The Best Gardening Ideas

Gardening requires considerable effort and expense for a homeowner. The best gardening ideas include tips that save money as well as recommendations to reduce the hard work required for landscape maintenance. Knowledge of the best practices to maintain a landscape includes proper soil preparation and watering wisely. Learning about organic gardening practices also provides a smart alternative to chemical-based fertilizers.

Water Wisely

Sprinkling the garden surface doesn't benefit your plants. Watering in this manner wets the top inch of soil instead of the deep layers that house the roots of most ornamental plants. This method barely keeps plants thriving through the hottest days of summer. Soil compaction also affects the soil's ability to absorb water. Turn over soils to distribute mulch and add manure or compost to increase the soil tilth to add porosity to the garden bed. Water deeply using a soaker hose to penetrate into the loosened soil to the outer foliage limit of each plant. Watering wisely allows moisture to reach the plant's deepest roots. You'll water less frequently with this method and promote greater vibrancy in your landscape. If a soaker hose isn't an option, turn the faucet to a slow trickle and place the hose at the base of each plant for a few minutes.

Weed Control

Those pesky weeds that pop you in gardens provide continued annoyances for gardeners. The best option involves cultivation of the soil for weed removal. Dig up or hand-pull each weed for proper disposal. The use of pre- and post-emergent herbicides presents a dilemma for gardeners. Easy sprayers seem to tackle the weed problem quickly. The down side lies in the chance of damaging desired plants with over spray or absorption through the soil. Save the weed killer for densely overgrown areas.

Soil Cultivation

Soil provides the home base for each plant. The basic building block must be in prime condition to promote plant health. Start the life of each landscape plant correctly by providing a properly tilled, organic planting environment. Cultivate by turning over the soil by at least eight inches for annual plants and 12 or more inches for perennial plants. Break up compaction and clumps to loosen the soil. Add a three- to four-inch layer of manure or compost to the garden bed and stir this into the existing soil. Soil structure changes with the addition of organic manner. This method increases water-holding ability in the soil and boosts the nutrient base to sustain landscape plants.

Keywords: best garden practices, best gardening ideas, gardening tips

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.