June 19, 2015

Tips for First Time Gardeners.

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Start small or plant in brick containers so you do not feel overwhelmed. Brick containers breathe but are heavy, so if you need to move them after planting, you might want to reconsider.

Plan: for vegetables you need to plant where there is sunshine for at least six hours a day. But you can be modestly adventurous; for example, don’t be afraid to try veggies like “Dinosaur Kale”!

If your soil is poor, build a raised bed for veggies, herbs or flowers, or mix them all together. But beware of herbs like peppermint that will take over a garden. Mint is ideally planted in a brick pot close to the kitchen. Give room in the garden for chives, which will expand gradually, year after year in the garden. Strawberries will also continue to thrive year after year, even after a harsh winter.

Flowers like Black-Eyed Susan and poppies are easy to grow and spread gradually after going to seed; they are also drought resistant, love sunshine and are low maintenance. Personally also I love tulips, which come up year after year and signal the heart of spring.

In planting shrubs and ornamental trees, know that woody plants require less maintenance than perennials, and in general plant perennials like Forsythia, with its early yellow blooms in springtime, more than annuals.

Yew, an evergreen tree with red berries, is a lifesaver for birds in a harsh winter.

Before you plant, feed your soil with compost; mulch trees and shrubs with bark to keep weeds away. Multi-purpose, nutrient rich mulches energize plants while reducing water evaporation from the soil.

Use native plants, which need less water, no pesticides, no chemicals, and no fertilizing—and they attract pollinators, while providing food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. In general, do not use pesticides or chemicals to keep your soil, pets and wildlife, and especially the plants you intend to eat healthy!

Ground cover discourages weeds and provides a tapestry of foliage and flowers. Enjoy!

BONUS: Gardening 101: Save $ on Your Groceries with Waylon Lewis:


Urban Gardening: Grow your own Mushrooms! {Infographic}


Author: Linda Lewis

Editor: Travis May

Photos: Video Still

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