Make this┬áthe year of gardening success! It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced gardener or a novice, almost anyone can successfully start and maintain a garden if they plan ahead and follow accordingly. Gardening is really just a science that lets you grow and enjoy some of nature’s finest bounty. If you are serious about becoming a better gardener, here are some tips and ideas to consider. These seven tips will inspire you to break out of the shell and try something new this year.

1) Start your own organic garden. It’s simple to do, just plant the seeds and let nature to the rest. All you really need to do is skip synthetic products or fertilizers, and opt for organic fertilizers instead.

2) Try the holistic approach to pest removal: You don’t have to be an organic gardener to utilize natural or holistic methods of pest removal. Think about buying a small can or case of ladybugs, natural predators to scale insects or aphids. And since many birds are predators to common bugs and larvae, you could buy a bird house or bird feeder to attract birds to your garden.

3) Prevent fungi from developing on seedlings: Protect your plants from future damage by cleaning off the seedling with a little bit of chamomile tea. Apply this on the soil surrounding the base of the seedlings. Reapply at least once a week or as needed.

4) Consider growing your own mulch: Save time by planting sorghum, an annual plant that makes terrific mulch. Let this tall grain grow to their full height of six feet and cut. Apply the cut grains to the soil and use as mulch.

5) Check your soil frequently: Plants and flowers need good soil, so be sure to check your garden’s soil every so often with a pH checking kit. If you plan on growing a new kind of plant, vegetable, or flower, you may want to send a soil sample to a local gardening or agriculture center. Many places will check your soil and give you a report for a small fee.

6) Start enjoying cut flowers longer: You can enjoy fresh cut flowers longer by dissolving a small tablet of aspirin or Bayer in the vase of water.

7) Moisturize the soil prior to planting seeds: Don’t just throw seeds into dry soil; moisturize it with a little water first. Carefully add in the seeds and space them out evenly. Make sure you place the seeds deep enough, about three times the size of the expected plant because it needs room to grow.

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