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Wallet-Friendly Ways to Nurture Your Garden Soil
Both topsoil and garden soil are widely available, making it tough to decide what’s best for the garden. Good topsoil is loamy, with a mix of clay, silt, and sand. It has the nutrients and minerals needed to help plants grow. Quality topsoil doesn’t retain too much water and is easy to till for mixing with existing soil. And since it’s so nutrient-rich, it doesn’t have to be mixed with much fertilizer, making it a cost-effective choice for gardens, lawns, and landscaping needs.
It’s easy to cut costs even further by enjoying bulk soil delivery in Ontario. Save on trips to the store and enjoy bulk discounts while getting enough topsoil to meet the garden’s needs throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Better yet, split a bulk purchase with neighbors so everyone gets the topsoil they need at a fraction of the cost.
Garden soils differ from topsoil because they are mixed for specific plants or garden-types. That means it’s important to choose the right mix or the garden will fail to thrive. Garden soil is usually more expensive than topsoil.
One way to save money in your garden is by saving and reusing bulbs from year to year. Small, resilient bulbs, like snowdrops, crocus, scilla, and grape hyacinth are good choices for reusing. Larger hyacinth and daffodils that have been grown in topsoil can also be saved. If you have bulbs that have been grown in water, they, unfortunately, cannot be saved. In Ontario, the cooler climate temperatures and long spring give more finicky bulbs, like tulips, a better chance of returning.
To start, trim off dead buds and leave the foliage totally intact. This will save the plant energy so it doesn’t feed dead buds. Put the bulb in a container indoors by a sunny window or leave it outside in a spot where it’s protected from the elements. Water as usual.
Once the leaves have begun to wither and die, allow the soil to dry out. Put the pot in a cool, dry place like a basement, garage, or shed. If you don’t have the storage space for a row of pots, take the bulbs out of the soil and clear off the dead leaves. Store the bulbs in a paper or mesh bag made of coir.
Plant your bulbs outside before the first fall frost blankets the ground.
If you’re not sure about saving bulbs, you can still save money by buying seeds instead of plants. Starting a plant from seed takes patience and depending on the plant species, it may take a couple of years to have a sizable, flowering plant. The price of seeds is usually much lower than the price of a cell pack of annuals.
If you buy a bulk pack of seeds, consider hosting a seed exchange with friends who garden. Each person can buy bulk seed packs to save money and then exchange their extra seeds with other people. This gives your garden greater variety without the extravagant cost of dozens of partially-used seed packets.
There are many wallet-friendly ways to nurture your garden without skimping on the beautiful blooms and vegetables.
Lawn Care and Cutting Tips
For many generations, a well-kept lawn has been a source of great pride and an outlet for a number of outdoor activities to homeowners. Likewise for gardeners. When tending to your lawn, it is important to remember that there are a number of basic, useful tips to follow in order to get the quality lawn you desire. Considerations range from mowing strategies to healthy watering habits. If cared for properly, a lawn can contribute to an added level of character to a home or property. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking after your personal unit of grass:
Not unlike the people who own them, lawns require regular trims. A misconception among lawn up-keep is that if your lawn is mowed short it requires more time before it is needed to be cut again, therefore reducing the amount of labor involved. However, it would do the owner well to strictly cut the top third of the grass blades. This is done by raising the blade of the lawnmower as high as it is capable of being set. This offers the ground more shade, which prevents the lawn from drying out and burning. Additionally, a little less sunlight hinders the growth of weeds – which is one of the peskiest problems that lawn owners can potentially be tasked with. In the warm Summer months, a lawn will require more regular cuts, as it grows faster. In the cooler Fall months when the growth process noticeably slows down, your mowing habits should follow suit.
A deceptively good technique to help promote a healthy lawn is proper oxygen circulation. Aeration is the process of poking a generous amount of holes throughout the lawn to increase air flow. Grass needs its natural nutrients to remain strong and ripe.
It’s important to fertilize your lawn at least twice a year, with spring and fall being the prime seasons. Coincidentally, these seasons fall just before the hottest and coldest seasons of the year. In some cases, there is an added benefit to fertilizing between both seasons in the summer. It is also important to take into account what type of soil you are feeding. Prevent over-feeding, as it can harm the grass’ growth process. Basic fertilizers will replenish important elements to the soil and it is best to keep a hungry lawn fed.
One of the most essential aspects of lawn care. It isn’t beneficial to over-water your lawn, but when you do – roughly once a week – it is best to soak the soil deeply. This allows the grassroots to grow deeper into the soil, while also avoiding unsightly thatch. Unless you’re tending to a freshly seeded lawn, you’re required to keep watering to a minimum for best results.
It takes a very conscientious year-round effort, for the most part. Remembering how your lawn will adapt to what season you’re caring for it in is imperative. Consistent maintenance is necessary in order to keep a lush lawn, but the benefits are definitely rewarding!