It's almost that time of year again when we start to plan, prep, and plant our vegetable and flower gardens. I don't know about you, but I take real pride in bringing in my own crop of vegetables each year. There is a definite difference in taste and quality when you grow something from start to finish with your own hands.
My wife leaves the vegetables to me, and she goes buck-wild with our flower gardens. Each discipline takes a lot of work, and even more practice. Figuring out what works is a process of trial and error to see what helps you to get the best result.
Personally, I like to grow the same core group of vegetables each year, and each year I also plant something new to try and see how well it will do. If something isn't working, or is causing too many problems overall, I just won't plant it the following year.
For those of you who are well practiced at gardening, some of these tips and tricks might just help you increase your garden's productivity. But for those of you new to the fold, these will take a lot of the guess work out of dealing with the normal, everyday problems that arise from trying to really dye your thumbs green.
Dealing with pests.
Garden pests, whether they be insect or animal, can have a massive impact on the quality of your garden. People have been struggling with how to mitigate the damage caused by pests for centuries (with some success), but these tricks will help you to deal with some of the more annoying unwanted guests.
1. Coffee grounds to keep away pests.
For all the coffee drinkers out there, it's time to stop throwing out your used coffee grounds. Sprinkle them around the garden to help deter pests from entering the area and destroying the crops/flowers.
2. Eggshells keep out those soft-body pests.
Pests such as slugs can lay a beating on your plants. Lightly crush up your discarded eggshells, leaving pieces big enough to have decent edges, and sprinkle them among your plants. The sharper edges will deter those slugs and snails from crawling over them.
3. What about squirrels, rabbits and birds?
Everything has been tried to keep these critters away from your plants, some with better results than others. Try planting plastic forks in your garden among the plants, with the tines pointed up. They won't seriously harm any animals, but those little fork tines will deter animals from wanting to walk on them.
4. Herbs to fend off the mosquitoes.
These annoying little a**holes aren't really a determent to your plants, but they can make your ability to enjoy your yard much harder. Planting certain herbs will actually help to keep those bloodsuckers at bay... to a point. (Lemon grass, catnip, marigold etc.)