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How to protect your garden over winter

Winter is a ‘dead’ season for any garden, due to the cold weather. It affects your plants badly, rotting the roots and damaging the leaves. That’s why it’s so important to protect your garden before the first frosts come, in order to get a good harvest the next year.

Protecting the garden depends on the place, where you live. The winter in one location may be absolutely different, then in the other. Even winters in one region may differ! That’s why you should pay closer attention to the weather forecasts for the next year. It will allow you to avoid getting caught out by the frosts, coming suddenly.

The main tools for protecting the plants over winter are compost and mulch. The layer of any of this material 5 centimetres deep, put around the perennials allows keeping the herbs warm even in a heavy frost. One more useful function of the compost is leaving organic nutrients in the soil for the next year’s harvest.

Another tip you should remember about while preparing your garden for winter is a soil drainage. It allows removing the odd liquid away from the plants. The right-designed drainage system is important for keeping the ground warm enough as well.

If you are not so experienced gardener, when the winter comes – you should collect more advises and tips from the web or from your neighbours and friends, living in the same area, as you do. However, in 2-3 years you’ll get enough experience for saving your garden over the winter.


Lengthening The Summer Season Way Into Winter


Over the past articles, focus has been put on different gardening ideas from the exotic to having pleasant animal life roaming about in your backyard. There are however specific climatic conditions that must be prevalent to be able to pull it off. On the contrary, just because you stay in temperate regions or areas where the weather is not particularly conducive doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the pleasures that come with having a garden. A particularly challenging environment is snow. With a bit of skill and commitment however, one can grow plants regardless of how frosty it gets.

A method that has long been employed is using floating row covers. In this case a clear plastic sheet is pulled over columns of crops. This allows the average gardener to lengthen the summer season as crops can be grown well into winter. Employing floating row covers helps to heat up the soil as they absorb the sunlight during the day. In addition, when night time comes, they will offer protection to your plants preventing frost and freezing of the roots and stem. Given that they are cheap and effective, row covers provide a comprehensive and affordable way of keeping your garden going even in the winter season.

Another long used alternative is a greenhouse. These offer a more permanent albeit costly manner to shield your crops from the elements. While the option to build one’s own greenhouse exists, it is usually time consuming and easy to get wrong. Regardless, a greenhouse is great as it maintains an artificial ecosystem which precludes whatever harsh conditions might prevail on the outside. In places where sunlight is not as effective or available, small heating units can be used to regulate the temperature to the optimum desired level.

If the external environment is absolutely impossible the next best thing is to try indoor gardening. Especially small plants and herbs can thrive within the house. You can use pot plants as a good way to dot your plants in and around the house. For a more extensive gardening experience, particularly growing vegetables, a basement can be utilized. Any room with a window facing the sunrise can come in handy in nurturing your plants with all the necessary elements.

However you wish to lengthen your summer season remember to input patience and commitment to get the best results.

Enjoying Your Garden With The Little Ones

So you are an avid gardener with years under your belt or you’ve just discovered the joys that come with working the land. The only thing better than the peace and serenity of this activity, possibly, is sharing it with the people who matter in your life. Many gardeners who enjoy their passion, are keen to have others experience it as well. This can be a challenge, particularly with children. However, given the many unhealthy pastimes out there like violent video games, drugs and whatever else kids get up to, it may be a good idea to try and introduce your children to gardening too. It is a great physical activity that brings bonding opportunities as well as learning experiences to growing individuals.

The first thing to note is that, save for the odd exception, most children will have an inherent interest in gardening. The prospect of playing with mud and water is often irresistible, particularly to the tiny tots. To complement this, always try to give your kids engaging tasks. It is important to supervise them and make sure that they don’t injure themselves while at it. Failing to strategically give the young ones interesting activities in the garden will result in them getting bored in no time.

Another thing to consider is the time that you spend in the garden. While it may be blissful for you to spend half the day tending to your plants and hedge rows, children usually have rather short attention spans. The younger the child the shorter that span will be. As such, especially when starting out, try to limit the amount of time that the kids have to be in the garden. They will be more engaged and also have more fun at it, before they decide to move on to the next thing.

Even though the young ones usually require a healthy amount of supervision and assistance, children generally enjoy their freedom and will seek out autonomy where possible. To avoid stifling their creativity and disengaging them, allow for your kids to have their own space and tools to work with. The feeling of independence will encourage them, and set them up for a great sense of achievement.

Whichever route you end up settling on, remember to stay safe and remain of good cheer. The idea is to enjoy the experience and not necessarily groom little landscaping Picassos.

Making The Garden A Safer Place For All

While anyone can appreciate a great garden, there are some precautions that may need to be taken. For one, children make for keen explorers and will eat, smell and / or touch anything that catches their attention. As such if one has a garden, particularly with a family or pets, there is need to make sure that the plant life found in it does not pose a threat to both humans and the animals that make up the family.

The first and possibly most important precaution is to make a garden safe for babies and toddlers. Because of the color, scents and visually stimulating nature of plants and flowers, children generally gravitate towards gardens. Because of this, there can be no substitute to manually supervising one’s child when they spend time anywhere near plant life. However in the real world this is not always feasible. As such consider cordoning or uprooting plants that look suspicious, unless the kids are old enough to know not eat everything they see.

Another step one can take to make the garden a safer place is to avoid open and unattended holes and gaps. While these may pose minimal threats to people, it is possible for a dog or similar pet to fall in, seriously injuring themselves in the process. Fencing off work in progress or covering it up is a good way to avoid any unnecessary accidents.

As you work towards making your garden safe for all visitors, it is a good idea to make sure that flowerpots and other kinds of pottery such as garden gnomes are well placed and secure. If placed in a haphazard manner, without consideration of visitors, young and old, they may cause injury as people trip over them. In even more grave scenarios, suspended pot plants can fall on someone causing quite a nasty injury. Regular maintenance and checking of these can be the difference between a lovely stroll and a visit to the outpatients section of the hospital.

While these are great ways to make the garden a safer space, it is important to observe general safety rules as well. Running in the garden and carrying heavy loads are some examples of things to refrain from in order to fully enjoy the experience.

Claiming Your Piece Of Paradise

imageWhenever you look at a postcard or ad about tropical destinations, the unmistakable greenery and forestry is enough to inspire even the biggest couch potato to jump on the next plane. However, the harsh reality is that not everyone can spare the time nor money to engage in these kinds of activities. Furthermore, the few that actually get to visit can only experience the atmosphere for as long as they are there, usually just a few days or weeks at best. An answer to this plight has cropped up in the form of exotic plant gardening.

Nothing screams the tropics and leisurely holiday – making like a palm tree. Known by the botanical name, Trachycarpus fortune, a palm tree boasts a thick trunk with wide fan – shaped leaves. Palm seeds are relatively easy to get at gardening shops, though it would be recommended that one buys a shoot and then transplant it. By keeping your new plant protected from strong winds and covering it with grass over the winter period, you should be able to enjoy a nice palm shade in no time. Cocktails and a hammock are optional!

For those looking for a bit of mountainous inspiration, a fern can create the right atmosphere. Though there are many varieties of ferns, they all share the quality of being resilient and can endure extreme weather. This makes it a perfect plant for someone with a lock – up and go lifestyle, as it requires minimal attention. As long as you keep it away from hot, glaring sunshine, it should fare quite well.

Another favorite when it comes to adding an exotic touch to your garden is the arum lily. Giving a hint of oriental appearance and aroma, this white, angelic flower will dazzle any visitor to your assemblage. These plants do very well in a damp area, close to a pond if available. Though they are fairly tough the sunlight is a requirement. A bit more attention is required when it comes to pruning and mulching but all your efforts will come to fruition once the plant starts thriving.
By adding simple exotic plants into your garden, you can unlock a wonder world that can provide a peaceful refuge when you need to unwind.

A word of caution though, always consult your local garden expert about invasive plants before introducing a new plant species in your garden.