If you've ever walked down the garden section of The Home Depot and were amazed at the amount of garden tools you're not alone. For such a simple pastime, gardening has become increasingly complex in recent decades. From small, gas-powered cultivators to electric grass shears, the tranquil art of gardening has been commercialized with all of the latest technology. If you're just keeping a small flower or vegetable garden, there's no need for all the gadgetry. Our ancestors made due for thousands of years with simple tools. Here are the five utilitarian tools that will prove useful in your garden today.
A vegetable garden is the perfect addition to your landscape adding color and texture to your yard. It is wonderful to grow and harvest your own fresh vegetables. If you are considering adding a garden to your landscape or you already have one, here are some tips you may find helpful. Location: Choosing the correct location for a vegetable garden is key. You want to ensure the optimal growing conditions while complimenting your yard at the same time. Stay away from the family's high traffic areas, avoid your children's favorite places to play, and be aware of the path the dog takes when running through the yard. Raised beds and container gardens can compliment many areas of the yard as well as the deck and patio. Sunlight: Find an area in your yard that gets the maximum amount of direct sunlight. Eight hours of sunlight per day is optimal, however many plants will still thrive with less. Gardens that encounter partial shade during the day can be planted according to the need of each plant. Just keep in mind, the more sunlight the better. Planting: When choosing what to plant in your garden, you will need to take into consideration the length of the growing season, the amount of space you have to work with, and the potential yield of each plant. Purchasing small, well established plants is a great way to get started, however sowing seeds directly in the garden soil is preferred for some vegetables such as carrots, and radishes. Be sure to leave the appropriate amount of space between plants to allow them to grow to their full potential. Be sure to provide the proper support for plants that grow vertical such as beans, peas and cucumbers, and stakes for your tomatoes. The professionals at your local garden center can help guide you to the plants that will best meet your needs. Feed and Water: As with every living thing, your garden plants will need food and water to grow. Be sure the garden soil is kept loose at the base of the plants so the water will be absorbed. It is most beneficial to your plants to water in the early morning or later in the evening. There is a wide range of plant food available, organic fertilizer is always a great option. Be sure to read labels carefully, and always use as directed. Maintenance: To ensure your garden grows to its full potential you will need to keep the weeds under control. Pull out the weeds and loosen the soil with a hand scratcher or cultivator to inhibit re-growth. Grass clippings, straw, and other organic matter can be placed around the plants to keep the soil cool and moist and keep weeds from growing. There is also a variety of garden cloth and plastic sheeting for weed control available at your local garden center. A vegetable garden is a wonderful addition to any yard. There is nothing better than being able to pick your own fresh produce. The more time you have to put into your garden the better your harvest will be.