We have been blessed with some great weather over the last week in the Toronto area, which means that that we have spent lots of time outside. It is finally nice enough to prep the gardens are start planting. While I love having a beautiful garden with lots of flowers, the credit for my gardens all falls with my Mom. We have a yearly tradition now of her coming and helping me prepare and plant my gardens for Mother’s Day. Then I am tasked with keeping everything alive once it is in the ground. Although I may not be the expert gardener that my Mom is I have picked up a few tips along the way. Here are some Gardening 101 tips to create your own beautiful garden:
Prep the gardens – Start by removing all the leaves and debris that accumulated during the winter. Turn the soil over and work in some compost, manure or dried peat moss to give your plans a nutrient rich bed to start growing in. By tilling and loosening up the soil you also allow for better drainage and make it easier for root to establish themselves.
Tools of the Trade – Pick up some ergonomically designed tools, and make sure whatever tools your are working with are sharp. A good set of tools will make the job of gardening easier and faster. Don’t shy away from colourful tools either, they are easier to spot when it comes time to put everything away. Done forget your kneepads or kneeling mat to make you more comfortable while out in the garden. Feeling sore after a day in the garden, don’t forget to take a moment to pamper yourself. Sooth sore and inflammed muscles with RUB A535 Natural Source Arnica Gel-Cream or Spray.
Weed or Plant – I will be the first to admit I am not very good at this guessing game at all. I know I have picked some plants that I have mistaken for weeds, and have left some weeds to grow into… bigger ugly weeds. Your best bet is to look at a couple of online resources of common weeds in your area to help you determine if you should pull or not!
Cover it up – hate gardening because of the weeds? While you will likely always have to do some weeding you can help prevent weeds from germinating by stopping them from growing in the first place. By covering up the soil by either planting flowers close enough that they crowd out the weeds, or by using mulch you can cut down on the time you spend weeding. If using mulch is it a good idea to use longer lasting mulch (like bark chips) for perennial gardens and mulch that will decompose in a few months for gardens with annuals.
Water water water – You spent all this time preparing and planting your gardens but you are not done yet. Don’t forget that plants and seeds need to be watered regularly to sprout and establish a strong root base. If just starting out try to plant your vegetable garden near your back door or in sight of a window to help you to remember to water your new plants on a regular basis. You can also use the water used to steam or boil vegetables to water potted plants!
I am looking forward to spending lots of time outside with the boys this summer, and taking some time to work on my gardens. Maybe I will even be adventurous enough to plant some veggies this year! What are you planting in your gardens this year?
Disclosure: I am part of the Church & Dwight ambassador program and I was provided with one or more of these products free of change for review. All options are strictly my own.