The following lawn and garden care tips will help you get the most from your
1. Different soil types have different watering needs. Loosen the soil around
plants so it can quickly absorb water and nutrients. Early morning or night is
the best time for watering to reduce evaporation.
Lengthening the time between watering combined with deep, heavy watering
encourages root growth while reducing top growth in lawns. This increases the
root-to-shoot ratio and helps produce plants that are more resistant to wilting
when exposed to infrequent watering.
2. When choosing plants for your garden, remember crops that are suited to your
soil and climate will be more resistant to problems. If you experiment with
exotics, be prepared to give them more care. Also, when placing plants around
the home, remember as a general rule, plants with thick leaves can take lower
light levels than those with thin leaves.
3. Fertilizers provide nutrients necessary for plant health and growth, such as
nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Test your soil to find out what nutrients
are needed. Choose a fertilizer that has at least one-fourth of the nitrogen in
a slow-release form, such as sulphur-coated urea.
4. Mow lawn frequently to chop up leaves and recycle them into the lawn. If the
leaves are too thick or matted then rake them up.
5. Keep garden beds covered with shredded leaves to minimize the risk of soil
erosion and nutrient run-off.
6. Leave the grass clippings to decompose on the lawn. This will provide
nutrients equivalent to one or two fertilizer applications. Set mower at 2
inches to reduce water use during hot weather.
7. Consider using natural alternatives for chemical pesticides such as
non-detergent insecticidal soaps, garlic, hot pepper sprays, used dishwater, or
forceful stream of water to dislodge insects. Also consider using plants that
naturally repel insects.
8. Organic Gardening - Since organic fertilizer and soil conditioning materials
are slow working in general, they should be mixed into the soil at least three
weeks ahead of planting and the soil thoroughly prepared for the seed or
9. Where animal manures are available, they are probably the best source of
fertilizer and organic matter for the organic gardener. Use manure which has
been aged for at least 30 days, or composted.
10. Weeds are easy to control when they are small. Shallow cultivation and
hoeing are advised in order to reduce damage to the root system.
About the author:
Bridget Mwape writes for the Garden Center web site at http://www.garden-center .
org.uk/ and also contributes articles to the Plumbing Supplies web site at:
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