My Top 4 Gardening Hacks
I am a big gardener. Well, not last year, because all of my plants drowned with the crazy amount of rain we hand. And then when I saw stuff growing, I got excited. Unfortunately, that ‘stuff’ was ALL weeds. Thus, no veggies for me.
Anyways, in the years I’ve been gardening, I’ve learned some tricks to make my life easier.
First of all, start early! I cannot stress this enough. Depending on when your season starts, begin at least a month beforehand. I started in May. I started by using Preen and using weed killer like crazy. If it rained, or was going to rain, I threw more preen on. A weed excaped my wrath? More weed killer.
About 3 weeks in, I borrowed my cousin’s rotatiller. If you’ve always tried to turn over your dirt by hand, STOP. Even if you have to go rent one, use a rotatiller. Saved my back from killing. While I was rotatilling, I threw Preen down. After I was done, I threw more Preen down and went over and sprayed with some wicked weed killer. I usually like to use some homemade weed killer, but NOTHING seems to kill creeping ivy. I hate that stuff.
Next, I recommend using garden fabric. It covers the ground in hopes of keeping weeds from growing. Even if it doesn’t do the job 100%, it is still a lot easier than pulling weeds all the time. If you haven’t noticed, I hate weeds.
Make sure you buy the garden staples that go with the fabric. Don’t make my mistake in just hoping it will magically stay down. It won’t. Garden staples are your friend.
When planting, you have to cut the fabric. I make an X. I try to make it around 6×6, but I’m not careful and do it whatever size. Dig out a pretty good sized hole. For tomatoes, make it super deep. You’ll see why in the next tip. Push the triangles from your cut down to the sides. Next, fill it about 3/4ths up with dirt. Make a little hole in the middle and insert your plant. Then take more dirt and fill it all the way up and around the top. I totally forgot to take a finished picture, sorry!
The next trick is on tomatoes. Tomatoes seem to be a different veggie from the rest. I guess because they are techincally fruits, right? Anyways, there is a trick to planting tomatoes so they grow into large sucessful fruit barrers.
This are my little roma tomato plants. They look really sad.
Take the baby plant and find the lower stems coming off of it. The ones I’m pointing to are the ones to look for.
Now, I’ve decided that I want to take more off. I want all of them that aren’t at the top.
Again, for some reason, I forgot to take a final photo. What makes tomatoes different from other plants is that you can bury them super deep. Right up to those top stems. Although I try to keep a few inches of stem out. By picking the lower stems off, you are encouring the plant to make new roots, thus creating a better plant.
My final tip is actually a super frugal one. Dirt isn’t super expensive if you hit a good deal, but buying a lot of it does add up. So, I add fillers into my pots. Fun fact: using rocks as fillers is a terrible idea. Not that I would know or anything….
Instead of using rocks, use the plastic pots you get your plants/flowers in! We always buy a ton of flowers, although this year it was my sister in law buying a crap ton of flowers. So just take the flowers out of the pots, put them aside, and throw those empties into the pot! I like to fill it up about half way. I even fill the little pots up with at least one filler.
With a ton of fillers, you use less dirt!
Do you have any gardening tips? What makes your garden grow?