Simple and basic gardening tips that are sometimes overlooked
Sometimes when we garden, we fail to look at some of the simple and basic things we need to do in our gardens. Other gardeners may give us tips and advice, but often times, much is learned by our own experiences. Below are 5 simple tips for keeping and maintaining your garden (and yourself).
I have never gone to school or had any formal training for gardening, so to me, I would consider myself your "average gardener". Like most of us average gardeners, my learning has mostly been by trial and error, (sometimes more error than trial), devouring garden books and magazines from Lowe's and Home Depot (they must love me - I spend enough money on their magazines), some Internet research (isn't it great to be able to get instant advice on plants right at your fingertips?) and talking and huddling with other fellow gardeners, neighbors and garden fanatics like myself.....
Since I am considered an "intuitive" person (the brain tests tell me so anyway)- a lot of what I do in my garden is based on what I feel or think I should do at any given time (it doesn't always work out but sometimes I get some nice surprises) I think the real passion for me in my garden though is the sense of self esteem I get from growing plants, flowers and vegetables (with a lot of help from nature of course!)
I am also an artist, so that certainly helps me with balancing colors, textures, and various layouts- and being artsy in my garden is definitely another way I can express my creativity- and beyond all this- the garden is an intense place of therapy for me.
My plants don't talk back, they don't argue with me, they don't demand customer satisfaction, and basically, well - they just like me and I like them!
So we have a good relationship, my plants and I (better than some people I know in my life) - and I feel that as long as I treat my garden fairly and spend time with it the rewards will be substantial (well for the most part anyway!)
Today's tips and advice are some short ones I've gleaned from today's experience in my patch of Earth (as you gardeners know we do learn something new just about everyday if we pay attention) Some lessons are lessons that I had already learned but for some reason thought that if I only tried them again I might get a different result (this sometimes works but not always as we know)
Lesson number #1:
Do not wear nice clothes while gardening! Although you may be tempted to go out in your garden in your Sunday best after church, don't do it!! You never know what you might decide to do in your garden on a whim!
Today while out in the garden after church I got the bright idea to stake up my rose bushes (the ones I should have staked up a month ago) and guess what? You got it, no more nice Sunday blouse! (it now has little tears where I was poked and prodded by hundreds of little rose thorns)
Which comes to Lesson Number #2:
If you have plants that require staking, do it while the plant is still manageable! Otherwise you will be like me today, getting poked and pinched by an almost out of control plant (plus it looks a whole lot nicer when you do it earlier - the plant kind of grows naturally into its confinement.) I now have hideous looking white string leaning and hanging all around my rose bush - but if I didn't do it now I would have lost most of my roses to the ground.
Lesson number #3:
Don't assume you can trust your animals in your garden - I let my cats garden with me (really because i have no other choice - but for the most part they behave themselves except when they decide to lay right in the middle of my planting experience) And as for my border collie Karma, her and I are going to have to have a talk when she gets home because I found a nice BIG HOLE under the same rose bush . (She had apparently attempted to dig an underground tunnel to go visit the neighbors dog)
Photos From My Garden
Photo of the Hole Digger
Gardening With Your Pets
Lesson number #4:
If you do have animals, keep that mind when planting- I found one of my beautiful read salvia's broken off at the tips today because it was right in the runway of the fence high jump that my cat Zorro uses when getting chased by the dog. (So watch your animals - and see where they naturally go in your yard - then try planting your garden around their exploits - otherwise be prepared to be picking up broken branches and broken pieces off your plants)
Lesson number #5:
Try to plant your plants right away after purchasing them- Languishing in pots stunts their growth and you will get a much nicer and faster return if you pick a spot for them, and plant them in their new home. I used to let my plants languish for weeks or even months in their pots only to find that I had robbed myself of their enjoyment by just not making decisions where to plant them (plus you can always dig them up later on and replant them somewhere else if you don't like where you put them- invasive plants are harder to do this with though)
So I hope you enjoyed today's 5 simple tips and advice for gardening - I have decided to write a series of articles on this topic. Rather than just journal my thoughts, I think it is more useful to share what I've learned in my garden in the attempt to help you in yours. Hopefully you will also enjoy a laugh or two with me - and by the way - if you have any tips, please feel free to let me know - and I will include your tips for gardening with your name in future articles!
(Dorsi Diaz is an avid gardener, writer, artist and photographer. She writes on a variety of topics, often poking fun at herself and her gardening mishaps)
Zorro the Fence Jumper
More Gardening Advice
Nasturtiums on my Trellis
More Photos of my Garden
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on January 29, 2012:
@Kim) I love nasturtiums! Unfortunately I don't know what type was on that particular trellis. It as a common seed type though. Thanks for reading:)
Kim Rice on January 29, 2012:
I've been considering planting some vining nasturtium this summer to climb a trellis. I don't just want to buy the first seed packet I come across. Do you have any idea what variety of nasturtium you have pictured above? It's stunning!
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on January 23, 2012:
Getting ready to plant some spring bulbs here in California. Ready to do some serious gardening! I'm late doing this but they will still grow here - the wonder of gardening in California! What do the rest of you have planned for your garden this spring?
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on June 05, 2010:
How are your gardens going my friends? I notice this hub needed some love so I thought I'd check on my fellow gardeners - I planted my first lawn from seed this year and I am having SO much fun watching it grow!
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on May 26, 2008:
Lol...I could relate to being a "bad mother to my plants"- it makes me laugh because I got one of my surrogate daughters into gardening- and now when she accidentally pulls up something she shouldn't - or kills a plant- she gets all upset. I have to remind her though it comes with the territory- we aren't born knowing how to garden! Thanks for stopping by!
Ann Martin on May 26, 2008:
Funny i should come across your page. I actually just returned from the gardener this week after my plants seem just about dead only to be yelled and told i was caring for them "all wrong" and im "a bad mother to my plants!" (i dont think he was afraid to hide his opinions). ANyways, since i have no green thumb whatsoever, i very much appreciated reading your tips. Thanks!!
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on May 13, 2008:
THANKS for stopping by everybody, I appreciate it!EILEEN: Another gardener and I just talked about the glove thing- since finding black widow nests in the yard I'm now convinced they are a good idea..lol!!!C.S. ALEXIS: Yes my garden is definitley my spiritual refuge too- and that's too funny you have a fish named Zorro- love it!!!ANGELA: Thanks for the comment on the photos. I'm having a lot of fun with photography lately, I think it's becoming another passion of mine! Thanks for stopping by!
C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on May 13, 2008:
Forgot to mention that I have a catfish in the aquarium named Zorro. He's been with us for over two years. Nasturtium can also be added to a fresh salad I believe.
Angela Harris from Around the USA on May 12, 2008:
I totally agree that gardening is very therapeutic. Lovely photos and your pets are beautiful. I may need to try Nasturtiums, as sadly I can't grow much here this year because of drought conditions and water restrictions.
C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on May 12, 2008:
Yes, my garden is a spiritual refuge,I want to put a prayer circle right in the middle of it but it would take up too much growing space. love to spend time there. We do have so much in common, except you have the better weather for a garden. It is just too cold here in The Calumet Region for my gardening habits.
Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on May 12, 2008:
Love th pics, and great tips. I hate wearing gloves when gardening and my husband goes mad, I know he is thinking of me..... But I like to feel what I am doing. Gloves are a pain.
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on May 12, 2008:
Thanks desert blondie for stopping by and commenting- I love the saying on your mothers plaque. It's very very true!I'm sorry you can't have nasturtiums where you're at- yes they are really wonderful hearty plants!
desert blondie from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen on May 12, 2008:
I have sooo made Mistake #1...more than once! Nice to know I'm not the only one! And great nasturtium photo...I miss those, it's too hot where I now live for these easy beauties! Enjoy your plants! My mom's favorite yard décor was a plaque that said "the kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, one is nearer to God in the garden than anywhere else on earth" I AGREE!