Expert Gardening Tips for Beginners
Build a gardener’s portfolio.
Keep tabs on your garden. Create a scrapbook using an inexpensive photo album and add your plant tags and sticks to it each season. Then, make it as detailed as you’d like by adding information as to where the plants were purchased and where the plant was located in your garden. Add your own artistic flair with sketches of your garden or photographs.
Create a no-stick shovel.
Spray your favorite garden shovel with a silicone or Teflon lubricant to make shoveling a breeze. A good coating of this spray will make any type of soil slip right off the shovel without a mess.
Lighten those heavy pots.
Take the strain out of lifting large planters and pots by filling the pot one-third to one-half full with packing peanuts. Be sure to place a piece of landscape fabric on top of the packing peanuts and then layer on your potting soil. To reduce the weight of the pot further, use a potting mix with lots of vermiculite and peat moss.
Easy-read rain gauge.
Spruce up your rain gauge by adding a few drops of food coloring to the bottom. During the next rainfall, the water will combine with the dye and the water level will be bright red and easy to read.
Assist your root-bound plants.
One woe associated with buying potting plants is that they are often root-bound. In other words, as the plant grows in the pot, the roots run out of room to grow–so they begin to form tight circles of roots in the pot. The problem is that these roots can prevent water and other essential nutrients from traveling to the leaves and the rest of the plant. For a quick fix, gently guide the roots outward using your fingers. If they are really tough, carefully make vertical cuts in the root-ball with a knife.