Planting a Summer Garden

When it comes to planting your garden the first thing you need to focus on is planning your garden. Once you have a line on the things you want to plant, where you want to plant them, and what the needs of your individual plants will be it is time to really dig in and get your hands dirty. Of course, for many gardeners this is the best thing about growing a summer garden (though some will argue that the results are the best thing). Either way, many gardeners relish the idea of getting their hands in the dirt in order to really get their garden underway.

Before the planting begins however you should take a calendar and mark the days that each part of your summer garden will be planted. Different flowers and vegetables have different growing seasons. Some prosper by earlier plantings while others prosper by later plantings. If you are planting a summer vegetable garden then it is quite possible that some of the plants will need a precise number of days between planting and harvesting. Both the plant and harvest days should be noted. This also however provides an excellent opportunity to plant more of the vegetable (and some flowers) every two weeks to provide a continuous rotation of the vegetable you love well into the gardening season.

planting a summer garden

Plants that are known to take up a great deal of space on the ground when left to their own devices may be trained to climb poles that you set up in the garden for them. If space is limited, this is highly recommended. Doing this also provides an opportunity to shade plants that prefer less direct sunlight when planted next to these climbing vines that are climbing vertically. Also make sure you have enough stakes for all the plants that require them for best effect.

Plant your plants so that those needing shade get the shade they need and those that require the most water are located on a downward slope so that they get the water that runs off from the plants that require lesser amounts of water. This is a trick of conservationists and seasoned gardeners that makes the most of sometimes limited resources such as water for the purpose of creating a better environment for optimal growth. At the same time you want to avoid planting vegetables and flowers that require less water at the bottom of these slopes as they are likely to become over hydrated, which can be just as devastating as not getting enough water.

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Make sure your soil is healthy so that it can create the healthy plants you are hoping to have. Fertilize the soil in which these plants, flowers, and vegetables will be grown. This provides the foundation necessary for optimal performance from your plants and greatest yield from your vegetables. You should also take great care once the planting has taken place that the plants, flowers, and vegetables that make up your summer garden are well fed in order to produce even better results. There are plenty of fertilizers and plant foods from which to choose be sure to check local laws in order to make sure you arent using a combination that is not recommended for your region or that is not permissible in your reason as this is often strictly regulated from one state to the next.

Plan your pest control before you begin planting your garden. There are some plants, flowers, and herbs that work as natural pest controls. These make an excellent addition to your garden as they offer no harmful side effect and can rid your garden of many of the pests that provide constant head aches. Another thing you may wish to consider is the use of chicken wire to protect some of your plants from things a little bigger than the average bug. The more humane the methods of pest control and the less you rely on pesticides the better.

See more: 5 Essential Gardening Tips for Green Newbies

5 Essential Gardening Tips for Green Newbies

The first-time gardener is in for a pleasant surprise of just how rewarding and relaxing tending the Earth can be. To get started, designate your garden territory and start thinking about what would please you in that empty space. Dream as big as you dare and let your creative powers bring it into being. And with a few simple steps, your garden oasis will be underway.

5 essential gardening tips for green newbies

Birds eye view of a woman gardener weeding an organic vegetable garden with a hand fork.

1. Create A Master Plan.

Before you invest in anything, the first step is to draft a blueprint to optimize your outdoor space and keep the garden in balance. Choose the flowers according to shape, size and color and splatter your garden pallet according to your exact specifications. In addition to planting your buds, be sure to allow some space for garden statuary, solar lighting, pathway stones and any other ornamental pieces to complete your garden collection. The master plan approach will save you time, money and ensure that you get the results you want.

2. Gradual Progress.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be your perfect garden paradise. Half the fun of growing a garden is the journey getting there, so take your time and enjoy every session. The garden experience can be a lifelong endeavor, even down to the treasures and trinkets you add to the mix. Rather than making your garden art purchases all at once, let life take its course as you find each special touch here and there at a rummage sale or discount outlets in different regions.

3. Minimal Investment.

To get started on your garden space, you need only make a nominal investment for tools and accessories that will last you for years. Your local hardware store should carry everything on your shopping list to include a garden hose with a spray nozzle, fork for turning the dirt, a spade, gloves, sun hat, fertilizer and perhaps some fencing or cages if you plan to grow tomatoes. Your florist in Toronto can supply the seeds. In addition, you will need a means of transporting your materials such as a water resistant basket and perhaps a wheel barrow for larger garden areas.

4. Bring Life To Your Garden.

When you are finished planting, your hard work will have paid off with a stunning and tranquil environment tailor-made for you. In addition, if you wish to attract the locals, birds and butterflies bring a living animation of sights and sounds to your new garden retreat. Add a few stylish bird feeders and try planting some colorful creeping foliage up a trellis to encourage your new friends to stay and rest comfortably. Sparrows in particular are partial to building nests inside a towering Bougainvillea plant, where they may dwell safely from predators at night. In addition, wind chimes make a nice soundtrack to accompany your garden art, adding a tinkling tune to the breeze.

Read more: best grow tent for the money

5. Scheduled Maintenance.

The early stages of tending a garden are filled with excitement and anticipation, however, be sure you have allotted yourself ample time to care for the plants over their lifetime. Irrigation must be done at regular intervals and pruning infected leaves is a must to save your foliage from disease. If your garden maintenance is reserved for the weekends, you may wish to install some automated sprinklers to ensure your plants get a drink when you are away.

See more: Indoor Gardening – Do It Yourself

Indoor Gardening – Do It Yourself

Imagine greenery all over the place – Wouldn’t it be heavenly? Having more plants, herbs and trees are essential today, as we are nearly suffocating with the high rate of pollution in air, water, and soil. Governments of different countries are encouraging gardening and growing trees on either sides of the roads, public gardens, parks for children with trees etc.

indoor gardening tips

Outdoor gardening is quite conventional, however, as it is becoming extinct with the advent of concrete and high-rise buildings, indoor gardening is gaining importance and popularity. You can maintain a garden indoors, if you are living in an apartment that does not have any outdoor space. If you love nature, you will not find indoor gardening tedious or space consuming.

As A Hobby

A lot of people love spending their free time in gardens. During winters, if you are not able to go out with family on outings or socialize with people in parties, you can spend time collecting materials on indoor gardening and interiorscaping, or you can work on the plants you already have. You can start with the easy-to-grow plant varieties like spider plants, snake plants, crotons and cactus as decoration. You can prune them to keep them growing out of shape and spreading throughout the house. Spray mild pesticides to remove pests that may harm the plants.

Saving Plants During Winters

Certain rare varieties of plants cannot survive snow or cold weather, as they do not have thick barks or leaves to protect themselves. In such cases, it is recommended to dig them out from the garden and keep them indoors in containers until winter passes.

Indoor Gardening Benefits

Indoor gardening improves the mental and physical health of a person. Here are some of its benefits –

1. Indoor gardens enliven a home and give it a whole new character.

2. You can decorate your living room by allowing the climbers to hang near the doors.

3. The plants inside your house will remove toxins, allergens and improve the air quality inside the house.

Even the offices and hotels today have opted for interiorscaping for these reasons.

Beware Of Enemies

If you don’t identify and act on the enemies of your plants in the initial stages, you might repent it later. Whiteflies (insects with white, waxy bodies), spider mites, aphids are all common enemies of plants in general. Aphids are unnoticeable, unlike whiteflies that also attack leaves in general, specifically the tender leaves, to suck their juices. If you are an amateur, you might even find it difficult to identify them. However, after some experience you should be able to tackle them easily.

With the right mix of knowledge and care, experience and expertise, your efforts at indoor gardening will definitely bear fruit.

Read more: How to Clean Your Indoor Houseplants

Keeping Your House Plants Alive for a Long Time to Come

Here are several things that you can easily do to keep your house plants alive and well.

In order to keep your plant life looking great you will need to give them the care and attention required. You will want to ensure that you are doing everything possible to enhance the successful growth of your plants.

keeping your house plants alive for a long time to come

The first thing that you need to take into consideration is that you make sure you are purchasing the plants at the right time of the year. Many people make the mistake of buying their houseplants at the wrong time of the year; this is a major course why plants tend not to do well.

If you buy house plants when the weather is cold or close to freezing, you are at risk of putting them into shock. Alternatively, you may also kill the plant if buying during the summing and leaving it in your car or outside in the heat for too long.

It is essential that the plant is getting the proper amount of direct or indirect light. Without the necessary amount of light needed, it may die. When choosing your plants make sure to check the care instructions to ensure that it will not be subjected to anything in your home that may harm or prevent it from doing well.

Just by following the simply care instructions will make sure that your house plants will not die before they even have a chance to grow.

Another factor to consider is that you are able to provide the required temperature to ensure the successful growth. Make sure that the plants will receive the recommended amount of light together with the proper temperature in the rooms that you intent to keep them, as this will allow the plant to adjust to its new environment well.

Humidity is another issue that you will need to pay attention to. By ensuring that you place them in area that is kept at the correct temperature and humidity level will make sure that your plants will be able to grow as successfully as possible.

Make sure to keep your plant life watered properly as well. You do not want to over or under water them. If you set a good schedule to water and fertilize the plants, they will do better and be able to live longer.

Keep house plants clean by carefully wiping the foliage with plain room temperature water and a soft damp cloth.

It you intend to move your house plants outdoors during the warmer weather, make sure not to place them in direct sunlight. It is generally best to gradually introduce plants to a new location. Begin this acclimatization by placing outdoors for only a few hours on the first few days, than slowly increasing this over the next 1-2 weeks.

Remember to return the plants into your home before the temperature falls. It will be necessary to repeat the acclimatization steps as mentioned before.

See more: House Plants and Their Bugs, Pests and Insects

House Plants and Their Bugs, Pests and Insects

House plants can be beautiful, but they may also be affected by things that you are not even aware of. Having a few house plant insects is just annoying, but with to many bugs, your house plants will be destroyed in record time.

house plants and their bugs pests and insects

There are problems that certain plants can get hit hard with. You have no idea how many times house plants are infected by bugs, pests and insects, and people do not even realize that these mites are actually in the house.

When you purchase your house plants, take the time to make sure that they do not have an insect infestation of one sort or another. Again, when you bring your summer plants into your home for the winter, check for bugs. Sometimes this may be tricky as the bugs will borrow their way into the soil, but you will want to make certain that there is no evidence of a present infestation. By simply taking a few precautions, you will considerably reduce the chances of insects attacking your plants.

Insects will also enter your home because people carry them in. This is nearly impossible to prevent as the insects will attach themselves to cloths or come in through an open door or window. A time to watch out for bugs is when the weather is starting to warm up and again when the weather is cooling down. The insects like to come into the homes for shelter.

Plant insects can easily be controlled because it is on such a small scale. The insects or bugs are much more mobile when they are young, but the are always looking for a place to settle where they wont be disturbed. If fact, this is why your house plants can be bothered with insects. The solution to this problem is a general insecticide.

One type of bug that will bother your house plants are aphids. They have a soft body and can be easily controlled with pesticides and insecticide soaps. Other bugs most often encountered include mealy bugs, mites, scale, thrips, whiteflies and various other soil insects. Tiny spiders can also be another problem.

The typical cause of damage caused by the individual bugs includes: Aphids suck the sap out of plants; Mealy Bugs suck the sap out and plants, leaves a cotton-like substance on the plants and also leaves a honey dew substance which attracts ants; Mites suck the sap out of plants; Scale suck the sap out of plants and leaves a sticky honey dew substance that attracts ants and causes fungus growth; Thrips rip and tears foliage and blisters develop where the eggs are laid; Whiteflies cluster on the back of leaves and suck the sap out of the leaves, which turn yellow and die.

Try to avoid adding organic material into your soils. It is not necessary to add fertilizer because the topsoil will have enough nutrients for the plants. You will also want to remove any fallen flowers and leaves, as this would allow moulds and fungus to grow into the soil.

Most of the time there are infestations when the soil has a high organic content because of fungus, gnats, or springtails. If your plant has a fungus or bugs like gnats, you will generally find that your plant is actually decomposing, meaning, it is rotting.

Signs of attacks on your house plants by insects can include leaves turning a yellow or brown colour, plants starting to wilt and stop growing, jagged holes starting to appear in the foliage or a honey dew type substance smeared on the plants.

If you do notice that your house plants are infected with bugs or disease, you will need to take appropriate measures to eliminate the problem. You can consult your local garden nursery for advice or you may want to purchase a pesticide that will not hurt your plants, but will be a solution to your problems. Be sure to use the right product for the insects you have, as some pesticides can actually kill certain house plants. When using any pesticides always make sure to read and follow the warnings that the manufactures puts on the label.

Just remember to examine your house plants every now and then, do not wait for them to start looking sad. By giving the proper feeding, care and fresh air will ensure that you house plants remain healthy and more resistant to insect problems. As always, if you are able to find any problems with insects early enough, it can often be taken care of without the use of pesticides and that is, by far, the best way.

See more:  How to Make Your Home Greener

How to Make Your Home Greener

It is easy to learn how to make your home greener, you just have to look around town. Chances are you will see new solar panels on residential roofs, or possibly a wind mill farm in the nearby countryside. Many green power products are now being made in smaller sizes, and with lower cost, for home and office use. These include Solar power, Wind power, and Water power units.

how to make your home greener

For Solar power, use rooftop solar panels that capture sun energy and transform it into DC power. This DC power is sent to a storage battery for use then or later. It can be converted with an inverter unit to AC household power and used for home lighting or to power appliances. There are small panels and energy units for outside that can be used for remote lighting or other power needs. Portable units can be used on RVvehicles, boats, kayaks, and at campsites and other remote areas to power small electrical devices like cell phones, computers or lights.

how to make your home greener

Wind power is another way to make your home greener. Wind mills have been used for centuries on farms and ranches to draw water from wells. Today, modern large units provide electricity for entire communities. There are even large wind mill farms producing electricity for businesses and cities. At home, you can use a smaller unit, and even very small rooftop units for green energy supply. Portable wind mills are being used on boats for green power at sea.

Water power is a third way to make your home greener. You can use large rain barrels to capture rainwater runoff from roofs and then use that water in the yard and garden. If you are near a running source of natural water, a water wheel can gather energy from the flow.

Inside your home, you can use curtains, blinds and shades on windows for sun control, or window coatings. Close them to reduce heat in summer, and use them open in winter to allow passive solar heat into the home.

Recycling is a fun family activity, and is another green lifestyle element. Replace regular light bulbs with energy savers, and LED bulbs to reduce electrical consumption. Change furnace filters regularly, and do maintenance on appliances.

Learn how to make your home greener, you’ll save money doing it!

See more: Garden Soil: Know Your Soil!

Garden Soil: Know Your Soil!

Building healthy and fertile soil is the basis of all organic gardening. By discovering the unique characteristics of your home garden, you can learn how to optimize the potentials of your soil, and grow the best herbs and vegetables that your garden can. You can start by understanding soil in general, and your own garden soil, in particular.

Related Topics: How to Build Healthy Soil

Soil is a living system – an ecosystem – composed of four elemental parts: minerals, gases, liquids, and organic life. Minerals are present in the form of soil particles, formed from the weathering of native rock and plant materials. Gases, particularly atmospheric gases, reside in the spaces between soil particles and provide essential nutrients, such as Nitrogen, to the plant roots. Liquids, mostly water and water-soluble minerals also are present in the pores between soil particles. These too transport critical minerals and nutrition directly to plant roots. Finally and perhaps most importantly, are the vast arrays of micro- and macro-organisms present in healthy soil. This group includes bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa, arthropods, worms, and burrowing animals, which form the food chain that fuels all the major processing functions of garden soil.

Different types of soil are classified by methods which essentially describe how they look and from which materials they were formed. Soil scientists use a classification system which divides all the various soils into 12 categories. Each category references the parent rock, the weathering processes involved, the presence of organic materials, and the saturation of the soil with water.

More practical for garden soil, is the simple classification system based on soil texture. This system depends on the relative amounts of each of the major kinds of soil particles; sand, silt, and clay.

Garden soil is opaque to our eyes, but it is full of life. The micro-world hidden between soil particles is teeming with living things, from bacteria to earthworms. This world of prey and predators is a complex food chain that forms a critical web of life for your garden. They decompose organic matter; enhance soil structure; promote root growth; modulate populations of soil pathogens and plant diseases; and makes essential nutrients available to plants. Conventional farming and gardening practices tend to diminish the population of this essential life-force. Organic methods, on the other hand, enhance the soil to sustain healthy populations of soil micro-organisms.

The hallmark of healthy garden soil is its abundance of organic matter. Its importance cannot be overstated, since organic materials in your soil provide so much benefit. It is the primary fuel for the complex ecosystem of soil micro-organisms. It creates a more open and porous soil texture, maintaining good drainage and transport. It helps the soil retain water like a sponge and helps keep the soil moist and cool. And it mitigates excessive soil acidity and alkalinity.

A soil that absorbs water quickly and drains well, and does not crust over or form clods is said to have good tilth. Tilth is the physical condition of garden soil as it relates to seedbed quality, easy seedling emergence, deep root penetration and ease in digging. Good tilth is dependent on aggregation – the process whereby individual soil particles are joined into clusters or “aggregates”. A well-aggregated soil allows for increased water entry, increased air flow, increased water-holding capacity, and resistance to soil erosion.

References to soil chemistry usually describe the alkalinity or acidity, or pH (potential Hydrogen), of soils. The full scale of pH ranges from zero to fourteen, with seven being neutral. Values below seven are considered acidic; number higher than seven are alkaline. In garden soil, the pH is important because the range in which plants can easily grow is limited. Too acidic or too alkali, and essential plant nutrients become chemically bonded to soil minerals and are not available for plant growth.

Brown Thumb: Five Great Ideas To Give Your Landscaping More Green

Many people do not have a green thumb, and it can be difficult to keep plants, grass and landscaping green and healthy. If you are one of these people that has a brown thumb, there are some things that you can have done to keep your lawn green. This can include things like aeration, overseeding or even using artificial grass in places where grass does not grow. Here are five things that you can do to turn your brown landscaping green:

1. Aerating Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn is a great way to help keep the grass green. This is the process of making holes that go to the roots and allowing the root system of your grass to breathe. This makes grass hardier and healthier. This is something that can be done with many tools designed for aerating your lawn. You roll the machine over your grass, which creates holes that aerate the grass. The root system of your grass is then able to develop healthier, which can prevent dead spots in your lawn.

2. Using Hardy Plants in Landscaping Design

Hardy plants can also be a great way to have a green landscaping. You may want to think about using things like monkey grass for borders of your lawn. It can be difficult to control, but it can help to add green to your landscaping. You may also want to consider using evergreen shrubs, which require little maintenance except for the occasional pruning. These types of plants will help to keep your garden green even during the winter season.

3. Make Garden Beds and Landscaping Features in Shaded Areas

Trees can be a great benefit to your home; they can provide it with cool in the summer and add value. They can also cause problems with grass, which needs a lot of sun. You may want to consider making shaded areas flower beds and plant them with shade tolerant plants. You can also plant small trees such as dogwoods, which are tolerant to shade. They even have beautiful flowers that bloom every spring.

4. Add Small Water Features To Your Landscape Design

Water features can also be a great addition to landscaping. They will not only give you something to add to your landscaping design, but they can also provide moisture for plants. Consider using ponds and adding a small stream for the filtration system. This will help provide moisture for plants, and give you a place to even grow aquatic plants. Plants such as lilies are easy to care for and will add color to your water features.

5. Overseeding With Different Grass Species

Lastly, to keep the grass green, you may want to consider overseeding. This is the process of seeding grass with an established root system. It can be done with the same species of grass you have planted or with other species. You can even plant two types for summer and winter growth to ensure that your grass is green all year. Wheatgrass is a great species to use for overseeding if you want your lawn to be green during the winter time as well.

Gardening Tasks for October

The weather is probably getting cooler and the garden might be looking a bit untidy as the last of the late summer and early autumn flowering plants finish.


  • There are probably leaves littering the garden now. Rake them up and make leaf compost with them. Clear them out of flower beds, especially important where there are low growing plants, and off paths as they can be lethal when they get wet and slippery.
  • Keep watching for slugs and snails eating plants. Put down environmentally friendly slug pellets or beer traps.
  • Container Grown Plants
  • Take in pots of tender plants to protect them from frost, if you haven’t already done so – this might be your last chance.


  • This is a good time to plant herbaceous perennials.
  • First cut the foliage off dahlias, about 6ins above the ground, then lift the tubers, taking care not to damage them. If they are damp, allow them to dry then store in shallow boxes. Cover the tubers with peat but taking care that the crown, where the stem meets the tuber, is not covered. Store in a frostfree, dry place like your shed or greenhouse.
  • You might want to lift gladioli corms as they often will not survive a cold winter. Cut off the foliage, then allow them to dry. Store in a frostfree dry place, probably with your dahlias.
  • Plant lily bulbs, if you didn’t do it last month.
  • In areas where the winter is not usually too severe, you can sow sweet pea seeds outdoors for flowering next year.


  • Continue to harvest apples and pears from late varieties as they ripen.
  • If you plan to plant new fruit trees next month, prepare the beds for them now by digging in fertiliser and compost. Avoid planting trees in the same place as a previous tree of the same kind.
  • Plant gooseberries, red and white currants, and rhubarb now.


  • If you have a heated greenhouse, make sure the heater and thermostat, if you have one, is all in good working order—at 6pm on the night a heavy frost is forecast is not the ideal time to discover a problem.
  • Regardless of whether it is heated or not, if you are hoping to overwinter plants there, conserve heat by lining it with plastic sheeting. Do any ventilation separately so they can still be opened. This is especially important if you use an oil heater which can give off fumes and causes condensation.


  • You can take cuttings of lavender and rue now and place around the edge of pots of sand. Keep them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.


  • If you have trees in your garden, rake up fallen leaves regularly. Put them in plastic bags with holes in, store in an inconspicuous place and forget about them for a year or two. When you remember them, with a bit of luck, you will have some lovely leaf compost.
  • If you didn’t do it last month, scarify, spike your lawn and apply a top dressing. Apply autumn fertiliser.
  • Mow the lawn again, if necessary.
  • If you want a new lawn, October is a good month for laying turf.


  • Deadhead as necessary.
  • If you haven’t cut your roses back by at least one-third, do it now as winter gales can rock them and loosen the roots causing damage and attack by bacteria and fungus.
  • Plant bare rooted roses.

Trees & Shrubs

  • Plant bare rooted trees and shrubs in the beds you, hopefully, prepare last month. If the weather is too bad to plant trees that you ordered and have been delivered, heel them in a V shaped trench so their roots are covered. This way they will survive until you can plant them properly.
  • Remember to put a stake next to newly planted trees to give them support against winter gales. Check the ties are suitable and are not going to cause problems as the tree grows.
  • October is a good month for planting a new hedge. Prepare the bed well with copious organic matter – a good use for your own compost.


  • If you didn’t do it in September, sow cauliflowers under cloches. You can also sow winter lettuce under cloches now.
  • Clear the beds of all plants that have finished and dig over incorporating organic matter like homemade compost.