Gardening Tips

Keeping Out the Critters

It’s no secret that one of the most annoying and frustrating things about having a garden is keeping all of those pests out of it.  From squirrels, rabbits, mice, snakes, dogs, and yes…even small children, the list of living creatures that can wreak havoc on your plants and vegetables is never ending.  Nobody wants to grow a garden full of delicious vegetables only to have them consumed prematurely by varmint.  So whats the best way to keep these unwanted guests away from your garden?  Well, fortunately you have several options.

One might think that the simplest option is to install a fence.  And yes…this can be a great option, but not any old fence will do the trick.  Most fences, as you may know, have holes in them.  Often these “holes” are more than big enough for a wide variety of animals to get into your garden easily.  In most instances a wired fence, much like a screen door, will need to be affixed to an existing fence or a newly installed fence.  These wired fences can usually be purchased from your local hardware store and are not terribly expensive.  To install them you will either need to secure them to your fence with staples or some type of zip ties.  Ask your local hardware store for advise on how to install the wired screen to your fence surrounding your garden.  If you are considering what type of fence to install around your garden, a local fence company such as can be of great help.

There are several types of fencing that can be installed, including inexpensive aluminum chain link fence and more expensive cast iron fence.  Obviously, the more customized the fence you select is, the more money you will be shelling out to have it installed.  I recommend a wooden fence.  Often these are easily to install yourself and the wood makes it very easy to affix the wired screen fencing mentioned above with the use of staples and a staple gun.  There are several online videos that can aid in the installation of such a setup.  I’ll include a video below that may help you along the way.

What if you don’t want a fence?  Possibly you think a fence will take away from the beauty of your fence.  Understandable.  Guess what?  You have options.  Now I’m not going to tell you to put a scarecrow in your garden.  Although I think scarecrows are pretty awesome, and they certainly keep a lot of creatures away.  However, they aren’t that great to look at.   Once again, a trip to your local hardware store is probably your best option at this point.  Depending on what type of animal you are having trouble with, they hardware store will have repellent specific to certain animals.  Often these repellents come in pill form.  The animal will simply ingest the pellet, and then die.  Yes, not very humane perhaps, but it takes care of the problem efficiently.  There are pellets available that are made for multiple types of animals so you don’t have to buy 20 different boxes of pellets.  One size kills all…if you will.

Traps are also a good option and can be purchased at all hardware stores.  The only problem with traps is that you have to figure out something to do with the captured critter.  If you have a wooded area close to your house, it is a good idea to release them into the woods.  Hopefully they don’t find their way back to your garden.  Good luck!

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5 Ways to Keep Your Garden Plants Healthy

People grow their own vegetables for varied reasons including the need to save money. Planting your own tomatoes, corn, peas, peppers, and other plants can be the best way to have a better taste because you’ll know what exactly went in these plants. While you may successfully plant your vegetables in the garden, maintaining them is very important as it helps to keep diseases and pests away.

  • Carefully Examine the Plants When Buying

If you are going to buy seedlings or new plants ensure they are healthy in the first place. You don’t want to buy infected specimens which will not thrive in your garden. One infected plant can affect every other plant in the garden and it may be quite difficult to manage the spreading. You should, therefore take time and do your research on how healthy specimens look like. Inspect the quality of the roots as well as the stem and the leaves.

  • Apply fully Composted Yard Waste

The rate of decomposition of composite pile materials varies depending on different factors. While some materials will degrade sufficiently within a short time, others might need several months and even a year. You don’t want to reintroduce any diseases from undecomposted plant debris into your garden. Apply fully composted waste material as it will have undergone thorough decomposition and any pathogens will have been killed.

  • Proper application of fertilizer

Applying too much fertilizer is detrimental to the health of your garden plants. Carry out tests on the nutrient levels of your garden soil so that you can know what needs to be added.  Are pesky rats running away with all of your fertilizer? can get rid of them for you.

  • Water as Needed

Watering is an essential practice for a healthy garden. This should be done early in the mornings. Mulches can help retain soil moisture and prevent the germination of weeds.

  • Prevent Weeds from taking food and Water from your garden plants

You may use drip irrigation systems to deliver water to the garden plants only or apply herbicides to prevent grass seed and weed seed from germinating. You rather prevent the weeds from sprounting than waiting for them to germinate.

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Why you need Drip irrigation in Your Garden

Perhaps you haven’t tried drip irrigation in your garden or lawn and even don’t see the need to install one. If you are the kind that is busy and has limited time watering your garden it’s time you installed a drip irrigation system. You won’t need any sprinklers and horses. All you’ll have to do is to turn the system on and it will automatically switch itself off (For irrigation systems that have timers).

Drip irrigation is one of the most efficient ways of watering plants. It can save you valuable time as well as conserve valuable resources. Compared to other methods of watering such as sprinkling, drip irrigation uses up to 30 percent less water. Understanding the type of soil in your garden is essential before deciding on the method of watering to use. If the structure of your soil is predominantly clay, a slow-drip irrigation system is the best option.

Drip irrigation delivers water to the soil surface and then to the plant roots rather than wetting the plant leaves. The root zone of the plant can easily get water as it seeps into the soil in drops. Remember it’s the plant roots that need water. Drip irrigation helps in conserving water since not water is lost either through evaporation or surface runoff. In most cases, leaching occurs during watering especially when water is applied in excess and allowed to overflow on the soil surface. With Drip irrigation, your garden will not lose its nutrients through leaching.

Weed seeds can remain dormant within the soil for years. However, disturbing the soil and watering can trigger their germination. Drip irrigation systems can deliver water to your plants only and nothing will be wasted on weeds. Watering your garden plants with a drip system allows for more productivity and faster growth.

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