Gardening Made Easy

Gardening Made Easy



Even if you don’t have much of a green thumb, these Gardening Made Easy tips will help with starting a successful garden.  First, I’d like to say that not everyone has the available space to garden, but that’s okay. I grow spinach and kale in pots that go on my deck railings. I even start a lot of my plants indoors.

I am fortunate that I have a big enough yard to do a lot of different things, but I do not like to be a slave to my gardens; flower ones included.  So I tend to go small for my vegetable gardens because they are a lot of work.

garden toolsIt’s a good idea to plan out what you want to plant in your garden.  Making sure to have the tools you need; from a small set to start, to larger shovels and rakes.  (Click on the picture to read more about garden tools).  Then think about how much you plan to grow.  Growing too much of one thing can lead to giving away a lot or being stuck eating a lot of it yourself.  I have a family of 6 and my family eats a lot.  However, because we know we eat a lot doesn’t necessarily mean we need a lot of plants.  One plant can produce a pretty significant amount of vegetables.  After trial and error, this is what we now purchase as seedlings or seed start for our garden:  2 cherry tomato, 2 beef steak tomatoes, 3 cucumber, and 2 zucchini.  We also grow one each: green pepper, banana pepper, and habanero pepper.  We recently put in a raised herb garden near our grill that contains: parsley, sweet basil, garlic chives, and leeks.

This year is my first attempt at growing kale and spinach from seeds.  So far I have many sprouts shooting up.  Crossing my fingers.  I also want to try planting beets from seeds.  This will be my first attempt, wish me luck.

COMPOSTING

To start, I have an outdoor compost, again, many people do not have the space nor want a huge pile of clippings, vegetable, fruit, etc..waste in their backyard.  I have a large compost outside, a barrel compost, and I also manage a small compost indoors. I just use a juice pitcher on the back of my sink, in which I add random composting things to.  Once the pitcher gets either smelly or full, I dump it out in my gardens and hand till it into my soil.  Plants need nutrients, so by doing a compost I help provide plants with nutrients they absorb through the soil.

Here are some things that can be added to an indoor compost:

  • egg shells
  • coffee grounds
  • tea grounds
  • vegetable clippings
  • fruit waste
  • used paper towels or napkins

Having an outdoor compost can include much more waste, and in larger portions including; banana peels, grass clippings, leaves, water melon rind, corn on the cob, etc…The great part about having an outdoor compost is when my kids are eating apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, etc…they enjoy throwing their scraps into the compost and do not have to track down a garbage can to dispose of it.  Plus, I’m no longer finding their waste in my yard somewhere, when they do not throw it into the garbage can. They even enjoy telling their friends, “just throw it there,” often times throwing it from far distances, making a game out of it.

Another way to help bring nutrients to the soil is by adding worms to your gardens.  When worms eat, their waste provides a type of fertilizer for plants.  So, anytime you are somewhere else in your yard and come across worms…add them to your vegetable gardens.

RECYCLE REUSE-Starting plants indoors.  I take old cardboard egg crates and use them as seed starters.  Rip off the lid and put it underneath for added support once it’s filled with soil.  When the plants get to be a certain size, I rip off each section of the egg crate containing a plant (where one egg would sit) and place it in either a pot full of dirt/soil or in my garden.  The cardboard is biodegradable, so it is safe for your garden. How convenient is that? Very; in my book!

Another great tip for labeling your indoor plants; I rip off the tops of the seed packets, (with the name of the seed you’re planting) and tuck them in between the two pieces of egg crate cardboard.

Here’s a great way to recycle old newspaper, napkins, and paper towels:  use them in your pots when adding soil.  First, line the bottom of your pots with the paper, add soil, then your plant/seed.  The ‘paper’ products help hold in the water, which keeps the soil moist to keep your plants happy.  This is even a great solution for when you’re away from home a lot or forget to keep up with watering your plants.

HOMEMADE GREENHOUSES

Here’s another life hack to gardening.  Instead of throwing away the plexiglass from old storm doors, I use them as a makeshift greenhouse to start a lot of my outdoor plants.  I started with this idea because I do not have a lot of space indoors. Even if you see these doors out to the curb on garbage day, stop and grab one, they definitely come in handy AND they are not going to be added to a landfill.

This process literally works!!Make your own greenhouse  I already have spinach and kale starting to grow in my back garden.  I also put the plexiglass over 2 of my deck railing pots (pots are down on the deck to start) and I already see a spinach sprout.  I’m sure everyone is wondering, “why so much spinach and kale?” well my husband does the keto diet and eats a LOT of spinach and kale on a daily basis.

 

 

If you’re short on plexiglass and even short on outdoor space, I’ve even started plants in pots and used plastic wrap on the tops after watering them.  Of course I had to tape the plastic wrap around the rim, but this too, has worked as well. I see little sprouts popping up already.

If you lack the space or the ability to find and use plexiglass, these cute small greenhouses are ideal for a smaller scale garden.  Click on the picture for more details and plan out your next garden soon.small greenhouse

If there are more tips for Gardening Made Easy, that you have tried, please make sure to make a comment below and share your great ideas.

 

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