagus

2. Lettuce

3. Peas

4. Spinach

5. Rhubarb

6. Beets

And here are the top Gardening books to help your planning.

Hanging basket gardening

Planting Spring vegetables

Spring gardening

Now that you know what to do here is how to enjoy the actual work.

Tools reviewed.

As the saying goes, we're only as good as our tools. While it might be tempting to buy on a budget, investing in quality equipment is a time-honored way to maintain a thriving garden. Start off with a basic kit of pruning tools, gloves, a spade, rake, maybe trowel and of course a kneeling bench. Add to your collection as you discover more goodies and be sure to clean your tools regularly, keeping them indoors and away from the rain to prevent rust. Sometimes our elders did know best! Rust not, Want not!

So, no matter when your weather breaks, here are some tools to make your gardening life happier.

And now for the Cool New Tools

How did I ever live without these tools? Here are some things you might not have considered: Thorn proof Gloves, and a kneeling bench, or a power auger for bulbs, plus a kink free lightweight hose, and a fancy netted bonnet. See them all



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