2 Tips To Help Make Your Gardening Easier This Year
Each spring, you have an empty garden plot to prepare the soil for use and to plant the new season's garden. With the right gardening and yard tools, your gardening work can be easier and cost you less for maintenance. Here are two tips to help make your gardening experience simpler this year.
Rototill Your Garden Soil
Melting snow and winter rains can compact your soil and make it hard, which can require a lot of time with a shovel to break up the soil. If you don't own a rototiller, you can rent one for a couple hours to prepare the soil in your garden for planting.
When you till your garden soil, it pulls up weeds and returns them to the soil as compost. Tilling also loosens your garden soil to make it easier to work for planting and adds oxygen into the soil. And, tilling is a good chance to mix any fertilizers into your soil. Sprinkle the fertilizer over the top of your garden soil and then till it through to get it distributed evenly.
You should till your garden in the spring when the soil has dried out enough. When you squeeze a handful of soil into a ball and release it, the soil should fall apart. If the soil stays clumped together, it is still too wet. Your soil should also be at least 60 degrees F before you can till and plant anything. If you don't have a thermometer to test it, use your finger to test its warmth. If you can poke your finger into the soil and leave it there for one minute without your finger becoming uncomfortably cold, your soil is warm enough.
Use a Wood Chipper to Make Free Mulch
By renting a wood chipper, you can turn all your dead and fallen tree branches into beneficial mulch for your garden. Most regular-sized wood chippers will easily chop up branches two to three inches in diameter. If you have larger branches to chip, up to six inches in diameter, you can rent a larger wood chipper that is pulled on a trailer.
Throughout the year, collect pieces of tree branches trimmed from your trees or fallen to the ground. Then, you can chip them into small chips of wood with a wood chipper to make your own mulch. This can save you a lot of money instead of buying bagged mulch and it helps recycle old tree branches.
If your yard contains pine trees, you can also add in pine needles into your mulch mixture to give your soil added nutrients. When the pine needles in your wood chip mulch decompose, they add calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus back into the soil.
While planting your garden, cover the ground around your garden plants with a layer of mulch. The mulch will create a barrier over the soil to help keep in moisture. This barrier helps conserve water as you will have to water less frequently because the hot sun won't be able to dry out the soil as quickly with the layer of mulch. The mulch layer barrier also makes it more difficult for weeds to take root in your garden soil. Then, if weeds do begin to grow in your mulch-covered soil, they will have a difficult time getting the necessary sunlight they need to grow beneath the mulch.
Make sure you don't mulch any diseased tree branches or branches containing seeds that you don't want growing in your garden. Also, don't chip up any wood that has been chemically treated as the chemicals can kill your garden plants.
Use these tips or click here for info on rental equipment to till your garden soil and protect it with free mulch from nature's elements.