If you’re a beginner gardener, it can feel as though you’re the most inexperienced green-fingered novice on the planet. While you can’t cheat your way to experience, there are a number of clever tricks and tips – hacks, if you will – that are worthwhile learning…
- From seed to super-plant
Unless you’re buying plants that are already half grown (such as the examples found on You Garden) getting your garden to grow luscious with foliage and colour means planting seeds. While you can pop seeds straight in the ground or start them off in your greenhouse (if you’re lucky enough to have one), you might actually be better off giving them a few days indoors. Plant your seeds in soil filled pots and place them on top of a heat source in your house. For instance, pop them on a tray atop radiator, or even on the top of your fridge. Just make sure to keep fire safety in mind!
- Water early in the morning
Watering your garden first thing in the morning is the best way to keep your garden healthy. Unleash the hose pipe before the sun is up in the sky, as this way, most of the water will run down in to the soil and reach the roots of the plant without evaporating in the heat. An extra bonus of doing the watering in the morning means you’ll get some fresh air before the working day begins, meaning you’ll feel refreshed on your way to the office!
- Keep invaders away
Bugs, insects and wildlife are great for your garden; they’re a natural part of the ecosystem so you don’t want to ward them off completely, but one or two pesky visitors might demolish your vegetable patch and set your hard work back by months. Keep animals such as rabbits and foxes at bay by sprinkling ground blood meal (dried animal blood) onto the earth. This will improve the quality of your soil and frighten away animals without harming them: they’ll smell blood from a long way away and decide to steer clear of your patch!
- Add nutrients to your soil by using kitchen waste
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Boiled, fried, or whatever you like – keep the egg shells for the garden! Crushed eggshells can be combined into the soil, adding lots of vital nutrients: eggshells are rich in calcium, and in the same way we need calcium to make our bones and teeth strong, your garden will grow well by receiving a steady dose of it.
- Curb the fungi
If your soil is healthy, you might start to notice mushrooms springing up all over the place. While this is a good thing, wild mushrooms aren’t always safe to eat and actually hog all the nutrients from your other plants! So, to keep mushrooms under control, sprinkle ground cinnamon on your soil: it’s a natural fungicide, stimulates root growth for almost every type of plant, and keeps ants away too.