Your garden can be a decorative feature of your yard, enticing you to pick the fresh vegetables and even spend time weeding, watering and caring for your plants. Here are some ideas for how to make your garden an oasis!
Creating a raised bed is a secret of more advanced gardeners that you can do too. It takes a bit of strength to carry railroad ties or other lumber into place, drive metal rods in to reinforce the lumber once the dirt is in place, and of course, pile the soil in to create the bed. You’ll find that it is easier to mow around the edges of a raised garden as well, and you can work from the sides with less bending over.
If you think ‘natural fertilizer’ means smelly manure, think again! There are bags of dried manure available which have little or no smell and give a great boost to your plants. Some areas have sheep and other manure as well as cow manure, select what is best for the plants you are planning to plant.
A traditional way to keep pests away from your garden is to plan marigolds, especially around tomato plants. It adds a little color to the garden as well, and you might find that you want to create a little ‘flower space’ in the garden area as well.
If you have the space and love cats, you can plant catnip in an area on the edge of the garden. Cats that love catnip will roll around in it and go nuts, so keep it a little bit away from the vegetables! It’s a beautiful and unusual way to enhance your garden. Beware – catnip tends to return pretty aggressively each year, so make sure you’ve got a dedicated space for it.
If you’re growing tomatoes and remember the family garden with scrap wood stakes and bedsheet ties, look for ‘tomato cages’ which will help you guide and support your tomato plants as they grow. These are cone-shaped metal cages which stick into the ground. As the tomato plants grow (some grow very large, and the tomatoes can be heavy!) you can use the tomato cage wires to support the branches of the plant. You may find the metallic appearance of some tomato cages less attractive, so consider using some outdoor spray paint to harmonize them with your garden in green or white – or even red!