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Thursday, May 14, 2015

5 Things You Need For a Successful Garden

I received products to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

It is Spring! That means it is time to get those gardens growing. Here in Minnesota we have to wait a few more weeks to really feel safe about it not frosting overnight, but we have already started our planting indoors. If you are on the fence about whether you want to put the effort in, here are five benefits of gardening you may not know!

This is our 5th year having a home garden, and we have learned a lot along the way. Let me share with you a few tips and a few products that will help you to have your best garden yet!

1. First of all, you need somewhere to plant. Maybe you do not have a big backyard. That is okay. You can still garden. I love using the Big Bag Bed when I run out of room in my garden space or if I just want raised beds. The Big Bag Beds make raised bed gardening so easy! Just unfold the bed, fill it with soil and plant—no construction is necessary. 


They are made of a porous fabric which is great for keeping your plants at the perfect temperature - warming in spring and releasing excess heat in summer. They are durable and weatherproof, lasting for years and providing many seasons of delicious produce, herbs, or beautiful flowers. We are currently using our Big Bag Beds for herbs: cilantro, chives, basil. One more tip: these are also great to put any place where you want to mat down your grass and not have to cut it.

The circular Big Bag Bed is available in three sizes: Original, Junior and Mini. We keep our smallest one right on our deck, so I can go pick fresh herbs anytime of the day to use in my cooking. Everyone can garden with Big Bag Beds. You will love them! Prices for the award-winning Big Bag Beds range from $14.95 to $48.95 depending on size and color. For more information got to www.bigbagbed.com.

2. Next, it is time to start planting your seeds. Like I said before, we have to wait until the end of May to get our outdoor garden all planted, because of the chance of frost. But, you can always start plants growing inside. I love using Botanical Interests’ Recycled Paperboard Pots to plant early inside. They are made from 100% recycled, food‑grade paperboard, using low-water and low‑energy methods. 

Simply “pop” open the small paperboard pot, fill it with soil and plant your favorite seed variety. We planted our tomatoes and squash early in these, since they take a longer time to grow. I love that the pots have a perforated bottom that tears away easily, allowing you to place the entire pot in the ground, minimizing root disturbance when transplanting seedlings. Then, the remaining paperboard breaks down in the garden soil or compost pile. Genius, right? Find these awesome paperboard pots in packs of six for $2.99 at local garden centers and on their website.

3. It is time to fertilize! Most of the time our backyard soil is not the best to grow a successful garden with. We have dealt with really sandy soil, dry, with not enough nutrients. We have used our compost over the years to try to make our soil healthier. It has made a difference, but if you want really healthy plants, sometimes you need more. This year, we are trying Worm Power, a premium-quality organic fertilizer made by millions of earthworms. Worm Power Organic Plant Food increases soil fertility and improves plant vigor, root growth and nutrient availability. We have been having trouble with our tomatoes the last couple of years, and I have high hopes that this is going to help!

You can add Worm Power fertilizer to your outdoor garden, and I think it works especially well added to old potting soils to revitalize the tired, depleted soil. It works naturally and effectively on vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, grape vines and house plants. We are even adding it to our rhubarb, little apple tree, and blackberry bush. It is safe, easy to use, and will make a difference in your soil. In fact, Worm Power delivers a guaranteed NPK analysis of 1.5 - 0.7 - 1.5, plus abundant micronutrients and a robust community of beneficial soil microorganisms. To give you an idea of how much you need - one pound of Worm Power fertilizes up to 16 transplants and can be mixed with potting mix at a 10-15% ratio. Find it in 1-pound, 3-pound and 15-pound packages for $6.95 to $29.95 from Harris Seeds.

4. Garden without all the hassle. I cannot tell you how many times I go out to garden in my sandals, only to find, when I am done, that my feet are now black with dirt. Instead of having to use a hose and clean my feet off outside, it is so much easier to have garden-friendly shoes to wear for gardening or playing outside with my kids. Sloggers are the perfect waterproof shoes and boots, and they are super cute too!
I love how easy these are to slip on, and yet they still keep your whole foot clean. They have deep treads to help you move around without slipping on mud or wet grass. I also love the tall boots, which are perfect for puddle-jumping with the kids, walks in the rain, or slogging around your muddy garden.

They are both very comfortable! The best part is that cleaning them is super easy - just hose them off! I also love that the sole contains up to 50% recycled material. When you’re finished with your shoes or boots you can send them back to Sloggers and the company will recycle them in the making of a new pair. I only wish all shoe companies offered this!
Women’s shoes and boots are available in full sizes 6-10. (Half sizes should round up and order a pair of “Half-Sizer Cut-to-Fit Insoles” to make any Sloggers® boot or shoe ½ size smaller.) You will love all the fun styles and patterns you can choose from. I personally love the polka dots, zebra print, and houndstooth patterns. These awesome Garden Shoes sell for $34.99 and boots sell for $39.99 in garden stores and on their website.  

5. When you have your awesome garden planted and growing, you need to be prepared for pests! Our biggest pests are bunnies and hungry deer. While I love the wildlife coming to visit us, I do not like how they destroy my garden. Last year, they ate my cucumbers, squash, apple tree blossoms, and peas. Not this year!! I am ready. I have Summit Deer Ban repellent capsules to keep those deer, and maybe even the rabbits, away!

No worries! These are very simple to use. Just set out the capsules on the ground every 10 to 20 feet around the plants you want to protect. Then water the capsules to release the active ingredient for up to 90 days of protection. When activated by water, the polymer gel releases the scent of predator urine, which keeps deer away. The scent is odorless to humans, and your hands never touch the active ingredient. There’s no messy spraying, and no mixing or measuring. Since the active ingredient is activated by water, you do not have to worry about it washing away in the water. Find Summit Deer Ban in packages of 20, 50 and 150 capsules at fine garden centers and on their website.

To protect against insects and other pests, I use Shaklee Basic H2. I add equal parts Basic H2 and water to a bottle and spray it wherever I want those pests to stay away. It is completely safe, natural, and nontoxic. In fact, it is so gentle you can use it on your skin, but for some reason, insects do not like it. 

Now that you have some great gardening tips and products that will help your garden succeed, it is time to get outside and grow your own food and flowers. There is nothing like working hard in your garden and then reaping the benefits!

6 comments:

  1. I'd love to have the bag bed. Not much room at my house.
    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rabbits are our biggest nemesis. They love melons. They eat the whole thing, and they don't even wait until they are ripe!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are all great tips! We don't get as many deer around here, but we sure have a lot of rabbits!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this Big Bag Bed and all your great tips. I don't have a garden this year, but if I have another opportunity, I would love to try this - great they come in different sizes - and the good deer repellent, too, good to know!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had not heard of Big Bag Bed for gardening until now. What a great idea. It makes having a small flower garden easy and manageable. Thanks for all your great tips.

    ReplyDelete
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