Greener Gardening

Turning backyards into beautiful gardens for 15 years

Making a gardening to-do list

Drawing up a seasonal gardening to-do list will help you save valuable time and prioritize recurring tasks that are essential to good landscaping. Your list might be divided into monthly projects such as weeding, planting or winterizing your lawn. Breaking yard work up into seasonal projects will help you fit gardening into your busy schedule. For more information about growing a healthy and easy to maintain lawn have a look at Lawn Care Kings Omaha.

Time spent planning out these projects will pay off as the year unfolds, bringing with it seasonal demands on your lawn and garden. A to-do list can keep you prepared for each change of seasons and help you practice good time management skills.

In the spring, your to-do list should include to cutting back ornamental grasses and pruning trees and bushes with gardening shears. Remove dead branches from otherwise healthy plants and fertilize both lawn and garden before summer. Spring gardening is an opportunity to put in new plants, and if you notice that you need additional gardening supplies, do an inventory before stopping by your gardening centre to make a comprehensive shopping list.

Before planting you will want to remove any plants that have not fared well during the winter. Be sure to keep track of which plant varieties suffer winter damage, so that you don’t waste effort on them in the future.

During both spring and summer you will need to build plenty of time into your schedule for dealing with weeds. Pulling or spraying weedy areas encourages new lawn growth and prevents your garden plants from being choked back. Make a major effort to clear your lawn during the spring, so that you can reseed exposed areas for summer growth.

Your summer to-do list will be comprised mostly of maintenance work, such as additional pruning, planting and weeding. You will need to be ready to reseed any areas of your lawn that are bare, aerating the soil as you go. Fertilize and water all the newly seeded areas to promote robust growth, using either compost or store bought solutions.

Summer is also an excellent time to put in a vegetable garden, so set aside time to pick out seeds and plants. Again, aerate the soil first and fertilize newly seeded areas generously. If you don’t already have a compost system, starting one would also make a good summer project.

Your fall to-do list should focus on winter readiness. You will need to do a few things to maintain your compost system during the cold season as well. Don’t forget to remove summer yard ornaments like picnic tables and kiddie pools before winter, to prevent the dormant grass from being damaged beneath them. Fall vegetables can be harvested, additional vegetables can be planted, and you should fertilize your lawn one last time before the ground freezes.

Your to-do list will be much shorter during the winter. You can trim your lawn one last time before snow begins to fall, and then it will be time to put the lawnmower in storage. You might use the winter months to have the blades and oil changed. Keeping up with these seasonal tasks will make the next spring all the more rewarding.

December 12, 2014 at 9:58 am Comments (0)

Growing winter vegetables

Growing vegetables can be done year round, although summer is the best times for planting many varieties. Growing winter vegetables takes practice and a good sense of timing, but the results are very rewarding. Your garden can provide healthy alternatives to store-bought food well into the winter months.

The trick to winter gardening is choosing knowing which vegetables are hardy enough for the cold season. Many vegetables, such as broad beans, broccoli and some varieties of lettuce, grow quite well in the winter. The other trick to winter gardening is knowing just when to plant these vegetables.

Broccoli and purple sprouting broccoli thrive on cold weather, and both should be planted in raised beds toward the end of the month of August. Broccoli requires plenty of water and does attract pests, so monitor the plants closely for insect damage and water them frequently. You will be able to harvest the broccoli until mid-December. Sometimes late plantings of broccoli last all the way through the end of the year.

Brussels sprouts and beans are other popular choices for late summer planting. Both need to be in the ground by the end of August and will provide vegetables until December ends. January and February are generally the coldest months of the winter, so expect the freeze at the end of December to end your harvest season.

Garlic, rutabaga and leeks thrive on cold weather as well. Planting in the fall will allow you to harvest them during several of the winter months. Leeks and rutabaga are known for their hardiness and both vegetables also store really well.

Cornsalad, also known as lamb’s lettuce, and endive are two lettuce varieties that retain their growth during the winter months in spite of the cold. As long as you spend some time mulching them, the internal leaves can be harvested throughout November and into December.

Onions and kale are especially hardy winter vegetables. In fact, onions can stay in the ground throughout the entire winter. They do very well under snow cover and can be harvested longer than any other vegetable. Surprisingly, kale also survives above ground in cold climates. Kale can make excellent ground cover during the spring, but avoid the blue variety, which yellows during the winter.

Beets, turnips and Swiss chard do very well during the winter months and in cold climates. Most root vegetables are able to survive a frost, so check with your garden center for the ones that are best for your soil.

December 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm Comments (0)

Herb gardening for beginners

If you are new to gardening you might want to start with a small scale project for practice, such as cultivating a little herb garden. An easy way to start is by using ornamental plant pots or window boxes instead of planting them directly in the garden. With only a minimal investment you will soon have fresh seasonings that you can cut as and when you need for cooking.

How To Grow Herbs

The benefit of growing herbs in a window box or in decorative containers is that you can move the plants in and out of the shade rather than deciding exactly where to them. All plants need a particular balance of exposure to sunlight and shade for a few hours each day, and the appropriate combination can be easier to achieve through trial and error. With planting pots, you can correct the placement of your plants as needed, by observing the intensity of sunlight and availability of shade at different times of day.

Thyme

Thyme is one of the easiest herbs to grow and has a strong, bright aroma that will permeate your garden. Thyme goes well with meat dishes and many soups, and has a sharp, lemony flavor. You can choose to buy seeds or you can pick out thyme that has already been cultivated in little pots. All you would need to do is to transfer the seedlings to your preferred container, whether it be a decorative pot or a window box.

Basil

There are several different varieties of basil you can choose from, but by far the most popular is the sweet basil commonly used for pizza toppings, pasta, stews and salads. Visit your local garden centre to compare the varieties in stock, and pick out one that appeals to your tastes. Again, you can choose to plant seeds or to buy tiny seedlings.

Parsley

Parsley is added to a variety of soups and potato dishes, and many people use it as a garnish for hot foods as well as salads. Parsley can be grown year round, but it needs both light shade to flourish, so you may need to adjust the location of your planting pot until you find a spot that offers both. The different types of parsley include a flat leaf variety, often used in cooking, and a curly leaf variety, the one used for salads.

Chives

Chives are another easy herb to grow, and like parsley, they make a versatile condiment. You can simply snip off the amount that you need, chop it into coarse pieces, and add it to any creamy dipping sauce or soup.

Creating a small herb garden can be a rewarding experiment for a novice gardener. If you have children, herb gardening is also a way to expose them to enriching insights into where food comes from. Some garden centres offer starter kits for herb gardens that you can simply place in a window box and water for immediate results.

November 20, 2014 at 10:29 am Comments (0)