10 Gardening Trends to Look Out for in 2018

small-garden

More and more people are getting interested in gardening each year. This trend has seen the choices made in garden plants and ideas change drastically. A gardening idea that was a must have two years ago might not get half the attention it got today. Preferences, weather conditions, and home styles play a crucial role in determining the trends people go for each year. What should you look out for in 2018?

More Eco-Friendly Choices

People are more aware of the dangers chemicals, and inorganically grown plants pose to the environment and the soil. This has seen a rise of organically grown plants using natural methods and 100% chemical free fertilizers through 2017 and this will continue into the years to come. Pesticides and other chemicals to promote growth will see a downturn in 2018. It is not just about the soil but the air as well. Some of the chemicals used can cause air pollution. Instead of chemical herbicides, use a mixture of salt, vinegar, and water to take care of the weeds. Do not use too much as this can weaken the soil.

Small Gardening Ideas

Gardening will not only be a luxury for those with big outdoor spaces, but even those living in squeezed apartments can enjoy the activity. There will be a rise in demand for potted plants that do not require much space. There is also an increase of people who love gardening but do not have the skills. Ready and potted plants are an ideal choice for such.

There are also mini plants that grow an inch or less every year that can be placed in containers to give you an idea of how having your garden might feel. You can have such plants in your house and later transfer them to a real garden when they outgrow the container.

Growing Plants for Food

More people nowadays want to have control of everything they eat. When you have your garden where you can plant tomatoes, onions and other vegetables, the need to source outside is reduced. You can plant organic plants and have the confidence of feeding your family healthy foods. Also, extreme weather conditions in the world sometimes mean food shortages, especially vegetables. When you plant your own, you are assured of a consistent supply all year round. It is also cheaper than buying from the grocery store.

The Rise of all Weather Plants

Global weather changes have also affected gardening choices. There is a need for all weather plants. This does not mean the beauty will be affected in any way. Plants such as Sedan Spuruim, Mexican cactus AgastacheRugosa, and EchinocactusGrusoni can withstand long periods of drought. Perennial plants are also coming back as a welcome relief from seasonal choices.

Focus on Body Mind and Spirit

People in 2018 will not only garden because it is refreshing and engaging but as psychologist advice, nature holds the key to happiness and peace. The more time you spend gardening, the more fulfilled and in rhythm with nature you will be. Families will be spending more time together gardening. This activity has shown to boost health.

Boldness will be Significant Color

2018 will be the year many will let their reservations loose and experiment with different colors and designs. The bold will mix all assortments of colors while the not so daring will go for two or three different shades. All green gardens will be replaced with colorful and exciting combinations that will be elegant, and a must have. Color changing plants such as conifers will also be highly sorted out.

Gardens will be an Extended Kitchen

Can you envision yourself on a warm summer evening preparing your best family dinner, not in your regular kitchen but your garden? The trend in 2018 will see more people going for a garden kitchen. It will be a fully equipped kitchen with a separate dining area where you can prepare all meals as you soak in the surrounding beauty, scents, and colors. How fulfilling can that be?

To make the kitchen blend into the surroundings, you can opt for more natural looking materials and colors. Also, ensure it is well protected from weather conditions and the furniture pieces you choose are easy to clean and maintain.

Biodiversity Will be Evident in the Choices Many will Go For

Perennial and seasonal plants will go hand in hand while short, and longer plants will thrive side by side. It will be a contrast to the typical clean one level lawns and gardens that have been witnessed in yester years. On the same note, older and new styles will be mixed whether it is a new or older garden. There will not be one consistent style all throughout the garden but different styles both modern and tradition will be evident. More natural objects such as rocks and wild hedges will be more familiar in the garden in 2018.

Water Conservation Measures will be a Key Point to Consider

In 2018, more water saving plants will be sort for. People are getting aware of the climate changes and the need to preserve water even in gardening choices. Water retaining plants and those that require more water will be put aside as people go for climate friendly varieties.

Experimental Plants will be the New Thing

People will want to have gardens that are unique and different. They will not go for the common variations but will go for exotic, little heard of plants that will raise eyebrows. They will experiment with plants such as the tomato heartbreaker that produces heart shaped tomatoes, the cuca-melons that look like melons but taste like cucumbers and the lemon cucumber that is a lemon shaped cucumber.

There are quite a lot of exciting gardening ideas to choose from in 2018. No matter your choice, there is a lot of variety of plants to compliment your style. Also, go for elegant unfinished furniture pieces in the garden. These will blend well with the surroundings. You will not have to go for expensive gardening trends, but simply do it yourself methods will transform your garden into nature’s best friend.

Vegetable Gardening – 6 Things You Should Be Doing

vegetable gardening

If you’ve decided to grow your vegetables, there are certain tasks that are essential. Other tips and tricks will help to increase your yield or the overall health of your plants. In the following article, we’ll explore six things you should be doing amidst your rows and vegetable plots that will help your garden shine brightly beneath the sun.
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9 Tips for Desert Gardening You Must Never Forget

desert gardening

Desert Gardening

Desert gardening can be a great challenge because of harsh environmental conditions like frost, inadequate rainfall, and high winds. In addition to the unfavorable climate, desert soils also have a poor nutrient value, rendering the plants unhealthy, and vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Despite the problems encountered in a desert, it is still possible to reap a bountiful harvest as long as you have the right skills to protect your plants from the unfavorable desert conditions. Below are nine expert tips that will make your desert gardening successful.

1. Use the right seeds

Finding the right seeds for your desert gardening is the first step to a bountiful harvest. Agricultural experts recommend that you use local seeds that have adapted to the desert climate. You can find such seeds in your local nursery or order them from online stores that sell heirloom or open-pollinated seeds.

Besides acquiring seeds that are adapted to the desert climate, NativeSeeds’ agricultural experts recommend that you ensure the seeds are non-diseased. The experts argue that healthy seeds equal healthy plants and increased yields.

2. Nurture your garden’s soil

As we all know, soil is essential for healthy plants. This is because the soil holds the roots, and it provides essential nutrients for plant growth. Unfortunately, the desert soil is primarily made up of gravel, sand, and clay that are nutrient deficient, low in organic matter, and high in alkalinity. Moreover, the desert soil has a reduced ability to retain water and moisture.

Based on the reasons above, it is advisable that you embark on improving your garden’s soil quality by using compost or manure. According to an article posted in earth911.com, the use of manure or compost has immediate and long-term benefits like improving soil structure, neutralizing soil PH, and increasing your garden’s nutrient content. Also, the use of compost or manure boosts the soil’s capacity to hold moisture, and it wards of plant diseases.

3. Watering

Just like animals, plants need adequate water to thrive. Therefore, its availability can mean a successful harvest while its scarcity can lead to reduced yields or plant death. Since there is inadequate rainfall in the desert, watering, or irrigation is an alternative way you would provide the plants with requisite water.

For an improved yield, desert agriculture experts recommend a light spray of water for germinating seeds. Subsequently, deep watering should follow after the seedlings have emerged. Deep watering supports root growth as well as preventing salt build up that can hinder plant growth. Since desert dries up faster, you should try and irrigate your plants in the evening when the sun is not so intense. For convenience purposes, you can opt for drip irrigation rather than manual irrigation.

4. Mulching

Mulching is another sure way that can improve the yield from your desert gardening. Mulching is valuable for your plants because it helps the soil to retain moisture, it prevents soil compaction, and it eliminates weeds to minimize the competition for water and nutrients.

According to an article posted in better homes and gardens, mulching is essential for desert gardening since it insulates the soil from extreme temperatures that can spoil your plant’s roots and they improve soil fertility. Some of the materials that you can use as mulch include plastic sheets, leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, and field hay.

If you want to reap the benefits of mulching, we suggest that you till your garden before applying an even thin layer on your garden. Ideally, the mulch should be 2-3 inches thick, and it should not touch your plant’s stem.

5. Use fertilizer

The use of fertilizer is an excellent way to provide your plants with essential nutrients they need to thrive. Unlike compost and manure, fertilizers are nutrient balanced to provide the exact nutrients required by your plants, and they are easy to apply. Moreover, some fertilizers can introduce essential bacteria to the soil, they regulate soil PH, and they offer an immediate benefit to plants.

Despite the fact that fertilizer is an alternative to improve soil fertility, we recommend that you use it sparingly since they are gradually depleted, they promote the growth of weeds, and repeated use of the fertilizers can lead to a build up of toxic substances in the soil.

6. Pest And Disease Control

Besides climate, pests and disease are other challenges that face desert gardening. The problem is rampant because the plants are usually malnourished and unable to ward off diseases. For this reason, you ought to find the right pesticides that can control pests as well as the diseases that can destroy your hands.

When shopping for a pesticide, we suggest that you shop around for one that is biodegradable, less toxic to human beings, easy to apply, and one that eliminates pests selectively. It is also advisable that you choose an organic pesticide.

7. Spacing

It is common knowledge that plants compete for light, nutrients, and water. Therefore, correct plant spacing is the only way to eliminate this competition, thereby boosting a healthy plant growth. Besides promoting plant growth, spacing also encourages flowering, and it reduces the risk of spreading pests and diseases from one plant to another.

The minimum distance between plants that grow to a height of 3 feet ranges between 18 and 30 inches and the spacing would be more for plants that grow more than 3 feet tall. For this reasons, we suggest that you thin out your seedlings by eliminating the weak and leaving out the aggressive ones.

8. Protect your plants against wind

The strong desert winds is another environmental factor that you should worry about when doing desert gardening. This is because the strong winds can uproot your plants, increase evapotranspiration, and shake off your plant’s flowers, leaves, and other plant parts. These effects collaborate to reduce your yield.

For this reason, windbreaks are necessary to shield your crops against strong winds. Some of the possible ways to prevent the wind include the practice of agroforestry, fencing your garden, or the use of straw bales.

9. Plant at the right season

Lastly, you can achieve a bountiful harvest if you plant at the right season. For instance, you can plant collard greens, broccoli, myriad lettuces, and kale during the cool seasons of the year. This saves you from the need to water your plants often as well as the pests that go dormant during the season. However, you can plant some plants like tomatoes in the warm months since they tend to yield more during that season.

As can be seen, desert gardening is not a challenge as long as you have the right gardening skills to protect your plants from water scarcity, extreme temperatures, and nutrient deficiency. Some of the key skills to increase your crop yield include regular watering, planting during the right season, mulching, and use of manure to enhance soil fertility.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Planting Flowers

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Many people dream of owning a garden full of beautifully colored and fragrant flowers. It would be ideal if a gardener could scratch out a patch of soil, toss some seeds on it, cover them up, water them then sit back and watch while they turned into glorious blossoms. However, having a truly beautiful garden takes a bit more work. Here are five things to keep in mind when planting flowers:

1. The Climate

Climate describes the long term weather patterns of an area. The area can be large as a region of a country or as small as a garden. The factors to consider are the:

  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Wind
  • Sunlight
  • Precipitation

A gardener can discover something of the climate in their area when they look on a hardiness zone map. Though these maps don’t give much information about how much sun, wind or rain an area gets, they do tell a potential gardener the average minimum temperature of their area. The Department of Agriculture divides the United States into at least 11 hardiness zones. This lets a gardener know the coldest temperatures a plant can tolerate.

Fortunately, plant catalogs, seed packets and the instructions that come with transplants let the gardener know the hardiness zones where the plant can thrive. Most plants do well in more than one hardiness zone. A tough plant such as ansonia can thrive from hardiness zone 3, which is found in upper Maine, to hardiness zone 10, which is found in southern Florida.

The one caveat is that flowers are far more tender than the plants they grow on. A plant may withstand an unusually late frost, but its flowers may be lost.

2. The Soil

Gardening experts claim that nothing is more important for the growth of plants and flowers as well-prepared soil. As there are several types of climate, there are several types of soil, though the main categories are clay, silt and sand. These soils are determined by the size of their particles.

  • Clay particles are less than 1/256 millimeters in diameter.
  • Silt has particles that are between 1/16 and 1/256 mm in diameter.
  • Particles of sand are between 1/16 and 2 mm in diameter. Sand can be very fine, fine, medium, coarse or very coarse. A person can usually feel the grains of sand when they hold it.

It’s unusual for any one soil sample to be all of one texture, but a gardener can tell if a soil is silty or clayey because it is heavy, hard to turn over and sticks to the shovel. These soils have lots of nutrients. but they’re so compact that air and water can’t get to the plant’s roots. Sandy soil is so light and loose that it can’t hold on to water or nutrients and can’t anchor a plant properly.

The best soil for most plants is loam, which is about 20 percent clay and about 40 percent each of sand and silt.

The pH of the soil is also vitally important. Most plants like their soil just a bit acidic. If a gardener doesn’t know the soil’s pH, they can buy a kit at a gardening center that can test it. One interesting thing to know is that pH levels can influence the colors of flowers. Hydrangeas grown in acidic soil produce blue flowers, while hydrangeas grown in alkaline soil produce pink or red flowers.

3. Sun Exposure

Flowers bloom in conditions of full sun to full shade. Some demand one or the other. Others can blossom in bright sunlight to partial shade. The gardener needs to know what sort of sun exposure the property gets at different times of the year.

4. Is the Plant an Annual or a Perennial?

An annual is a plant that blossoms once and dies, while a perennial blossoms its life, which can be surprisingly long in some species. The attraction of annuals for most gardeners is that they tend to have spectacular flowers. If a gardener wants permanence as well as plants that are robust as well as beautiful, they grow a perennial garden, and supplement it with annuals and bulbs.

5. Design

Designing the garden is a long process but a great deal of fun. Sketching the house and property to scale on a piece of graph paper and depicting which areas get full sun, partial sun or shade, drawing existing plants and outbuildings, noting places that have poor drainage, good views, poor views or no privacy gives the gardener a rough idea of where flowers can be planted to their best advantage. Later, deciding whether a garden is informal or formal and choosing the right plants adds to the pleasure.

After this comes the hard work.

Taking these five things into account well before the first bit of soil is even turned over goes a long way in creating a memorable, beautiful and long-lasting garden.

10 Healthy, Edible Plants You Can Grow Indoors

Starting an indoor vegetable garden, a rewarding endeavor, not only brings nature indoors, but it provides organic foods to add to home-cooked meals, enhancing a healthy lifestyle. Here are ten of the healthiest vegetables for an indoor garden along with suggestions for preparation and the major health benefit each provides.

1. Arugula

indoor Arugula

Arugula, a flavorful vegetable for salads, is easy to grow indoors with a little attention to selecting the right container for proper drainage. This vegetable plant requires daily sunlight or the use of an indoor plant light in its place.

Arugula can be used for salads, sandwiches, soups or added to pasta and other dishes. It can be mixed with other greens as well.

The most notable health benefit of arugula – its cancer protective qualities. Specifically, it includes “indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane” which are shown to have “anticarcinogenic” properties.

2. Bell Peppers

indoor Bell Peppers

Bell peppers make a smart addition to the indoor garden. A soil mix specifically for sprouting vegetable seeds is the ideal way to get started. To grow bell peppers successfully, from seed to full grown plant, keep the temperature about 70 degrees and the plant in direct sunlight.

Bell Peppers can be grilled, fried, baked, sauteed, steamed, stuffed. These make a great addition to many dishes or they can be served as a side dish with chicken, meat, pasta or vegan meals prepared with tofu.

Bell peppers have a high concentration of vitamin A, which supports the immune system as well as “vision, reproduction, and cellular communication.”

3. Beets

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Beets add color to the indoor garden and make a flavorful choice for dinner plates. The entire plant, including the roots, are edible. Beets grow best in cool temperatures and do well with minimal sunlight.

Popular ways to prepare beets – simply steamed with lemon or baked. Candied beets are also an option. Beets can be served as a side dish or added to other dishes such as salads.

Nutritionally, beets are high in minerals and support the health of many body functions including the heart, eyes and brain.

4. Carrots

indoor Carrots

Carrots are another smart choice for an indoor garden. Keeping the soil moist is recommended since they require more water than the other vegetables. Unlike the beet plant that requires minimal sunlight, carrot plants require about 6 hours a day for optimal growth.

Carrots are known for supporting vision. They are high in vitamin A. The “carotene antioxidants” are also known to reduce cancer growth.

5. Green Beans

indoor green beans

Green beans are an easy to grow vegetable. Direct sunlight is required for optimal growth. The ideal temperature is about 70 degrees with well drained soil.

Green beans can be prepared in many ways and added to different dishes. Bean salads with lemon and olive oil and steamed green beans are two options for adding this vegetable to meals.

The most notable health benefit from green beans is it’s high content of vitamin A, C and K.

6. Kale

indoor kale

Kale does best with direct sunlight or with an indoor plant light for the majority of the day. This vegetable adds a rich green color to the indoor garden.

For preparation, kale can be added to salads, soups or other dishes. It can be sauteed with olive oil as well. For some, kale’s strong flavor is a bit overwhelming, but it’s one that comes with many health benefits. Like the vegetables listed above, it is packed with vitamin A.

Often referred to as a “superfood“, kale not only includes vitamin A but also vitamins K and B6. Different minerals are also a part of kale’s benefits supporting good health.

7. Onions

indoor onions

Another smart choice for the indoor garden – onions. They require full sunlight and moist soil for the best growing conditions. Interesting fact: this is one vegetable that can even grow in water, without soil.

There are many options for preparing onions – fried, sauteed, stuffed, grilled, boiled or sliced for sandwiches and added to dips.

The health benefits of onions include large amounts of vitamin C. They also contain chromium, which is good for blood sugar levels.

8. Radicchio

radicchio

This colorful vegetable makes a perfect addition to the indoor garden, adding color to the array of plants and to the dinner plate.

A popular choice in Italian salads, it can also be added to pastas and other dishes.

The health benefits make this plant a smart choice. According to the Nutrition and You website, “Fresh leaves hold moderate amounts of essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin. These vitamins are essential … required for fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.”

9. Tomatoes

indoor Tomatoes

Tomatoes make another smart choice for the indoor garden. Opt for the smaller varieties in order to manage the growth of the plant. The larger varieties require support for the vines, which may be challenging with limited indoor space.

Stewed, baked, fried, sauteed, boiled – the options are endless with tomatoes. Add to salads or use for sauces. They can be sliced on sandwiches or prepared as tomato salads for vegan and non-vegan options.

The major health benefit of tomatoes is its amazing antioxidant power. Full of vitamin C, tomatoes also have high amounts of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against sunlight’s damage to the skin and different cancers.

10. Zucchini

indoor Zucchini

Growing indoor zucchini along with the other selected vegetables, adds a flavorful option to the array of vegetables in this indoor garden.

Zucchini can be sauteed, stuffed, fried, steamed or grilled and can be added to many dishes as well.

Two of the many health benefits of zucchini include its high concentration of magnesium and vitamin C. Vitamin A is another benefit in addition to omega 3 fatty acids.

Starting an indoor garden doesn’t have to be challenging. Even those new to gardening can be successful. Selecting the seeds, containers, premixed soil and location in the home are the first steps to this healthy, rewarding endeavor.

6 Plastic Milk Bottle Hacks – Useful & Free

6 Plastic Milk Bottle Hacks

Plastic bottles are something that many of us try to avoid in order to reduce our impact on the environment. However, sometimes it seems like they are unavoidable, especially when it comes to milk bottles. While you can recycle the bottles after you finish using them, they can also be upcycled or repurposed into other useful items. Here are six plastic milk bottle hacks to spark your creativity and contribute to your sustainable lifestyle.

Bird Feeder

While you can always purchase a backyard bird feeder, making on out of a plastic bottle not only reduces your waste, but can also help you save money. To make the feeder, all you will need is an exacto knife, a chopstick, a marker, and of course your plastic milk bottle. Simply mark a hole large enough for the chopstick to fit through about 2.5 inches from the bottom of the bottle. Mark a larger hole on the side of the bottle an inch or two about the first. Cut out the holes with the exacto knife and insert the chopstick into the smaller hole. Fill the bottle with bird food until it reaches the rim of the hole. Then, simply hang the feeder from any tree branch and enjoy the new visitors!

Pencil or Makeup Organizers

plastic milk bottle pencil organizer

Making organizers from plastic bottles can be an easy way to upcycle your bottles into something useful. For this project, all you will need is an exacto knife, marker, and an iron. Mark a line around the circumference of the milk bottle at the desired height for your organizer, usually five or six inches from the bottom. Cut along the line until you have removed the top of the bottle. With your iron set on its lowest setting, place the cut edge of the bottle against the iron. Keep the plastic on the iron just long enough to get rid of any sharp edges. Feel free to leave the organizer as is or decorate to your heart’s content.

Planter

plastic milk bottle planter

Why buy a planter at the store when you can make one at home from your old bottles? To make one of these planters, be sure to us your marker to indicate where you would like to cut your bottle. You can simply cut your bottle straight across or give it some character by adding cat ears. Cut along the line you have marked to remove the top of the bottle. Depending on the water sensitivity of your plant, you make also wish to cut small holes into the bottom of the bottle for better drainage. After that, it’s simply a matter of picking out your favorite plant!

Jewelry or Small Object Container

If you find yourself constantly losing earrings or computer chips, this easy project is a great way to upcycle your plastic bottle. For this project, you will need a hot glue gun in addition to the exacto knife. Cut off the openings of two plastic bottles with the lids still screwed on. Then use the hot glue gun to glue the cut edges together until you are sure you have a solid seal. This great little container is another way to reuse plastic bottles towards keeping yourself organized. You can still hold onto the rest of the bottle for some other projects.

Dust Pan or Scoop

plastic milk bottle dust pan

If you have already removed the top of your milk bottle to make a small container, you can still put the rest of that plastic to good use. Using a marker, draw a circle around the top of the milk bottle’s handle. Draw a much larger triangle around the base of the handle. Use and exacto knife to cut along these lines and in a matter of seconds, you will have a homemade dust pan. Alternatively, you can leave the handle intact and cut the bottom of the bottle out in a curved shape to create a scoop. Either of these options will give you a useful tool a no cost!

Watering Can

Looking for an easy way to water your plants? If you have a needle, matches, and a plastic milk bottle, you can make your own watering can in a matter of minutes. Remove the lid from the milk bottle and carefully heat the needle over a flame. Use the hot needle to poke holes into the bottle cap. Once you have a decent number of holes, fill the bottle up with water, screw the lid back on, and use for all of your watering needs.

There are many ways you can put plastic bottles to good use and upcycle them for new projects. These six hacks are a great way to reuse your old bottles and enjoy a fun project along the way.

10 Must Have Gardening Tools

Tools You Need for Your Garden

No matter what you’re doing in the garden, you need a few tools to perfect your craft. With the right gardening tools, planting, pruning, mulching, and the many other steps involved in growing fruit, vegetables, flowers, and plants becomes a simplified process that even people who thought they didn’t have green thumbs can complete.

Gardening is fun, pleasurable, and helps you understand that it is the little things that really make life worth living. Ensure that you are equipped with the right tools to begin a new venture in gardening that leaves you fulfilled and rewarded.

If you’re ready to grow your own beautiful plants, colorful flowers, and delicious fruits, veggies, and herbs, do so after purchasing each of the 10 gardening tools featured on the list below. These must-have gardening tools enhance productivity, reduce hassle, and make this enjoyable hobby far more rewarding when the day is done.

Gloves

Thorns, bushes, shrubbery, insects, etc. threaten your hands while gardening. These things and many others can damage the skin and cause your hands to look unattractive and unkempt. Luckily, a pair of gardening gloves is all you need to eliminate those woes. Many types of gardening gloves are available for purchase. Each has its own set of pros and cons to evaluate before investing your money into the product. Leather gloves are the choice of many gardeners because these gloves are strong, durable, and capable of withstanding even the toughest of gardening jobs. Add a pair of arm protectors for added protection to your skin. These are the ones I buy.

Hand Trowel

Hand Trowel

As a gardener, digging holes and playing in dirt are two jobs you’ll complete often as you plant and transplant all your favorites. A hand trowel is an easy-to use gardening tool, but since it is used for purposes above, a strong, durable, and comfortable to hold hand trowel are important qualities to seek. A wooden handled trowel with ergonomic design is best suited for gardeners. Browse some good ones here.

Garden Hoe

garden hoe

The many uses for a garden hoe make this another of the must-own gardening tools. Several types of gardening hoes exist; choose the one best for you according to the type of garden you’re growing. The standard garden hoe easily fits between rows of vegetables, so this type is best for a vegetable garden. Choose a thinner garden hoe if you’re growing flowers or herbs. Browse for one here.

Shovel

Perfect for moving heavier, bulky items like gravel, the shovel is a gardening tool every gardener should own. Digging holes is another use you’ll get from the shovel. This hand tool features a long handle made of wood or heavy-duty plastic attached to a stainless steel or metal blade. Several types of shovels are available for purchase, including the scoop shovel, the spade shovel, and the square shovel. Choose a high-quality shovel with a comfortable handle for easier use in the garden. Here is a list of some good digging shovels.

Manual Grass Gardening Shears

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Removing dead flowers, pruning, and edging are a few of the duties upon you as a gardener. Completing these tasks by hand can be very time consuming and frustrating, but thanks to gardening shears, that worry is eliminated. Gardening shears of various size help make gardening an easy and enjoyable task. Choose several pairs of gardening shears to ensure you have the right size for the job on hand. Larger shears make light work of cutting bigger branches, while a smaller pair of shears is best-suited for flowers or small plants. Here is a good list of some top choices of manual gardening sheers.

Garden Rake

A garden rake is another valuable gardening tool. Do not confuse this rake with the leaf or lawn rake, as the two differ in both form and function. The garden rake provides the gardener an abundance of versatility and enhanced productivity, making jobs like leveling soil an easy task. Carefully choose the garden rake you will use because they’re all different and will not provide the same benefit as the next. Browse amazon for some good choices.

Pruners

Well-manicured shrubs and trees add extreme ambiance and flair to the exterior of your home, thus adding curb appeal and value to the structure. A pair of pruners provides the best method of manicuring your lawn. Many pruners exist; carefully choose the pair you buy. A pair of pruners with crossover blades and a safety catch with an ergonomic comfort grip are best-suited for such a task. Pruners can hurt your hands, so do take the time to choose the right pair before purchase. Browse amazon for some good choices.

Cordless Hedge Trimmer

DEWALT-DCHT860M1

Privacy and sophistication are two benefits of hedges, but these enjoyments come only when the greenery is cared for properly. Sure, hiring a professional landscaper to trim the hedges is an option, but you can also purchase a hedge trimmer and complete the job yourself. Maintaining your own hedges is simple and saves money. Many trimmers are on the market, all with their own pros, cons, and price tag. Compare a few options to find a hedge trimmer that allows you to easily trim the hedges. If you’re creative, with a bit of practice using the trimmer you’ll be able to make awesome designs in the hedges! Here is a top 5 list of the best cordless hedge trimmers, check it out before you make a purchase.

Knee Savers

Although this isn’t technically a gardening tool, it is one of those accessories you’ll be glad you invested in, especially when you spend long days pruning your plants. The versatile pads provide you with a comfortable place to sit or kneel upon when in the garden. The low-cost knee savers are available in assorted sizes and designs to accommodate the needs of all gardeners. Browse amazon for some good knee pads.

Garden Hose

A garden hose makes it easy to water the plants you’re growing. The choices in garden hoses are plentiful, so it is simple to find an easy-to use garden hose that exceeds expectations. Some of the garden hoses out there feature heat-resistant materials, non-tangle design, and lots of other perks. Sort through the choices to find a garden hose that takes care of your gardening needs while exceeding expectations. Browse Amazon for a good one.

You Need These Gardening Tools

Although there are many other gardening tools you’ll likely purchase after you transition into gardening with confidence, the 10 items listed above are those you’ll need from the very start. These 10 tools are a gardeners best friend, easing the workload and making the job of gardening far more rewarding. Buy all the tools that you want and get outside in the garden!

No matter what you choose to grow in the garden, the amount of time you can devote to gardening, or your place of residence, you’ll find gardening engaging, relaxing, and choked-full of other rewards, like the benefit of growing your own veggies (and saving money in the process.) Learn the passions that come along with gardening firsthand and purchase the tools listed above so you can begin your new hobby without further delay.

Why Are Young People Turning to Gardening?

Young People

Young People and Gardening

As the year 2017 nears its last quarter, it would not be fair not to look out for gardening trends that are expected to continue in 2018 for young people. According to Liberty Hyde Bailey, a garden needs a lot of patience and attention because the plants thrive due to the time somebody took to tend to them. Young people turn to gardening because they watch for best notable trends in the future that will gear their lives to upper heights. Some of this trends are;

Old and New Mixture

A few years back, it didn’t seem right to mix an urban look with a traditional one. But people are slowly embracing the idea that a garden can incorporate both ideas to bring out an appealing final look. How you combine the two ideas is what matters. It could be a traditional garden with a few modern touches. A landscaper could come in handy in giving ideas on how to combine the two ideas. This is a trend that will go on in 2018 as people become more and more experimental.

Color

A notable trend expected to prosper in 2018 is the color experimentation. Oscar de la Renta once said that gardening is a form of relaxation and playing around with colors. More people will continue to explore the gardening world as the preference for more color is realized. Color brings life as a whole. Having a colorful garden is gratifying enough. When in low moods and you walk outside to your garden and find all sorts of colorful flowers, the chances are that your mood changes.

Eco-friendly

With the rising causes of cancer, people are more careful about what they bring into their homes. When you have a garden, it’s hard not to use fertilizers and pesticides. Some of these contain harmful chemicals that may later affect your health. More natural means are available as people will continue to shift to more eco-friendly products.

Do it Yourself

The realization that gardening has many health benefits if you do it yourself could be a 2018 motivator. A study published by National Institute of Health found that the aged could benefit in gardening as it is a leisure activity that in turn boosts their health. The exposure to sunlight increased their calcium levels. Gardening is a great way of exercising as it strengthens your muscles. It also helps in working your body into flexibility and deals with loneliness especially for the elderly.

Container Gardening

This is a trend you will see a lot. The idea of having different containers with various types of plants is exciting. For people who don’t have so much space outside, this could work blend in well. The biggest advantage of container gardening is that you can take it inside. You may have a hanging basket right inside the house creating an alluring effect. You could go to your vendor and have them advise you on what works well inside the house. The natural blend that comes with the different plants placed on your patio or the window seals enhance the overall appeal of your home.

Weather Conditions

Gardening is an exciting venture as it makes you discover things you probably didn’t think could work. The weather can be so unfavorable with harsh conditions. Therefore, having a garden with plants that can cope with such situations is what people will be looking for, all through. Nobody wants a garden full of dried plants because of too much sunlight. For example, the zinnia seeds and amaranth can withstand the hot, dry summers compared to others. People will continue to buy such seeds since they want the garden looking vibrant all seasons.

Maintenance

Gardens that require low maintenance will keep trending. Sometimes, people are busy with work such that it may be challenging to maintain a garden. However, identifying plants that require minimal care is what will be the focus. The size of your garden is what determines the types of plants to put up. Evergreen shrubs are an option as they are low maintenance. There is a wide variety of such plants in the market as demand gradually rises.

Spacing

A trend that will stick on is the idea of having play and entertainment spaces. Most times, people who have space outside not only want for gardening but also, a place where they can host guests comfortably. Some people may even prefer putting up a basketball court for their leisure time. Find a designer who can install your preferred choice in your yard.

Natural Dye

An exciting discovery that may stay on is a natural dye garden. You identify plants that can be used to make dye for clothing and yarn. You can carefully choose flowers that act as a dye and at the same time enhance the look of the garden. You can easily incorporate these flowers into a cutting favorite. Such flowers will integrate well with other plants. Once it’s time to harvest, you get the fabric you intend to dye and place them on it. Examples of such flowers are the Japanese indigo, purple basil, and marigold. However, there are much more varieties available for the dyeing process. Check with your vendor on what’s available in your area and what will work well in your garden.

Attracting Pollinators

Michael Pollan says that the garden is where we can meet nature halfway. In this case, we can help bring balance. Experts continuously urge people to diversify their plants and incorporate some that will facilitate pollination. Find plants that have flowers which will attract pollinators to the garden like bees. Plants also act as shelter and a source of food for some animals.

Gardening trends will not stick around forever but the above are some that you should watch out for in 2018. You can start incorporating them as early as now to see what works for you. This list will make you incorporate some of the ideas above that you feel will highly benefit you.

Gardening is the Best Medicine for the Mind

happy gardener

Gardening Can Do Wonders for Mental Well-Being

Gardening and Mental Wellness

Gardening is a popular pastime among countless people all around the planet. People of all age groups are fond of this activity, too. If you walk around your neighborhood, you may see retired people engaging in all kinds of gardening activities. You may notice younger mothers participating in gardening efforts as well. The popularity of gardening shouldn’t be a major shocker to anyone. Regular gardening can beautify outdoor spaces in dramatic ways. It can also, however, be great for the mind, surprisingly enough. If you’re the kind of person who is always looking for ways to look after yourself, it may be the perfect time to take up a rewarding and healthy gardening habit. Some people say that gardening is a lot like mental medicine. They aren’t wrong, either.

Gardening Can Clear Your Mind

Clarity is so essential for people in this day and age. It can be hard to be a human being in the modern world. Life is always so busy. There are always so many expectations and things to do. People rarely ever get the opportunity to slow down and think about things for a while. That lack of relaxation can be immensely stressful as well. If you want to be able to clear your mind on a routine basis, there are few activities than can top gardening. Gardening is a lot like exercise in that it can give you a mental breather. It can give you the chance to assess your life and your goals. Being around the serenity and magnificence of nature can do wonders for people who want to be able to focus on the things that truly matter in life. Gardening can help you zero in on the things that are legitimately important. It can help you acknowledge the things, on the other hand, that are rather trivial and unimportant. If you want to gain some perspective on life, some time gardening can do you a lot of good. Gardening can be terrific for people who need assistance with the decision-making process. If you’re trying to deal with a tough life choice, then it may be time to get outside and get the shovel out.

Gardening Can Help Minimize Stress and Frustration

Contemporary society is so fast-paced and dynamic. It can be tough to keep up with things. People are constantly on the move. They’re perpetually in action. If you run into a neighbor, there’s a good chance she’s rushing to work or to a social obligation of some kind. It can be enough to make anyone feel a little crazy. If you want to take some valuable personal time, gardening may be the way to do so. Gardening can be incredibly soothing. It’s a peaceful activity that can make people feel calm and in control of their destinies. It can be a pleasure to feel your hands in the earth. The texture of soil, oddly enough, can have a tranquil effect on people. Being around the stillness of the sky and nature on a clear day can be an exhilarating experience as well. If you want to unwind, focus on your breathing and forget about stress and pressure for a while, gardening can do the trick. Gardening is similar to meditation in many ways. People who want to spend time alone and without outside interruptions often turn to the world of gardening.

Gardening Can Give You a Sense of Pride

Human beings love accomplishing things. It doesn’t feel good to sit around all day not doing anything. It does feel good, however, to get things done. Productivity can be an amazing feeling. Gardening can be wonderful for people who want to feel pride in their efforts. It can be wonderful to transform an outdoor space into something that’s beautiful and functional. A neglected backyard can make you feel embarrassed. A beautifully maintained one can give you a feeling of pride and achievement that’s simply unparalleled. That can be great for your mental well-being.

Gardening Can Strengthen Your Mood Significantly

Gardening can be helpful to people who suffer from troubling mood swings. If you regularly find yourself feeling down in the dumps, then gardening may be the solution. Mood swings can interfere with your life and happiness in a big way. They can stop you from leading an enjoyable and pleasant existence. They can often even ruin your relationships with other people. If you want to be someone who has a consistently positive mood, then you should get out in the garden more often. Gardening can make you a better person to be around. It can make you a happier and more well-rounded person in general. That can be terrific in many areas of your life. It can improve your relationships with your family members, with friends and even with colleagues.

11 Helpful Gardening Tips for Beginners

gardening for beginners

Gardening Advice For Beginners

Gardening can be a worthwhile and productive hobby, but getting started is sometimes the hardest part. Many people aren’t quite sure what to do to get started or have concerns over the space they have for a garden. Whatever your concerns, there are many tips and tricks to help you feel more confident in achieving your gardening dreams.

Below, a few experienced green thumbs have shared some of their best tips for ensuring your first venture into gardening is positive and enjoyable.

1. Planning Makes Perfect

Of course, researching what you’d like to grow is essential. Are you growing fruits and veggies? Flowers? Tropical plants? Consider whether you’ve chosen items that will be compatible to grow in the same garden, as well.

Even after that has been decided, there’s still much to decide. Taking into account the needs of each plant, it’s now time to analyze the proposed gardening space to determine if it gets enough sunshine and rainfall. Be sure the area doesn’t get too much of one or the other, as well. This is also the time to discover if the soil is up to the task, or if you’ll have to supplement it with store bought soil with higher nutrient concentrations.

2. Don’t Plant It All At Once

By separating the garden into thirds and planting one third at a time, you can ensure a steady supply of fully grown crops. This is especially beneficial in growing fresh produce.

3. Don’t Overdo It

You may be getting into gardening with the idea of selling off your products at the local farmer’s market. If that’s the case, go wild. Otherwise, it’s recommended that you just plant a few plants for your first year. See how they grow, if it’s enough for your needs, and how the harvesting goes. You can always increase, during the next planting cycle.

4. Keep A Gardening Journal

For this, you can use a regular composition notebook or you can get creative with a scrapbook kit. The first things to put in your gardening journal are the plant tags and sticks from each planting season. You can add notes and comments, as well. As time goes by, you’ll have a collection of advice on how to best grow your favorite fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

5. Make Shoveling A Snap

Shoveling may very well be the most grueling aspect of gardening. While this can never be avoided, there are ways to make it an easier task. For instance, spray the shovel with a silicon based lubricant. This will help soil fall off the shovel with greater ease.

6. Lighten The Weight Of Potted Plants

Fill the bottom half of a pot with packing Styrofoam to lighten the weight and top it with landscape fabric, before filling the rest with soil. A soil mixture that contains vermiculite and peat moss will lighten the weight even more.

7. Enhance Your Rain Gauge With Food Coloring

By adding a few drops of your favorite color, the rain level will be easier to read. Red is the recommended color for its brightness, but most colors will suffice.

8. Keep Pests And Pets Away

While you certainly want to deter unwanted visitations, you may not want to use harmful poisons. Instead, secure netting over your newly planted bulbs. As the plants begin to grow, you can either cut holes in the netting, or remove it altogether.

9. Don’t Dig The Same Hole Twice

This is a particularly useful hack in cases where you’re planting seasonal flowers or plants. Once you dig a hole, fit it with an empty plastic pot. You can then use a slightly smaller plastic pot for the seedling you want to grow. When it’s time to retire that plant, simply replace it with a new potted plant.

10. Save Those Eggshells

This tip will have you walking on eggshells in a very literal sense. By tossing your eggshells into a blender and grinding them into a pile of small flakes, you can add them to the soil in your garden and give your plants a boost of calcium.

11. Gardening In Confined Spaces

This one is for gardening hopefuls who live in apartments or own homes where there just isn’t much land with which to work. It’s still possible to grow a small, productive garden with a couple of Rubbermaid storage containers. The first step is to fill the bottom half or third with those lightweight Styrofoam packing shells. Don’t forget to lay the landscaping cloth on top, before filling the rest with soil. This will make the filled containers easily mobile. Now, plant your seeds and place the containers on the balcony of your small apartment or the porch of your home. Really, they can be put anyplace and can even be moved at midday to take full advantage of the day’s sunlight.

There are plenty more gardening hacks waiting to be discovered. Using your own imagination, you can come up with ingenious ways to make the gardening experience easier, as well as more productive and more enjoyable. Most importantly, don’t lose sight of the reasons you chose to start this gardening adventure and you’ll never regret it. Good luck and happy gardening.