If you want to try your hand at gardening this season, but aren’t sure if you have the skills, don’t fear! We’ve compiled a guide to gardening that even complete novices can use, from what you need to common mistakes!
Before the season starts, it’s important to snag your garden goodies. Supply and demand has been a big problem throughout the pandemic, so it’s important to know exactly what you need, and get it early.
Of course, you’ll need soil for your garden, but that’s a pretty broad statement. To get the most out of your greens, look for soils that include peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Peat moss will help open up space for air and water in the soil, and also balances pH, which is very important for long-term plant health. Perlite will help with aeration and drainage in the soil, and vermiculite helps increase the nutrient retention in your soil. If you can find soil with compost in it as well, that will help give your dirt a bit of a boost!
This non-toxic substance kills soft-bodied pests like those pesky aphids. To apply, you simply spray the substance on the leaves of the plant (though it’s best if you can just hit the bugs directly). I works on pretty much all plants, but there are a few examples like sweet pea and azaleas that can be harmed by this substance. If you want to test the safety for your plant, spray a couple of leaves and check again the next day. If the leaves have wilted, definitely refrain from using this spray on the rest of your plant.
“Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki”, better known as BTK, is a strain of bacteria that is harmful to larvae, but harmless against plant, humans and other animals. It’s often used to kill caterpillars of invasive species. This is going to be especially important this year, since it’s going to be a bad summer for gypsy moths.
Japanese Beetle Traps
Speaking of invasive species, the Japanese Beetle (sometimes called the Scarab Beetle) are all over North America now, and love to chow down on any greenery that they can find. Traps for these little monsters us a container of some sort, a flower bloom and a beetle sex pheromone to attract these pests. This is an entirely pesticide-free way of trapping unwanted guests in your garden.
Large Flower Pots
Its a great idea to get your pots early in order to ensure you get the items you need. Buy a few different sizes so that you can size up without making an emergency run to the garden centre. Plus, having a few different sized plants adds a nice amount of visual interest to any garden!
Gardens are more than just the plants in them, and you want to make sure your furniture looks just as good as your foliage. If you’re in the market for patio furniture right now, you should know that aluminum is in very short supply this year, so buying right now is a priority. In general though, it’s better to get your furniture sooner rather than later.
Now that you’ve got all you need to start your green oasis, here’s a list of common mistakes to avoid.
- The order of caring for a lawn in spring is to weed it first, then seed it, then feed it.
- Weeding the garden involves taking out the big problems manually, and following it up with bio-herbicides or vinegar spray, which you can make yourself!
- Seed your lawn by using Rhizomatous Tall Fescue (AKA “RTF”). This is a grass seed blend that prevents weed growth and covers up any bare patches of dirt.
- Feed you lawn by using organic fertilizers, making sure that you use the right fertilizer for your soil type.
- Bringing houseplants outside for some more sun is a great way to brighten up the patio and make your plant happy, but make sure you don’t subject the greenery to sun damage. Lots of houseplants don’t like direct sunlight, so keeping the plant somewhere that is partially shaded during the day is a good idea.
- Being out in the heat also means plants will need to be watered more frequently so that they don’t dry out.
- Fertilizing is super important for houseplants that go outside.
- Growing vegetables on the balcony is a great idea, but once again, be careful to water them more than usual, due to their tendency to dry our quicker.
- When you’re lounging outside, don’t bring your indoor pillows – black mold forms inside of pillows without natural fungicides!
Good luck, new gardeners, we hope you succeed in your green endeavors.