Why To Switch To Raised Bed Gardens

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

Raised bed gardens are a boon to all sorts of gardening enthusiasts. Some gardeners switch to raised beds to avoid the need to use poor local soil. Others need to squeeze maximum output from minimum space. Still others make the switch because health issues make traditional gardening too difficult. Bed shape and size is limited only by imagination and resources. Perhaps best of all, well designed raised beds can out-produce traditional gardens with less effort.

Easier on the Gardener

Raised beds can range from a mere six inches above ground to hip-height. Gardens may be placed on the ground or on top of sturdy tables. The height of the garden can be critical for people with disabilities, the elderly, or those who simply want less strain. Since beds tend to average 3 feet wide, most gardeners can reach across to tend plants, water, or harvest more easily. Most gardeners will never need to tread on soil in their raised beds, thereby avoiding compacted soil and damaged roots. Those who thought gardening was impossible for their situation might just find raised beds change everything.

Efficient Plant Growth

Traditional gardens lose space to empty access rows between plants. In raised beds plant spacing can be quite dense. By allowing just enough room, where mature plants just skim their neighbor, one creates a weed suppressing environment. Closer spacing also means moisture can be better conserved and shared among plants, creating a micro-climate for plants to thrive. The inclusion of a weed or pest barrier at the bottom of the garden bed may deter even the most pugnacious interloper from gaining entrance.

Improved Soil

In a few idyllic places, gardeners have perfect natural soil conditions. For the rest of the gardening world, raised beds can even the playing field. Poor native soil can be avoided completely. These beds allow one to tailor an ideal mixture of weed free soil components. Texture, drainage, and nutrient requirements can be perfectly controlled. These advantages create better harvests.

Extended Growing Season

Gardeners everywhere champ at the bit to plant earlier in spring. Since raised beds are less dependent on the surrounding soil, it’s possible to get a jump on nature. Their increased height allows sunshine to better warm the soil. Warmer soil means earlier seeding, earlier sprouting and transplanting, and earlier harvest. For those who want to stretch the season further yet, there are cold frames that can be built on top of the beds. Determined gardeners might even grow cold season vegetables right through the winter months.

Beauty

Raised beds have a clean and tidy elegance. Whether as a single bed, or a series of beds arranged in groups, these sorts of gardens can give an attractive and finished look to a property. Designs can be artistic and whimsical, or stately and conservative. Traditional gardens might not be fully accepted in all places. Yet raised bed type gardens are usually viewed as quite tasteful, as well as tasty, and may get nods of instant approval.

Raised bed gardens are popping up faster than weeds all across the country. It’s easy to understand why. They’re thrifty, making good use of fewer resources. They’re good looking. They’re easier to tend for the very young or the elderly. Best of all, since the soil quality is so easy to control, the harvests can be simply amazing.

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is not an expert but is interested in raised bed and container gardens which seem beneficial. Jack has found helpful information at http://www.raisedbedgardens.net You can also sign up for a free newsletter and free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

Must Have Equipment For Gardening

Many people take up gardening as a hobby because it helps you to relax and will help reduce the stress in your life. The rewards are great as you watch your harvest flourish right before your eyes.

To get the most out of your gardening time you will need some equipment for gardening to help make your hobby enjoyable and safe. Although your needs will probably be simple if you have the normal size city garden, the right equipment for gardening will make all the difference in the world.

The first thing you should probably do is to protect yourself. When you expose yourself to nature you may get some harsh results without proper protection. The weather is normally hot during the gardening season so you should make sure your head is protected with a good hat. This will keep the sun from your face and help protect you from sunburn.

You will want to invest in a pair of quality gardening gloves to protect yourself from sharp briars, fertilizers and bug bites. You can find gloves made especially for your gardening needs at your local department store or online if you prefer.

The clothes you wear while you are in your garden should be something you do not mind getting dirty or stained. You will be dealing with dirt; mud, spray chemicals and nature, so wear clothes that will take the heat.

If you choose to use spray pesticides a mask to wear while you are spraying your plants would be wise so you will not breath the fumes from your sprayer.

The size of your garden will determine what type of tools you will need to work your soil. A postage stamp garden will not need as much equipment as a large garden. No matter what size garden you decide to grow you will need items such as a shovel, rake, hoe and fork.

As your garden gets bigger so will your equipment needs. A tiller is a wonderful addition for most gardeners.

Do not forget the everyday common items most people tend to forget. You will need tomato cages or stakes, trellises for your climbing plants to grow on and do not forget the essential garden hose. There are many attachments available to water your plants with.

To enjoy your hobby to the fullest it is important to think about the equipment for gardening you will need before the gardening season begins. Take some time to make sure you are prepared and you should have a most wonderful gardening season.

For more information on equipment for gardening try visiting http://www.onegardens.com where you will find tips, advice and resources about topics such as Your very own greenhouse garden .

Advantages Of Raised Bed Gardens

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

Poor soil can make growing a productive garden difficult for even the most experienced gardeners. Efforts to improve bad soil include adding soil amendments, aerating and fertilizing the soil on a regular basis. These practices are time consuming activities that don’t often produce desired results. However, those who have poor soil on their property yet still wish to grow a garden can easily do so using raised bed gardens. A raised bed is simply a garden space created above the ground, ensuring that the homeowner has complete control over the quality of the soil. Although all types of plants can be grown in raised beds, this technique is most often used for vegetable and herb gardens.

A raised bed can be built with a structure around it to keep it intact, or else it can be allowed to be a free-form space. The process of making a raised bed is fairly simple. Wood is the most common material used, though stone, bricks, recycled plastic and concrete blocks are good choices as well. One of the most important things to keep in mind when making a raised bed is that it should be accessible from both sides in order to avoid stepping into it. This will help to keep the soil from becoming compacted. Compacted soils negatively affect garden drainage and aeration.

Placement of raised bed gardens will depend on what is to be grown in them. Herbs and vegetables generally require a sunny exposure in order for them to be at their best. Small raised beds can work well in shady areas where a bit of color is needed from flowering plants such as impatiens and lobellia. Because they’re easily accessed, raised beds are easier to keep weed-free than gardens planted at ground level.

Another advantage to raised beds is that the soil they contain warms up more quickly in the spring, allowing the gardener to get a head start on the growing season. Hoops and a transparent cover can be placed over a raised bed to further extend the growing season. Raised beds need less maintenance and have better drainage than traditional garden spots. They are ideal for people with back or knee problems because they are high enough off of the ground to allow access without a lot of painful bending and stooping. Most senior citizens appreciate the ease and convenience that a raised bed offers.

For the homeowner who is trying to save money by growing vegetables, herbs and fruits rather than purchasing them at the grocery store, raised beds are an especially good value because this method of planting increases the yield of any crop. Because the soil is top-quality, it’s easier for plant roots to access available nutritional minerals and organic chemicals, allowing plants to be spaced closer together than in traditional ground-level garden areas. There is also less chance of losing plants to pests or of plants being choked out by weeds. Roaming neighborhood animals won’t be able to cause much damage to plants that are growing in a raised bed.

Even though poor soils are the main reason why gardeners decide to construct and utilize raised beds, there are plenty of other advantages to them that make them well worth the initial effort and expense involved in their construction.

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is not an expert but likes  raised garden beds which seem beneficial. Jack has found a lot of helpful information at http://www.raisedbedgardens.net  You can also sign up for a free newsletter and a free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

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Post hole diggers for gardening and home renovation

Putting a fence to save your home from coming to the sight of passer byes? If yes then you will need a digger in addition to the fencing equipments. The digger will help you make right holes at right place. You can make up to 4 meter deep holes of 300mm diameter with the help of handheld post hole diggers.

A handheld digging tool is very much needed for home and garden renovation. Advantage of this tool is that it is handy. You can take it to places, use it in a hassle free manner and make as many holes as you need without tiring your body and mind. Mark the places that you want to dig and place the tool right above the mark. Push the start button and see the spiral digging blade going down in the ground.

You will get a set of spiral blades and extensions with this tool. Generally post hole diggers come with a set of four blades and three extensions so that you can make holes of different diameters and length. If you want to dig deeper than 4 meter then you need a powerful tool. But 4 meter is a perfect depth for placing fencing poles.

You will get two options. First is an electric digging device and second is a fuel driven tool. You can choose any one of them but if you want to buy a popular tool then choose the latter. A petrol digger is an efficient tool that can make perfect holes in no time. It runs on a petrol motor and it consumes little fuel. Greatest advantage of this tool is that you can work with it in the areas where there is no electric point available.

Look for post hole diggers that run on petrol and choose one that suits to your needs. You can find a device at affordable price on manufacturer’s store. Manufacturers sell this tool at $ 300 but suppliers charge $ 600 for the similar tool. Its better you buy a digging tool from a manufacturer instead of a supplier.

Handheld post hole diggers are safe, convenient and efficient tools you can rely upon. Take any tool and see how it works. Once you know how to operate the tool, you can use it without any fear or apprehension. A handheld digging tool has a long arm with control buttons provided on the handle. The spiral blade that digs is situated at the end of the arm.

Lambert Weiss enjoys gardening in the evenings and the weekends with his family. Writing about gardening tools is a way for him to express and share his experiences. For more information visit post hole diggers and chainsaw chains.

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Wonderful Raised Bed Garden Plans To Enhance Your Home

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

There are many advantages to having raised bed gardens that are both aesthetic and functional. They can also be quite therapeutic in helping to wash away the stresses of the day. There are a number of great raised bed garden plans you can choose from for both flowers and vegetables that will spur your imagination.

A raised garden bed is ideal for areas where the soil is not conducive to producing abundant, healthy plants. When planning your garden bed, be sure to choose a sunny spot where your plants will get the greatest exposure. Also be sure to pick a flat area of ground to install your box.

Building a Basic Wooden Raised Garden Bed

Building a 3 x 6 foot bed creates the perfect environment for growing vegetables and beautiful flowers. It provides them with enough space to grow and thrive and gives you easy access to each plant without ever having to step into the bed. Ideally, you want your bed between one and two feet tall. If you intend to grow more plants, it is better to build more boxes rather than making one box larger. Try to place your boxes on the north side for the best sun exposure. If building more than one box, leave enough space between them so you’ll have easy access all around.

Remove weeds and grass, then dig a trench deep enough so the walls of the bed are half-way sunken into the soil. Add landscape fabric to prevent weeds from popping up and steel mesh to keep out moles and other garden pests. Build each wall of the bed separately, then attach them. Posts driven deep into the ground at each corner of the bed will help stabilize it, keeping it from shifting. Add a watering system to your bed and you’ll then be ready to plant.

Creating a Greenhouse Effect

To keep your plants safe from birds and insects or to extend your growing season and preserve moisture, you can add a simple cover using polyethylene film and PVC piping. Mount one inch PVC pipe with galvanized metal straps inside the wall of the bed. Be sure the pipe is twice the length of the bed so you can easily bend and attach the other end to the other side of the wall. Attach the film and you have a simple, yet effective, greenhouse. Be careful not to let your plants get too hot when the weather gets warmer. Either remove the covering or cut slits into it to release excessive heat.

Other Ways to Create Raised Beds

If you’re planning to build a simple garden bed in the back yard, using untreated lumber such as Douglas Fir will work well for any bed. For something more eye-pleasing, there are many ways to create a stunning garden that will be the envy of all. You can build your garden walls from stone or brick and even terrace a sloping landscape for a multi-tiered effect. Create a curved garden around a water fountain or bird bath for a simple and beautiful addition to your landscape.

With a bit of imagination and dedication, you can have a raised garden that is easy to maintain which will add beauty and function to your home. You’ll also enjoy the outdoors more than ever.

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is building a raised bed garden using information he found about plans and kits . You can also sign up for a free newsletter and a free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs at the same site  http://www.raisedbedgardens.net

Gardening Tools, The Basics

It seems that home improvement stores are making their gardening supply and nursery stocks more expansive year by year. I think this is because DIY lawn and garden care is the easiest to break into as a homeowner.
You can buy gardening products in various stores or nurseries, or you can order gardening products from catalogs, or even order them online. The trick is in knowing what you need for the jobs you plan to undertake.

You will obviously need the basic gardening tools no matter what you are planting, such as a hoe, spade, and maybe even a shovel. You must have watering supplies, like a hose, sprinkler and watering can. Other possibilities include a spade, a pot (if you are pot planting), and a pair of gloves for comfort, some pruning shears and a rake. Then, of course, there are the essentials such as the lawn mower and weed whacker, but we are mainly going to focus here on the basic landscape/gardening tools and leave the grass for another day.

When first starting a garden you will definitely want some type of mushroom mulch, manure or peat moss to properly amend your soil. There are a few types of potting soil that you can also add into your slurry including organic potting mix, seed starting potting mix, cactus potting mix, and root development potting mix, just to name a few.

Once you have your garden planted, you must have gardening chemicals so that you can add nutrients to the soil to ensure a healthy plant life. Miracle-Gro is one of the most popular growing enhancements for plants. There are many different types of Miracle-Gro to choose from and what kind you choose will depend on what you are trying to grow. The good thing about Miracle-Gro is that it is labeled very well with easy-to-follow instructions. This same brand name can also be found on insecticides and fungicides with that same easy-to-follow labeling.

If you are growing vegetables or herbs, you may need different gardening tools than regular flower gardens require. If you are growing tomatoes for example, you will need a tomato cage and ties to protect the plants against the wind. Many plants, mostly vines, are designed to grow on something and you will have to have a fence or trellis of some sort.

You can also find tools for the landscape that serve a greater purpose than just “function,” and that being “form.” In other words, they can also come in the form of decoration. There are decorative flower pots, sundials, plastic figurines, stones or bricks for a pathway or looks, and even lawn furniture. The big trend in country gardening is to find old, weathered and rusted garden tools and plant those in and amongst the greenery. Decoration will add to the charm and uniqueness of your garden and is an excellent way to give it a personal touch.

The winter months will bring a whole new set of gardening products to store shelves. When the frost hits the prime place to put your plants are in a greenhouse. However, if you do not have a greenhouse for whatever reason, a tarp of some sorts can be used to cover plants up at night. You also might need a light source, like a heat lamp, to both keep plants warm and give them extra light. In addition, you are going to need a snow shovel or maybe even a snow blower, as well as some good quality driveway ice melter.

New and upgraded gardening products are always popping up on the market. It seems like every day there is some gardening product that claims to be bigger and better than the last. While many gardening tools are not a necessity, they sure make the job a lot easier and more enjoyable. Fall time is a great time to pick up deals on lawn and garden tools as the season is nearly over and they are often found on clearance. Check them out today!

Al Haneson offers advice and details about driveway ice melter and deicer and snow and ice melter.

How To Build Raised Bed Gardens

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

Raised bed gardens make gardening easy. There are a number of benefits to gardening with a raised bed, and these handy garden beds are fairly simple to build.

What is a Raised Bed Garden?

This type of gardening saves the gardener from dealing with bad soil conditions. The garden is built above ground, and filled with the soil of your preference. From then on, you have complete control over the texture of the soil, and its ingredients. It can be tailored to fit any plant.

The garden should be built above the native soil, and may even include it. The garden can be built free-form, or contained without hindering plant growth. Just about anything can be planted inside the garden.

Benefits

1. Less weeds.

Because these gardens are built above ground, with a barrier around the length of them, pathway weeds won’t make it in.

2. Prevents soil compaction.

The soil won’t get compacted because the garden is built with accessibility, soil, and the plants in mind.

3. Drains better.

The raised garden provides better drainage, and prevents garden soil from being washed away during storms.

4. Pest control.

The barriers help keep pests such as slugs and snails out of the mix, leaving your garden safe.

5. Easier access.

Having a raised garden will help you to avoid back pain, because you won’t have to bend down as far, or kneel to take care of you plants.

6. Open bottom.

The open bottom allows for the plants’ roots to reach as far into the ground as they need to gain access to any available nutrients.

7. Easily constructed.

They’re easy to build, and can be made with a variety of materials.

Construction

1. The right wood.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the right kind of wood for your garden. However, Cedar Wood tends to be particularly good, because it’s naturally resistant to rot. Redwood is another rot resistant wood that can work nicely. These woods should last for a long time before they begin to deteriorate, depending on the weather.

2. Height

There is no real height limit for these gardens. The most common height lies around 11 inches. Any garden taller than 18 inches will require extra support, to prevent the wood from bowing out from the pressure of the soil. The plants you’re planning to include should also play a part in height. The soil-depth requirements for plants differ, and certain plants will need a higher garden bed.

3. Materials

You’ll need: lumber (Cedar Wood), fastenings, cross supports (aluminum flat stock), hand saw, screwdriver, square, mallet, hacksaw, drill, and a carpenter’s level,

4. Assemble Frame

Clear out the area where you plan to build your garden, and begin to build the frame. Saw the boards to the desired length, and use screws at the corners to hold the boards together.

5. Corner Posts

Cut the posts longer than needed, and set the first post into the bottom corner of the frame. Drive it a few inches into the ground, and then screw the posts into the frame.

6. Finish Frame, Add Soil

Add the bottom boards to the frame, and screw them into the posts. Now, you can fill the garden with soil, and begin gardening!

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is building a raised bed garden  and likes container gardens, too. Jack has found helpful information at http://www.raisedbedgardens.net  You can also sign up for a free newsletter and free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

A Guide To Gardening Tools

Gardening has always been an excellent hobby for relaxing, being close with nature, and a great way to reap the rewards of hard work and dedication. However, in order to have the absolute best garden possible, it’s important to use the correct tools for the job. The specific gardening tools that you will need will largely depend on the type of garden you have, and what type of plants, vegetables, or flowers you are trying to grow.

Of course if the majority of your gardening takes place in a greenhouse or inside your home in containers, there’s no need to purchase the large rakes or spades that are usually used for gardening outside. Clippers, shears, sprayers, and watering cans are some of the gardening tools used most often indoors, but can be used outdoors as well. Rakes, spading forks, hoes, and shovels are some of the essentials for larger gardens outdoors.

Every gardener will want to have some of the basics, such as a watering can, which can be found in different varieties and sizes for different types of plants. Other must-have gardening tools are shovels, spading forks, and hoes. The spading fork, with its large tines, is mainly used to help aerate the soil in your new garden by digging through and turning over the hard ground. Garden shovels in varying sizes help clear the dirt that you’ve cultivated with your spading fork, and the hoe is a useful tool for getting rid of pesky weeds.

A sturdy rake is one of the best gardening tools for removing large stones, weeds, or other types of unwanted objects that may be within your loosened soil. The garden rake makes gathering and removing rocks and debris a breeze. If your garden has bushes, hedges, or other plants that may need shaping from time to time, the two gardening tools you’ll want to have handy are large garden scissors, or clippers. These items are useful for pruning, cutting, shaping, or for removing dead leaves and stems.

The right gardening tools are so important in order to efficiently and effectively grow and cultivate your plants and vegetables. It’s no wonder gardening is enjoyed by so many people, as it’s such a wonderful feeling to see the plants you’ve taken care of grown into blooming flowers or delicious, homegrown fruits and vegetables. Besides the obvious rewards, gardens and plants also add great appeal to your home, whether growing indoors or out, with their appealing colors and beautiful textures.

To learn more about gardening for everyone visit our site at http://www.gardeningforeveryone.com

The Top 10 Gardening Tools Everyone Needs

Years ago, gardening tools were built to last and it was not uncommon for a good spade, to cost a week’s wages. As they were an expensive commodity, these gardening tools had to be made to withstand the test of time and were often passed down through generations. You find many of them still being used today.

These days, when you walk into any retailer that sells gardening tools you are met with racks of different items all proclaiming they are the ‘gardeners best friend’ or ‘what every garden needs’, researching on the internet is even more confusing, with pages of gardening tools results filling your screen claiming to be the tool that you must have.

Before you start looking at the hi-tech gadgetry available on the high street and online, you need to ensure that you have the basics. A good foundation of gardening tools will stand you in good stead for the future and give you a good base to build up an array of tools in the future. Below is a list of the top 10 gardening tools that every garden shed should be keeping safe.

Gloves
We all know that many garden pests and weeds have thorns, stings or chemicals that irritate the skin so the first item in our gardening tools list is a good pair of gloves. Not only will they protect from nasty prickly pests they can help prevent blisters and stop your skin drying out.

Spade
There is no way you could do anything of note in a garden without a spade – it will help when turning soil in flower beds and veggie patches, dig holes for fence posts or larger trees and shrubs, and prove invaluable when clearing piles of rubbish.

Trowel
The spade is designed for the big jobs in the garden, the next item in this gardening tools list is the trowel. Without it, nothing would get planted – no perennials, annuals, borders or baskets. A good strong trowel is an integral weapon in any gardening tools arsenal.

Lawnmower
This entry in our top 10 gardening tools list is pretty self-explanatory, if you have a lawn – you need a lawnmower!

Secateurs
Always have a good pair of secateurs to hand, they will help you all around the garden – whether they are used for cutting flowers for the house or tackling the thorny problem of brambles.

Knife
If you don’t want to get into trouble with the chef in the house then you need a knife for the garden – essential for your gardening tools armoury when harvesting veggies, cutting string or attacking tall weeds! (Be careful!)

Ball of string
Never underestimate the usefulness of the simple ball of string, the average gardener will use miles of it during their cultivating life! If you don’t have one you will miss is greatly.

Shears
If you don’t have too much greenery to keep tidy in your garden, a sharp pair of shears will do as good a job as an electric trimmer and keep you fit at the same time!

Wheelbarrow
The humble wheelbarrow has a multitude of uses in the garden and will, if used correctly, save you from dreaded back-ache. Whether for moving soil, transporting rubbish or ferrying your gardening tools – a wheelbarrow is a must.

Weed Killer
The final entry in our top 10 gardening tools list is a good weed killer. For the best results when tackling weeds in the garden use a weed killer that not only targets the weed above the surface but one that also penetrates deep into the roots. An indispensable item in any gardening tools kit.

What Is Hydroponic Gardening?

What is Hydroponics Gardening? Well, hydroponic gardening is a kind of gardening that does not need soil to grow plants. In other words, a dirt-less garden and that’s perhaps one of the reasons why more and more people are getting into this kind of gardening.

Whether it is an indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening or outdoor hydroponic-gardening, surely, you will find it convenient because this just requires a small space to have it done. Aside from this, hydroponic gardening is less expensive compare to others.

Instead of soil, water is the prime source for the survival of the plants in hydroponic gardening. This is very good for some vegetables and other plants like tomatoes. Though, it may become complicated and more difficult when you use computer to manage the gardening system-like the proper distribution of water. However, you can also make this simpler as you can use medium like hand-watered bucket.

The normal indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening is usually composed these things as its prime components- a growing tray; a reservoir; a water-controlled pump; and some kind of pump to supply oxygen and nutrients. However, these can also be applied in outdoor hydroponic gardening, with a little variation.

The growing medium that is utilized in hydroponic-gardening can be of these things (but not limited to) perlite, rockwool, coconut fiber, sand, gravel, or even air. To know more about this, you can go to the store nearest you and seek some advices in order to achieve success in hydroponic gardening. You can also browse other related websites that offer kits designed to give relevant and essential idea on hydroponic gardening.

When you want to have your own hydroponic gardening, another essential things to consider are the micro-nutrients that must be present so that you’ll be able to have the one that is more productive. The nutrients that are needed to achieve for healthy plants are the following: sulfur; magnesium; cobalt; calcium; iron, boron; zinc; manganese; and copper. It is also important that you use high quality fertilizers that are needed in hydroponic gardening.

The PH balance must always be maintained because PH variation will affect the capability of plants to absorb nutrients. The proper management of this brings a great advantage over the other type of gardening.

Though, there are varied systems which you can apply, whether you plan an indoor hydroponic vegetable gardening or outdoor hydroponic gardening, this type of gardening is more affordable than any other types and not only that, you are able to harvest vegetables that are fresh from your garden.

Bercle George is an expert gardener and has published an excellent rose growing and gardening resource at
http://www.rosegrowingguide.com/