Gardening Tips | Shelter Insurance®

13 Gardening Tips for Any Kind of Garden

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"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view." ~H. Fred Dale

Planning the perfect garden requires a little research and planning, as well as the right tools and a good supply of tips and tricks. Of course, mistakes will happen along the way, so we did a little research of our own to find tips and tricks when planting almost anything. We found way too many to put in one article, but here are 13 we thought would be helpful:

  • Make sure what you want to plant will grow in the type of soil you have. Just search the internet to find out what types of plants grow well in your area.
  • Likewise, if you live in the country, you need to find out what plants are deer-resistant. If you are planting a vegetable garden, you'll need to plan how you'll keep deer and other veggie-loving animals out of it.
  • If you don't like to wear gloves when you dig in the dirt, run your fingernails over a dry bar of soap before you start. The soap will cake up under your nails so dirt won't be able to, then when you wash your hands, your nails are nice and clean.
  • Give your plants space. In other words, research how big a plant will grow and leave enough room between plants so they won't feel crowded.
  • Make sure you water without overwatering. This is especially important for new plants because their root system hasn't fully developed. If your plant's leaves start turning yellow (and it's not a plant that's supposed to by yellow) you may be watering too much.
  • Collect rainwater from your downspouts in a barrel and use that water to water your garden. Another good option is to use the water you used when you boiled vegetables from last night's dinner. It's like giving your plants vitamins.
  • Coffee grounds provide acid to soil, so check and see if the plants you're growing will do better in more acidic soil and follow suit.
  • Add a handful of compost to the soil if you need to transplant a flower or vegetable to help the transplant "take."
  • Bugs don't like garlic, onions or chives, so plant these around your vegetable garden to help with insect control. They don't like chrysanthemums either, so include those as part of your landscaping or flower garden to help control the pest population.
  • Water your garden in the morning before it gets really hot. This will help the plants stay hydrated through the heat of the day.
  • You'll be using long-handled tools, so why not turn the handles into measuring tools? Just mark inches and feet on the handles, then you can use them to measure how far apart to plant things. That way, you won't have to carry a tape measure around with you.
  • Turn plastic water or soda bottles into underground drip feeders. Clean out empty bottles and put holes all over them. Bury them in your garden near plants, making sure to distribute them evenly throughout your garden. Leave the bottle opening visible so you can fill it with water, and your plant's root system will have a steady supply of water all day.
  • Add baking soda to the soil where you are growing tomatoes for sweeter, juicier tomatoes.

These are just a handful of gardening tips you can use this spring and summer when you're planting and maintaining your garden. We hope they help you have a beautiful garden and a plentiful harvest.  And if you're in Columbia, MO take time to tour the Shelter Gardens for ideas for your landscaping efforts!