Gardening Guide

181 Home Gardening Section


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181 Home Gardening Article

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181-Home Gardening


Home Gardening is growing in popularity. One in three families does some type of home gardening, with the majority of gardens being in urban areas. To be a successful home gardener requires following a few basic rules and making practical decisions.

Many urban gardeners have little choice, but an area that is exposed to either full or almost full sunlight, with deep, well drained fertile soil is perfect. The location should be near a water outlet and free of competition from any existing shrubs or trees.

As a home gardener, one the first major decisions is deciding what to grow. Proper variety selection is an important key to successful home gardening. The wrong variety may not produce satisfactory yields regardless of subsequent care or attention. If your garden is not in an area that receives full or almost full sunlight, you can always try leafy crops such as leaf lettuce, mustard and parsley.

A gardener needs to plan for their home gardening just as an architect does for their building. Plants need to be grouped according their rate of maturity.
Many gardens do not have deep, well drained, fertile soil which is ideal for home gardening, so the soil needs to be altered to provide good drainage and aeration. Never work wet garden soil. To test is the soil is suitable for working, squeeze a small handful of soil together. If it sticks together in a ball and does not readily crumble under slight pressure by the thumb and finger, it is too wet for working.

Seeds germinate better in well-prepared soil than in coarse, lumpy soil. An ideal soil for planting with your home gardening is granular, and not powdery fine. Proper fertilization is another important factor-the amount of fertilizer needed will depend on soil type and crops. Once you have determined the proper amount of fertilizer for a pre-plant application, apply the fertilizer a few days before planting.

Plant your garden as early as possible in the spring and fall so the plants will grow and mature during ideal conditions. Gardens need plenty of watering so that the water can penetrate the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. For the best production, most gardens will require a moisture supply equivalent to 1 inch of rain a week during the growing season.

A long-handled hoe is the best tool for the control of any undesirable plants, such as weeds. Mulching will increase the growth of your home gardening and it will conserve moisture, prevent weed growth and regulate soil temperature.