Kathy Portway - SUCCESS! Real Estate



Posted by Kathy Portway on 12/11/2017

No matter how much experience you have as a gardener, mistakes happen to everyone. Some gardening mistakes are actually avoidable. Below, youíll find some of the most common gardening mistakes and how to stay clear of them. Next time around that you decide to plant, youíll have an even greener thumb than you did the season before. 


You Planted Too Early


When the springtime hits, itís easy to feel eager to plant and get your crops going. Planting too early without proper grow cloths or warm enough temperatures can be completely detrimental to anything that is trying to grow. 


Watering Too Much Or Two Little


There is a finite amount of water thatís required for plants to thrive. The general rule is for plants to receive about an inch of water per week. Plants that have not been watered enough will show certain signs including yellowing leaves and wilting leaves. Any fruits that are produced will be deformed. Be sure that you make up for the deficit of water during dry spells that occur by watering accordingly.   


Plants that have been overwatered can also cause yellowing leaves. You donít want your water to pool or cause puddles in the garden. If this happens, youíll need to add a bit more organic matter to the soil itself. 


Not Planting In A Bright Enough Place


Itís a basic scientific principle that plants need sunlight to grow properly. If you have planted things in the shade, they may not thrive. If you donít have a sunny spot to plant your garden, try using portable gardening containers that you can move around. Shoot for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for your plants.       


Not Weeding


Weeds can obviously choke your crops, sucking moisture and food away from the plants. If you donít actively work to eliminate weeds, your plants will suffer greatly. Eliminate weeds as soon as you spot them. Allowing one weed to flourish is to allow them all to take over! Mulching can be a great start in helping to keep weeds away. If any weeds are found after the mulch has been put down, be sure to move them promptly. 


Planting Too Much


If you plant too much, space can become a problem. Focus on planting what you and your family like to eat and will actually use. This problem comes down to a matter of preference and taste. You donít want to spend a ton of time gardening just to realize that  youíve completely wasted your efforts. 


Keep in mind that thereís always something new to learn when it comes to gardening. Know that no matter what level of gardener you are mistakes are inevitable but not completely unavoidable.         





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Posted by Kathy Portway on 4/24/2017

If you plan to plant a home garden, it is important to start off with good soil. Both experienced pros and novice gardeners know that the condition of the soil is integral to success. Test The Soil Test your soil to determine the nutrient content and pH levels before you cultivate, plant or fertilize. You can obtain a simple pH testing kit from online garden supply stores or your neighborhood hardware store. If you want a complete soil analysis, take a sample of your garden soil for testing to you local county extension office. If you have a large garden plot, take random samples from several areas of the garden. For testing at the county extension office, place about a cup of soil in a sealable plastic bag. If you are submitting multiple soil samples, be sure to mark the bags to indicate the location in the garden from which they were taken. A large garden plot may contain soils that differ greatly from location to location. Established gardens likely have a history of fertilizer use or soil enhancement. A diverse array of nutrients, such as phosphorous and potassium, can build up in the soil. In this case, you are in luck. The only added growth-enhancing ingredient your garden soil requires is nitrogen. If you unwittingly added unnecessary nutrients and fertilizers to established garden soil, you can disrupt the pH levels and cause toxic accumulations of salts and other harmful ingredients to build-up in the soil. Conditioning The Soil If you are not blessed with organically rich, loamy, dark, moist, and fertile soil, you need to condition the soil if you want to produce optimum results. Your first decision is whether to practice eco-friendly organic gardening methods or to put your faith in chemical products. It is important to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of chemical versus natural fertilizers. The Advantages Of Organic Fertilizers Environmentally conscious gardeners prefer organic fertilizers that they feel are safe for people, pets, and the planet. However, plants do not know the difference between organic and chemical fertilizers; nutrients are nutrients, no matter the form. However, if you choose to ďgrow organicĒ, you will never have to worry about measuring, mixing and applying noxious chemicals nor will you be storing poisonous products in the garage or potting shed where they could be a danger to children or pets. Natural fertilizers are unlikely to burn tender, young plants in that they are not as concentrated as chemical formulations. In nature, as organic material decomposes, a natural fertilizer is created. When you apply well-aged herbivore manures (cow, sheep, horse, mule, lama, or goat) to the garden soil, you not only add nutrient-rich organic matter, you improve the soils texture and ability to retain moisture. Organic fertilizer costs less than expensive chemical products. If you live in a rural area, you likely have a kindly neighbor with farm animals that is happy to give you all the manure you can use. You can also start a compost bin to create your own organic fertilizer from grass clippings, leaves, shredded cardboard, landscape debris, newspapers, and household food waste. When you choose to use only natural products in your home garden, you can rest assured knowing that the fruits and vegetables you produce for the family table are free of noxious chemicals and potentially dangerous by-products.




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