We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
A yard with a carpet of lush, green grass, stereotypically bordered by a white picket fence, has long been part of the dream of homeownership. Green Thumb. Once there's something green, people are often reluctant to get rid of it. As any homeowner can attest, that green grass sometimes is more of a pain than it's worth.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: HOW TO GROW GRASSContent:
- Grassless garden ideas – no-mow alternatives to lawn and turf that are easy to look after
- Follow These 10 Essential Steps to Start Your First Garden Off Right
- Gardening Australia
- Starting a new vegetable patch
- How to Start a New Garden Where Grass Is Growing
- Weeding 101: How to Weed Your Garden
- How to plant grass seed: A simple guide to success
- The Only Tools You Need to Start a Garden
- 10 Garden Design Ideas for Small Gardens
- How to Remove Grass to Start a Garden (without weeds)
Grassless garden ideas – no-mow alternatives to lawn and turf that are easy to look after
The plants you choose to grow will have varying needs and will respond differently to particular types of soil. In addition, the soil may vary in depth, texture, and quality, even from one location to another on the same property. For example, a soil that differs from the native soil may have been brought to a building site for grading and backfilling around the new foundation.
Soil anchors plant roots and serves as a storehouse for nutrients. It consists of minerals, air, water, organic matter, and microorganisms. The mineral portion is made up of small fragments of rocks that have disintegrated from weathering. The organic portion is composed of plant and animal remains in various stages of decomposition. How much water and air a soil contains depends on the soil's texture and structure.
Soil is composed of three basic mineral particles, of three different sizes. Sand is the largest particle, silt is intermediate, and clay is the smallest. The percentage of each in a soil determines the soil's texture as well as its physical properties Figure 1. An ideal soil texture consists of equal parts of sand, silt, and clay. Simple tests can provide an approximate evaluation of the soil type existing on your property. Clay soils dry slowly and are difficult to cultivate and to work properly.
Extremely sandy soils may lack organic matter and may dry out rapidly. The best soil is a happy medium of these two. To check the texture of your soil, take a moist sample be-tween your fingers and rub them together. Sandy soils tend to be harsh and gritty; clay and silt soils are smooth and some-what slippery.
Another test is to form a ball of moist soil with your hand. If the ball breaks apart when tapped, the soil is said to be on the sandy side. If the ball remains intact when tapped, the soil probably contains more clay and silt than sand. If the soil is either sticky or plastic, and works through your fingers as you form the ball, considerable clay is present. An alternative soil texture test involves filling a quart jar two-thirds full of water, and gradually adding a sample of soil until the water reaches the top of the jar.
Seal, shake, and allow the contents of the jar to settle. Sand will settle first, followed by silt, and then the clay particles. The fine clay particles and organic matter may float. Using a ruler, measure the total depth of soil in the bottom of the container and write down the number of inches of soil.
Next, measure each soil type, then divide that soil type by the total, and multiply by to determine the relative percentage of that soil type in the total sample. For example, say 4 inches of total soil were measured. Multiply the result, 0. Compare your results to the soil textural triangle Figure 1. The more intensive the gardening, especially in vegetable plots or flower beds, the more important it is to take a soil test.Soil test information is particularly valuable if the ground is being planted for the first time and no knowledge of past soil treatment is available.
A soil test is also beneficial if you're developing a permanent landscape. The information it provides allows you to incorporate needed materials before planting. Once a landscape is planted, it is difficult to make significant changes in soil quality.
Testing soil every three to five years is usually adequate for tracking the progress of the cultural and fertilization practices recommended from your last soil test. Soil can be sampled any time that the ground is not frozen, although some times are better than others. Sampling in the early spring or late fall assures that you will have the soil test results and recommendations prior to buying lime and fertilizer.
Late fall sampling will also allow you to beat the rush of commercial growers and farmers, ensuring that you have time to plan your garden or landscaping activities in advance. Sample your soil before buying and applying fertilizer, and avoid sampling immediately after fertilizer applications. A soil probe is the best tool for taking soil samples.
Alter-natively, a shovel, trowel, or soil auger can be used Figure 2. Sample garden soils to the depth of tillage or about 5 to 7 inches. To ensure that the sample is representative of the area, you need a composite sample. Collect small samples from at least five locations in the area and combine them into one sample——a composite sample.
Figure 2. Appropriate sampling tools. A shovel or spade would also work, using the center core, as with the trowel. The Penn State Agricultural Analytical Services Laboratory analyzes all soil samples for pH, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
The laboratory is not designed for routine testing of soil for toxic residues or other possible materials potentially dangerous to plants. Such service may be available through other Penn State facilities or private labs.
You can obtain soil-testing kits from the Penn State Extension office in your community. There is a small fee for the analysis and for fertilizer recommendations. The kit contains an information sheet for each soil sample, which is necessary for making lime and fertilizer recommendations. Be sure to supply all information requested so that useful recommendations can be prepared. Results and recommendations will be sent to you and your county extension agent.
For additional information, consult your county extension office. Organic matter, or humus, is a valuable part of soil. It is the end product of decaying organic matter and the most effective material for improving tilth. When incorporated into soil, humus produces a spongy texture that acts to:. Organic matter may be added to soils in the form of manure, compost, peat moss, peat-humus, spent mushroom com-post, and composted sawdust. Very coarse forms of organic matter, such as chopped brush or shredded tree bark, should be composted one or two years before incorporation.
Alternatively, organic matter may be produced in a vegetable garden or flowerbed by planting winter cover crops, green manure crops, or sod when the land is not being used for gardening. This is an effective way to improve soil conditions. Organic materials used alone seldom supply a balanced source of plant nutrients. Most are low in phosphorus, and decaying straw, leaves, grass clippings, and sawdust can temporarily deplete the soil of available nitrogen.
Reduced amounts of available nitrogen can damage some short-season vegetables and flowers. Regular applications of organic matter and complete fertilizer are essential for garden soils used each year. For ornamental plants and turf areas, incorporating adequate organic matter is even more critical since there is only one opportunity to work it into the soil before planting or seeding.
Once permanent crops are established, it is difficult to incorporate organic matter without injuring plant roots. Green manure crops are plowed under green for their beneficial effect on soil. Green manure crops are crops that are easily established and grow rapidly, producing succulent top growth and roots.
Green manure crops, such as winter rye, winter wheat, oats, barley, and buckwheat, are often plowed under green for their beneficial effect on soil. They are used on vegetable garden soils that lack tilth and that are low in organic matter. A legume-grass mixture is an effective green manure crop. Fall cover crops in the vegetable garden, such as annual rye, ryegrass, or spring oats, should be seeded after the last cultivation of the garden in fall.
The thick growth of the cover crop will also help smother weeds as seeds attempt to germinate in the fall. Cover crops are not useful, however, in either flower or landscape beds.You should seed ryegrass or oats by September 15 in central Pennsylvania, slightly earlier in northern counties. Rye may be seeded later.
Early planting gives good coverage and growth. Do not seed a cover crop later than October 1 if early garden crops are to be planted in the spring. The following spring, before growth is knee-high, incorporate the cover crop into the soil. Dried animal manures supply plant nutrients and are used as an amendment to enrich all soils and crops.
They also aid in soil aeration and provide nutrients for microorganisms living in the soil. Various types of dried animal manures are avail-able from garden supply stores. Apply according to package directions.
Fresh cattle manure should be applied in fall or winter. For most soils, an application of cattle manure at the rate of 50 to pounds per square feet of garden is adequate. Use a phosphate fertilizer and lime in addition to manure to obtain a better balance of plant nutrients. Work the manure into the soil as soon as possible after spreading. This will help conserve nutrients, hasten decomposition of the manure, and minimize odors.
Follow These 10 Essential Steps to Start Your First Garden Off Right
I have Bermuda grass in my yard and it is getting into my garden beds. What do you suggest?. This question is close to my heart. I bought a house a couple of years ago, and the yard is filled—FILLED—with Bermuda grass that the former owner must have purposely seeded into the lawn. For me, Bermuda grass presents a mind-boggling obstacle to pleasurable gardening. Bermuda grass laughs at your thorough weeding job and respects no boundaries. It quickly and ceaselessly overtakes your garden beds without any regard for your prospective harvest.
Any lawn will look better after it's given a sharp edge where it meets plant beds. Use a spade or long-handled edging tool rather than a shovel.
Log In. There is a PDF version of this document for downloading and printing. Vegetable gardening is becoming more popular—both as a pastime and a food source. We experience satisfaction in planting a seed or transplant, watching it grow to maturity, and harvesting the fruits of our labors. In addition, vegetable gardening offers a good source of exercise, with the added benefits of healthy snacks and food for the table. Vegetable gardening consists of selecting a site, planning the garden, preparing the soil, choosing the seeds and plants, planting a crop, and nurturing the plants until they are ready for harvest. The end result is fresh produce to eat, share, or sell. Anyone who is willing to invest some time every day or two to nurture the plants can grow a vegetable garden.
Starting a new vegetable patch
Photo by: Image courtesy of Felder Rushing. Like so many other aspects of gardening, the key to keeping grass out of your garden beds is to plan ahead and remain vigilant. Once grass gets a foothold in your beds, you're in store for a tough battle. Steel edging is tough, says James, and although it's a little expensive, it will last for decades, which makes it a genuine bargain.
Before you ever put a spade in the soil or drop a seed in the ground, you need to sit down and think about what you want to achieve in your vegetable garden.
How to Start a New Garden Where Grass Is Growing
Weeding 101: How to Weed Your Garden
Many readers ask how to remove grass for a garden bed. The best time to do this project is in the fall. This gives the soil time to recover and get nourished by organic amendments compost over the fall and winter and early spring. This will also make it easy to space plants out at exactly the right distance, saving you time thinning out rows of seedlings. See our full video showing you how to create a no-dig garden. Use the power of the Sun! Cover the area with a clear or black plastic tarp; the ground beneath the plastic will heat up so high that it will scorch living grass, as well as weeds, seeds, and soil bacteria. Within about four weeks, your grass should be dead and beginning to break down.
Upgrading your front yard to a vegetable garden is sure to raise a few After all, there's not much that's "natural" about a front lawn.
How to plant grass seed: A simple guide to success
Skip to content. Do your vegetable plants have leaves with holes chewed in them? Are the holes big or small?
The Only Tools You Need to Start a GardenRELATED VIDEO: How To Plant Grass Seed - EASY Tips On How To Plant Grass Seed
One of the first steps to making your own vegetable garden or new flower beds is to remove the grass from your yard. In this guide I will show you five methods how to remove grass from your lawn with pictures. If you plan on doing any digging at all more than an inch or two you should check with your utility company to make sure there are no dangers. Electrical supply lines, cable, internet, water, gas……if you hit any of these with a shovel you could be liable for damage.
A lawn is an area where grass is grown as a green carpet for a landscape and is the basic feature of any garden. It serves to enhance the beauty of the garden, be it larger or smaller.
10 Garden Design Ideas for Small Gardens
Discover our growing range of nursery plants, from succulents, to full trees. Everything you need to get your next gardening project off the ground. All the essential materials your garden needs to flourish from the very start. From DIY weekenders, to full building and landscaping projects, we have you covered. The grass tree is a slow-growing native plant identifiable by its iconic foliage, which forms a skirt around the centre of the plant.
How to Remove Grass to Start a Garden (without weeds)
Cover crops form a living mulch in gardens because they grow thickly among each other. They help reduce soil splash and erosion, and keep weeds in check. Green manures include legumes such as vetch, clover, beans and peas; grasses such as annual ryegrass, oats, rapeseed, winter wheat and winter rye; and buckwheat. Some gardeners sow cover crops plants in spring, especially in new garden plots to improve the soil and choke out weeds.