Gardening

How To Plan the Best Garden Designs For Your Yard
By October 3, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

How To Plan the Best Garden Designs For Your Yard

garden designsA garden is a creation of the homeowner and usually develops over several years. It can tell a lot about the people who live there. The modern trend with garden designs tends towards using natural materials, going back to the old fashioned style garden.

The use of tactile materials such as wood and stone has become more popular of late.

A well maintained front yard should complement your home and the natural terrain. Before starting your garden designs, consider how much work you are willing to put into maintaining it.

The modern look is to go simple with stepping stone and pavers. Earthy colours with the plants and ones that don’t require a lot of looking after.

The first thing to do when deciding on your garden designs is to measure up the area that you wish to transform. Decide if you want to have your garden to be purposeful or just ornamental.

Do you want just flowers and shrubs or do you want to have vegetables and herbs as well.

plan the best garden designs

The Front Yard

Many homeowners make their front yard a show case while other go for a simpler look. Create a welcome to your home with a well laid path giving a clear indication as to the position of the front door. A focal point in some garden designs could be a large pot or water feature that will draw the eye.

It is essential to have a connection between the street and the house. A well-positioned bench in the front yard will encourage everyone to sit and spend time to enjoy the garden.

If you are short for time to spend in the garden, plant things with attractive foliage like bromeliads, succulents, and camellias. They don’t require much to maintain them.

Cottage Garden

Cottage garden designs were originally planted by labourers who had little land and found the need to grow vegetable to feed their families, and herbs to treat illness. There was no room for flowers in their gardens. Today cottage gardens usually has a riot of colourful flowers in them.

There is usually a path or stepping stone meandering through the beds of flowers and some homeowner position seating among the beds so they are able to sit and enjoy their garden.

planning garden designs

Back Yard Garden Designs

Not everyone has a huge backyard these days so to make the most of what space you have, give some thought to how it will work best for you. If there is an old tree stump in your yard, plant some herbs or even flowers in it. Hanging baskets from the branches of a tree is an excellent way to grow strawberries.

If your back yard is tiny, you can give the impression of a larger one by positioning an old mirror on the back fence. It will reflect any greenery you have in the yard.

Vegetable garden beds need to be located in a sunny position so as to give them sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Fruit trees work well along the fence line providing they aren’t too close to the fence and don’t hang over to the neighbour’s yard.

Allow room for a barbeque area in your garden designs so that you are able to enjoy the outdoors. The garden designs for your home will be dictated by your lifestyle and the size of the yard.

Posted in: Gardening
How to Plan Raised Garden Beds In Your Garden
By September 19, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

How to Plan Raised Garden Beds In Your Garden

raised garden bedsRaised garden beds are an excellent idea for older people who enjoy growing both vegetables and flowers. They are also helpful for people who suffer from sore backs. If built with a ledge on the side, the gardener may be able to sit on the edge to work on the garden.

If raised garden beds are the way to go for you:

  • You may need permission to have them if you are renting,
  • You need to have access to rich soil to fill them
  • You will have to have the materials to construct them.

Raised garden beds may be made from a variety of material. They may be purchased from a hardware store or some nursery outlets may have them available. Some suggestions for raised garden beds are:

  • Treated pine timber
  • Corrugated steel
  • Bluescope steel with PVC joiners.
  • An Old bath.
  • Besser Block built up to a height suitable for the gardener.
  • Wooden Crates
  • Recycled polyethylene plastic

planning a raised garden bed

Whatever you choose to make your raised garden beds from it is advisable to line them with Geotextile fabric. This helps keep the soil in the bed while at the same time allows the water to drain through.

Most store bought raised garden beds measure 150×90 cm which is large enough to plant a variety of flowers and vegetables in each one. Don’t build a raised bed on a wooden deck or patio as the constant draining after watering may cause structural damage to it.

There are some available that are built on legs and some may have wheels which makes it easy to move them into position for maximum sunlight.

Raised garden beds are ideal for growing small amounts of vegetables and flowers. They eliminate the access of pathway weeds creeping into your garden and also serve as a barrier for slugs and snails.

Having raised garden beds in your yard eliminates the chance of heavy rain washing away all your soil as the sides contain the soil.

Position the beds facing south to give them the maximum light exposure for all the plants growing in the bed. Make sure the raided garden bed are level. After several watering’s the soil will level and you will want your beds to be the same.

garden bed

Don’t over water and in very cold winter months cover the beds at night to prevent frost from killing off your plants.

Ideally the depth of a raised garden bed should be around 18inches. Salad and herb plants will survive in around 12inches, but the deeper beds are essential for a broader range of vegetables. The beds are usually built 4 feet wide, as this allows easy access to the centre of the bed from both sides.

The soil in a raised bed warms up more quickly so that planting can begin earlier. This will give you a good start on your vegetable crop.

Raised garden bed are an ideal way to get the children interested in gardening and out of the house away from computers, the t.v. and game consoles. Most children enjoy seeing their efforts rewarded when the crops start producing edible produce.

Raised garden beds are the perfect solution to gardening in restricted space, such as a courtyard.

Posted in: Gardening
Planning A Kitchen Garden
By September 19, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Planning A Kitchen Garden

kitchen gardensA kitchen garden is usually a space set apart from the rest of the garden. Ideally it is situated as close to the kitchen as possible to allow easy access to it. Also having a water source close by is an idea. It can contain herbs, vegetable as well as certain fruits and flowers for added colour.

Establishing a kitchen garden helps to calm some people and reduces their stress levels, by helping them reconnect with nature. Research has shown that gardening is beneficial for mental health.

With ever decreasing economic conditions, a lot of homeowners are establishing a kitchen garden to save money and to give them a healthy lifestyle. Organic gardening has become more popular as store prices soar. By growing our own produce, we tend to eat more of the fresh fruit and vegetables, therefore we stay healthier in mind and body.

A kitchen garden can contain potted herbs that are able to be moved around to obtain the benefits of the sunlight. It should be noted however that not all herbs thrive in pots, therefore planting them in the kitchen garden along with vegetables is an advantage as companion plants.

planting kitchen gardens

Walled kitchen gardens are ideal to have fruit trees trained against them as the heat from the walls helps produce an abundance of fruit.

Glasshouses. In colder climates kitchen gardens are housed in a glasshouse to allow for an extended growing period. They are also ideal to grow some exotic species of fruit and vegetables.

A kitchen garden does not really require a large amount of land, nor does it have to be labour intensive as a lot of the plants survive well in containers. When growing vegetables be sure to have a
soil that is slightly acidic for a successful crop. Adding an organic fertilizer will also be beneficial.

By planting a mixture of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit in the kitchen garden will result in an eye catching display. Define the space for the garden with pavers to give you easy access to the
beds. Try not to have too large abed as you need to be able to access the plants without too much effort. Mulching is important to keep the soil moist and helps to keep off any bugs that may be lurking.

planning a kitchen garden

Design your kitchen gardens so that you are able to access between them with a wheelbarrow. If planting beans in your kitchen garden allow room for a trellis for them to climb. Tomatoes in your kitchen garden are one of the best things to plant. There is nothing nicer tasting than a tomato that has been home grown and ripened on the vine. Be mindful that tomato plant too requires stakes or a trellis to climb up.

Once you have established your kitchen garden, it is essential to fertilize it and water regularly. Adding compost that you have made yourself is also a good idea. Keep an eye out for bugs, weeds and any diseases that may affect your garden. Mulching with good quality mulch will help keep the weed at bay in your kitchen garden.

Posted in: Gardening
How to Grow Vegetable Plants in your Garden
By September 19, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

How to Grow Vegetable Plants in your Garden

vegetable plantsGrowing your own vegetables is a sure way to save money and to have the best tasting vegetable plants imaginable. The best part about growing your own vegetables is that you know how they are grown and exactly what you are feeding your family. There is a multitude of vegetable suitable for any homeowner to grow.

Research and plan what will grow best in your area. Grow crops that will give you multitude crops and are high yielding, such as beans. Climbing beans are excellent to plant in small areas.

Climate

Climatic conditions will dictate to a certain extent what and when you are able to grow vegetables in your garden. Cold climates will grow some vegetables better than a more tropical climate.

Preparing the Beds

It is important to put some effort into preparing the garden bed before planting vegetable plants to give them the best start. Select a position where the vegetable plants are growing in the sun for at least 6 hours a day. Turn over the soil and add some organic matter to enrich it. Give it a good soaking and allow a few days before planting. When you are ready to plant turn the soil over once more and rake the garden bed over.

Seasonal

Vegetables are seasonal so be mindful of planting the right vegetable plants for the right season. Cool and warm season crops of vegetables will be planted at different times of the year depending on where you live.

growing vegetable plants

Winter Crop

Some vegetable plants to grow in winter in the colder climates.

  • Cabbage and Cauliflower
  • Broccoli and Brocolini
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Winter Lettuce
  • Silverbeet

Winter is also an excellent time to lift, divide and replant crowns vegetables plants such as Artichokes, Asparagus and Horseradish. It is also a good time to deal with Rhubarb.

If you live in more a more tropical zone, then try planting the following :

  • Carrots
  • Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Spring Onions
  • Asian vegetables such as Bok Choy, Pak Choy and Chinese cabbage.
  • Zucchini
  • Corn

Growing your own tomatoes is easy and fun. Once the plants are established and growing up they will requires staking so that the stems don’t break under the weight of the fruit. There are a few varieties of tomato plants. If you wish to grow small ones for salads, try planting grape or cherry tomato plants. Larger varieties are Beefsteak and Black Russian and Roma.

Growing vegetables such as Pumpkin and Squash may not be really suitable for a small garden as their vines like to stretch out over a larger area.

how to grow vegetable plants

Potatoes

Growing potatoes is easy. They do well in hessian bags that are half filled with compost. Once the green shoots start to appear above the soil then just add more compost. Repeat this process until the bag is full. Don’t forget to water them

It takes around 10 to 20 weeks to maturity. Once the leaves begin to die back, then usually your potatoes are ready to harvest. Just tip the bag out and search for your potatoes.

Try staggering your planting so that you have a continuous supply of vegetables instead of them all requiring harvesting at once.

A gardening calendar is useful to have as it will advise what vegetable plants to grow and when to harvest.

Posted in: Gardening, Vegetables
The Best Container Gardening Ideas
By September 18, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

The Best Container Gardening Ideas

container gardening ideasThe best container gardening ideas need not be restricted to a window flower box or the odd pot on the patio.

Containers actually can be used for flowers and vegetables as well as fruit trees.

Any free standing vessel is suitable for container gardening. Things like large pots to the old wheelbarrow that’s sitting going rusty in the back shed. An old wooden box, or an attractive hanging basket are all things that can be used for container gardening ideas.

Other vessels work well, such as:

  • Old tree stumps are another container gardening idea. Containers made from untreated wood are a good option but remember that wood will eventually rot.
  • An old watering can works well as a container. As does a large tin can. They can be painted up to make them look more attractive or left as they are to give a rustic look as they gradually develop rust.
  • An old colander works well as a hanging container with some chain attached.
  • If you like a rustic look in your yard, an old refrigerator is an ideal one for container gardening ideas. Remove the door to avoid any accidents and fill with quality organic rich soil and plant whatever you wish.

container ideas

  • Old draws make excellent container for herbs
  • The inner drum from a broken down washing machine can be used for container gardening ideas also.
  • A Babies bath that is no longer needed can be converted into a container for any number of plants.
  • An old cane washing basket
  • A child’s toy dump truck.
  • A discarded toy wagon is excellent for succulents.
  • An old pram
  • An old pair of work boots hung on a wall
  • A discarded toolbox.

Flowers

Let’s look at containers for flowers. They can be anything from an expensive clay pot, a hanging pot, to an old disused washtub. If you like a rustic look an old wash tub will give that look when it has a riot of colourful flowers cascading from it.

Petunias are an excellent plant to have in a hanging basket. These baskets can be wire baskets lined with a fibre matting. Even an old large kettle looks great full of flowers.

Tall cylinder shaped pots add a dramatic look to an entranceway, as an example, planted with a string of pearls that will drape down combined with blue ageratum and purple calibrachoa give a dramatic structural display.

A neutral coloured pot will allow the flowers to shine. Elevated planters are great container gardening ideas as they allow the plants to drape, which will display them at their best. An old bicycle painted up and pots attached to it will also look great filled with flowers.

Vegetables

Container gardening ideas for vegetables are slightly different from the one for flowers. Most vegetable require a fair bit of room to grow and produce so unless you are only having one plant in the pot theses containers need to be bigger and wider.

This is where an old wheelbarrow is an excellent choice for vegetables. Filled with organic rich soil, you will be guaranteed to produce some quality vegetables.

Wooden barrels cut in half are great container gardening ideas and are great for growing vegetables. Sometimes wineries sell off their old wine barrels and if you are lucky enough to live nearby and are able to purchase one, then there is no stopping you from producing quality produce.

Fruit trees

There are some fruit trees that grow well in containers, however they need to be large enough for the roots to grow so think big, don’t purchase too small a pot and try to squeeze the tree into it. Dwarf varieties of fruit trees survive well in containers.

You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to container gardening ideas.

Posted in: Gardening