Let’s Get This Garden Started
Whether you have one window box or an acre of land, it's never too early to start thinking about next summer's garden. Check out these great gardening tips to get a jump on growing season.
Mini Seed Starters
If you like to grow plants from seed, here's a great use for the clear plastic containers tomatoes and other produce come in. Make them into mini greenhouses! The containers have holes for air and drainage, so all you need to do is add soil and plant the seeds. When the seedlings grow tall, leave the lid open until it's time to transplant them into the garden. You can reuse the containers year after year.
Potted Plant Transport
Give vegetable and flower seedlings an early growth spurt this spring. Place seedling trays in a mini greenhouse—an upside-down transparent storage container. Just put the lid in a warm, sunny location, load it with trays, then snap on the container. For greater air circulation, drill a few 3/8-in. holes in the sides of the box or let it rest loosely on the lid.
Here's how to make flower pots, vases, planters, boxes or almost any not-quite-flat-bottom object sit flat on the floor without scratching or slipping. Apply four blobs of acrylic caulk to the bottom, and let them dry until they're almost set. Then turn over the object and place it on a sheet of wax paper until the caulk cures. You'll get four stable feet.
Not Calling Before Digging
Install Flower Boxes
Few projects add as much charm and color to a house as flowers in window boxes. Build your own window box or buy one from a garden center. These work best when mounted below double-hung, slide-by or stationary windows?casement and other swing-out window sashes will decapitate the flowers. Use a plastic liner to prolong the life of the planter and simplify fall cleanup. Easier yet, arrange container gardens in pots and planters on the front stoop or along the walkway.
Plant a Tree
Plant Hardy Ground Covers in Shady Areas
Grass is a sun-loving plant. It typically needs six to eight hours of sunlight daily for good health. While several shade-tolerant species may do OK under trees and in other sheltered spots, it's more likely that you'll end up with weeds, scraggly grass and bare ground. It's much better to plant a shade garden or a shade-tolerant ground cover that in a few years will blanket the area like a green carpet. And you won't have to mow. A local nursery expert will advise you on which plants and ground covers do best in your region.