Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tips for a Successful Garden

I love to garden and for years have had my ideal list of top must have’s for a successful garden.  That once reached should provide me with maximum enjoyment and minimal work. Let’s face it gardens are work, so creating it to be minimal is an important step for me. While most view gardening as a hobby, I view it as a necessary part of self sufficiency.

With that said it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that I don’t follow trends and tend to take great pleasure in breaking them. Trends lead to pressure and unrealistic expectations regardless of what the subject matter it is. From the size of house, location, fashion trends, movies liked, books reading. So as you can gather finding that my personal list for garden must have’s that I have been working towards closely matching the 2011 trend list is a bit unusual for me.

In reviewing the Bluemel’s “Top 10 Gardening Trends for Spring 2011”, I found that my personal gardening philosophy and top needs in my garden that I am working towards match there trend list. So I thought it would be a good day to share my personal list.

My personal list of Gardening must have’s:

1.) Native plants --

• Native plants require less water, making them extremely beneficial if working towards self sufficiency.

• They also tend to have fewer bugs and diseases, so they require less work in the long run.

2.) Container gardening –

• Having lived in apartments and rentals, I learned a long time ago that you can add or increase your gardening space with the addition of containers.

• Containers also assist in extending the growing season.

• While container gardening is a bit more work, the extended growing season, the ability to move plants around, and keep them contained greatly outweigh the additional time spent.

3.) Growing up—

• As space is and will become more and more unattainable or at a premium, maximizing the usage of all space is important. Every little spare scrap of dirt can be utilized to grow vegetables.

• A narrow strip, while it won’t work well for space hogging tomatoes, it does work well for snap peas and other climbing plants. Just be sure and install a sturdy enough trellis.

4.) The right tool for the right job—

• The number of times I have bought a tool or trellis or container on the low end to make due is astonishing. If I had been smart and bought the right tool to begin with, I would have saved myself money in the long run.

• The right tools save time, energy and money.

5.) Enhancement --

• While not a fan of space wasting garden accents, I do prefer to place items in pleasing storage containers when they must or should be stored in or around the garden area.

• A bench can hold tools, providing storage as well as a place to sit and enjoy your gardening efforts. I prefer wood, but the options available are numerous.

• Hose storage still escapes me, I have yet to find the ideal but pleasing hose storage accent, any thoughts or ideas you would like to share?

6.) Color –

• I tend to garden more for sustainability than as a hobby yet, I do enjoy a bit of color in my garden. I am a simplistic person when it comes to color. Deep greens, white and purples, with a dash of yellow in the spring and I’m good.

• Choosing the right colors and placement of those colors is important, so take your time and map it out before you start.

Please feel free to add to my list, make suggestions and read the Bluemel’s “Top 10 Gardening Trends for Spring 2011”,  list.  Gardening is so different everywhere that sharing stories has always been a fun pastime of mine.


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