Do you start each year with big dreams of a robust garden as far as the eye can see? But then, do you come up a bit short when looking at the results? While some might say it’s because you don’t have a green thumb, that’s only a myth. Instead, you don’t have all the info you need to transform a plot of land into a thriving garden. Fortunately, you can change that this season by incorporating these gardening tips.
Know Your Zone
The United States is broken up into USDA Hardiness Zones, and it’s essential to choose plants based on yours. Roanoke’s USDA Hardiness Zones are 7a and 7b, meaning you need to choose perennials, shrubs, and trees that thrive in these areas. You can review the best plants ahead of time or check the tag or website when buying plants. Then you’ll know if you should bring a plant home or let someone else take it.
Work with the Growing Season
The growing season begins right after the final frost of spring hits and ends as soon as the first frost of fall arrives. If plants need longer than what’s available during that window to grow, you’ll need to start the process indoors. If that’s not possible, it’s best to avoid growing those plants since they’re unlikely to survive if they have to do all their growing outside.
Be Aware of the Sunlight
Sunlight is a gardener’s best friend, and it’s helpful to know the sun’s patterns when planning a garden. Then position your veggies to receive eight hours or more of direct sunlight. On the other side of the coin, cool-season crops like cabbage and radishes prefer relaxing in some shade. They still need some sun, but like most people in the heat of summer, shaded breaks are appreciated from time to time.
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Fight the Weeds
If sunlight is your best friend, weeds might be your worst enemy. They can take over a garden in a flash, squeezing out your plants. While that’s a common occurrence in gardens, it doesn’t have to be. You can keep the weeds at bay with the proper strategy.
First, deep hoeing can drag buried weed seeds up to the surface of the soil. Once there, they’ll germinate and wreak havoc in your garden. Thus, don’t go too deep into the soil when tending to your garden. Also, make a habit of weeding early in the season, and lay down mulch to cut off the air supply.
Keep these tips in mind during every stage of developing and caring for your garden. With the right strategies, you can finally grow the garden of your dreams. Then you’ll see that green thumbs truly are myths.
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