Tips & Guides

The Chemistry Of Your Garden Soil

The Chemistry Of Your Garden Soil

Most every gardener strives to grow the best, most stunning flowers around, but that goal is hard to get hold of. Whether you want to raise prize-winning blooms or just have a home garden filled with of beautiful flowers, there are some things you can do in order to ensure your garden is in the best shape possible.

Soil chemistry counts. The chemical make-up of the soil is one of the biggest factors that contribute to the success or failure of your garden. If the soil in your planting beds is poor in nutrients, it is unlikely that your plants will thrive or produce those beautiful flowers that you want until you enrich the soil with the nutrition the plants need.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the soil chemistry is the same all over your yard. It is important to test the soil in each area of your property that you plan to plants, especially if the areas are away from each other.

The Perfect Garden Greenhouse

The Perfect Garden Greenhouse

Before choosing a garden greenhouse, ask yourself a few important questions: What style will look best in your garden? What weather factors should you take into consideration? Do you want your garden greenhouse to be freestanding or do you want to join it onto another building? What kind of plants do you want to grow there?


A freestanding garden greenhouse has the advantage of getting light from all sides, but your garden might not have room for such a structure. Lean-to greenhouses have the advantage of better support if you live in a place with strong winds which usually come from the same direction, such as a coastal property. If you live in a generally windy area you should also consider selecting a garden greenhouse with sturdy twin-wall panels as opposed to poly-film greenhouse covering – popular on many designs.

Maintaining And Cleaning Garden Containers

Maintaining And Cleaning Garden Containers

All containers must be suitable for their purpose. They must fit the plant and they must contain sufficient compost for that plant to flourish. They must be strong enough to withstand the elements. They must also have adequate drainage to allow surplus water to drain away when the plants are watered.

Drainage. Almost all garden containers that you can purchase will have proper drainage holes already in place but if they don’t you will have to make holes in the bottom. The same goes if you have made the containers yourself. Make sure that there are enough drainage holes and if you are lining the container with polythene see that there are holes in the polythene that align with the holes in the bottom of the container.

Leaf Miners

Leaf Miners

Leaf miners are small insect larvae that feed inside the leaves of the plant. Eventually the whole leaf may be destroyed. The damage done by these garden pests to our plants is easy to spot because of the “mines” created as the bugs chews inside the leaf. Most leaf miners are moths and flying insects that evolved and survived through this protection against predators.

In some instances the leafminer will cause a light colored blotch on the leaf, in really bad cases the plant will look discolored and/or drop leaves. It is rare that leafminers do enough damage to kill a plant, what they destroy mostly is the aesthetic value of your ornamentals for a short period of time.

Readying Your Garden For Winter

Readying Your Garden For Winter

Winterizing not only makes your garden look better during the cold weather months, but will make for easier work in the spring and it is essential in cold-winter regions, where freezing, drying conditions can tax even hardy plants. Start closing your garden down when there is frost in the forecast or the temperature consistently starts to drop to the low 40’s or mid-30’s (Fahrenheit), usually around late October or November.

One of the first things you should do is clean all the debris from your garden. Get rid of dead foliage, leaves, roots, stakes and row markers. The debris you clean from your garden can be added to your compost heap which will be a big help come spring. You want to be sure, though, not to add any diseased debris or pest infected dead leaves or stalks in your compost pile. You don’t want to accidentally spread a disease from this year’s garden to next year’s.

Use The Available Space For Your Kitchen Garden

Use The Available Space For Your Kitchen Garden

The first thing any gardener has to do when planning a garden is to measure the space there is available. This is particularly important when planning a kitchen container garden for when space is limited greater care has to be taken to make sure every bit is used to the best advantage.

Whether the space is large or small two fundamental rules apply: all the elements of garden must be easily reachable, and there must be a clear plan to the area. These may seem too elementary, even unnecessary, but planning involves simple things, such as allowing space to walk out of the back door, making sure you can reach all the containers to water them, allowing access to an outside tap, and checking the position of any windows so that growing plants will not obstruct the light. It is surprising how often such practicalities are forgotten.