Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Preparing Containers for Plants

To use a container in your container garden you must be sure that it has enough drainage, is clean, pest free, and disease free. It also needs to be in good condition so that it will last longer. Whether you use planters, buckets, or a metal wash tub for your plants the following tips should be beneficial to you.

Clean Your Container:
If your container has been used in the past whether for planting or other things, you will want to be sure that you wash the container with a mild detergent. While washing your container checked for any damaged areas that may need to be fixed. Cracks can give way to the pressure of a plant's roots against them resulting in a broken container during the growing season. If the container cannot be fixed you may want to discard it in lieu of another one.

Proper Drainage:
Container grown plants have trouble if they do not have adequate drainage. The excess water can cause your plants to become water logged and this will make them sick or even kill them. You will need to have holes at the base of your container for excess water to be able to escape. If your chosen container does not come with holes already in it, then you will need to carefully drill some. To keep the holes from being clogged you will want to add gravel to the bottom of your container, 1-2" should suffice.

If your plant is on a surface that needs to be protected from water, then you will want to have a drip tray beneath it to catch the excess water that will come out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting Ready for Spring

Don't' wait until the last minute to prep everything you need for your spring gardening. Here are some things that you can tackle now:

Work on your tools. You will want to tackle your gardening tools so that they are in the best shape possible before you begin using them. Sharpen any cutting tools. Clean, oil, and sharpen your digging tools. Replace any tools that are too damaged for repair.

Once the ground has thawed you can start planting your woody plants. If you have any shrubs or trees that need to be relocated the same rule applies to them as well, it can be done once the ground has thawed.

Clean up your yard. Winter can leave a lot of debris lying around. Broken branches, dead plants, leaves, etc. Get out your rake, wheelbarrow, gloves, and anything else that will help you tackle the mess.

Using compost or fertilizer bring your yard back to life and give your soil the much needed nutrients it will need to help your plants grow this spring.

Prune and shape any woody plants that need it.

Now sit back and plan our what you are going to plant this spring.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Handy Tools for the Gardener

Tools make gardening easier. From being able to get out weeds, plant your seeds, spread fertilizer, and more. Here are a few tools that even the most basic gardener can benefit from owning:

Garden Seeder: makes planting larger garden areas easier.

Hand Cultivator: great for roughing up soil for seeding in small garden beds or containers. Can also be used to remove weeds. 

Hand Trowel: great for using in container gardens and planting small annuals, herbs, and vegetables. Be sure to invest in a hand trowel that is comfortable for you to grip. 

Lawn Weeder: makes pulling dandelions and other weeds a much easier task.

Lopping Shears: great for pruning and dead-heading trees, shrubs, bushes, and vines.

Rake: Good for getting up leaves and other plant debris from your yard and/or garden area.

Spade: square-headed shovel with a short handle. Great for digging holes for planting, edging garden beds, removing sod, and moving small amounts of soil. You will want to have a spade that has a steel head and a strong handle. 

There are many more tools that can be used in a garden, but whether or not you need them depends on your garden size. Use your best judgement and get advice from other gardeners with gardens similar to yours as to which tools they find the most beneficial.

When investing in gardening tools be sure to invest in high quality tools so that they will last longer. Also be sure to keep them in out of the weather to help lengthen their lifespan.

Don't forget Red Hill General Store carries Garden Tools

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