When it comes to having your own home, you need to pay attention to the outdoor area as well. You’ll find that the care of your garden can actually become a hobby once you really get into it.
Gardening is a fun and enriching activity that benefits your mental and physical health and allows you to become self-sufficient by growing fruits and vegetables as well.
While these health gains might not be fresh news to gardening enthusiasts, gardening is actually classified as a form of ‘moderate exercise’ and you can reap the same benefits from this pastime as the ones you get from going to the gym. Spending time in nature can also help boost your immunity.
If your interest in gardening stems from the fact that you can grow your own organic food, you might also want to find out about hacks that will help you grow your plants faster and healthier. Here are some of the hacks that can greatly help even if you don’t have the proverbial green thumb:
Pick a Suitable Location
As humans need food to grow and be healthy, the same goes for plants needing sunlight and water. Plants synthesize their food from sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. While almost all plants require sunlight to grow, some plants differ in their growth requirements.
Some plants need a minimum of 6 hours of daily sunlight to grow, while others require less than that. Picking a suitable location where your plant can get the maximum amount of sunlight according to its need is essential for its growth.
Other plants thrive in shade, and so knowing the type of plant you’re growing is important, as too much or too little sunlight can have the opposite to your desired effect.
Plants need suitable nutrients from the soil to be able to grow properly. Soil is the most common growing medium for plants but not all soils contain the required nutrients, and for that reason, soils need to be treated with fertilizers.
Fertilizers contain minerals like carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen and plants require these nutrients to grow faster and healthier. An all-purpose type of fertilizer is a triple 13 fertilizer, which is suitable for home gardens.
The all-purpose fertilizer needs to be applied frequently though, and should never be applied on wet grass. You can also use compost made from composted fruits and vegetables as these natural fertilizers provide rich nutrients to the soil.
Water Your Plants
Gardening goes without saying that you should water your plants. Water is essential to life, and without it, your plants cannot thrive.
While there is no hard and fast rule to tell how much water your plant needs, there is such a thing as “killing with kindness”. Contrary to popular opinion, overwatering can actually kill your plants. Research your plant type and its water requirements so that you don’t overdo the watering part. Other plants like cacti and succulents on average require less water, while ferns need watering twice a week.
The use of banana peels in your garden is a hack that can help you grow your rose bushes faster. Bananas are rich in potassium and you can add banana peels to your compost or soil mix to provide potassium-rich soil to your rose plant.
Using eggshells for plant growth is another hack that you can use. Eggshells are rich in calcium, and by using ground eggshells, you can provide this essential nutrient to the soil. Eggshells neutralize the acidic pH of the soil and provide more oxygen to the soil.
Certain calcium-rich vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower can benefit from this extra calcium source. Eggshells also help protect plants against slugs and other pests, so they can function as an organic, cost-effective pesticide.
Keep Pests Away
Using traditional pesticides that contain organophosphorus compounds can be dangerous to plants and humans. Instead of using pesticides, try to keep those pesky bugs away from your seedlings by using plastic forks and soap shavings.
Plastic forks act as ‘scarecrows’ to any wandering pest, and the odd-shaped plastic sticking out from the soil can also scare any other small animals like squirrels that might want to eat your plant. Another alternative is to use soap flakes that can also help to keep pests away. Instead of tossing away eggshells after breakfast, dry them out and see the magic happen in your garden.
Given the many benefits of gardening, you might want to pick up this hobby during the summer. Though you may not be someone blessed with a green thumb, using these tips as your guide can help you grow healthy plants in no time. You will not only improve your physical and mental well-being but will also be able to enjoy the benefits of having home-grown organic food.