Gardening tips during Covid 19 pandemic | Daily News

Gardening tips during Covid 19 pandemic

Clean up your yard

Before you start planning, start preparing your yard for a successful garden by raking up leaves, picking up branches, and cleaning up from the winter elements (depending on where you live). Be cautious of animal nests as several species may burrow in leaf matter. While some communities have already made changes to recycling regulations, several are also suspending yard waste until further notice. To avoid adding extra trash, consider postponing any plans to collect and throw away yard debris, such as leaves or dead grass. If you do clean up your yard, consider starting a compost pile or bag up and store the debris until your local hauler is collecting again. When cleaning up your yard, remember that old gardening hoses are not recyclable and must be discarded appropriately.

Compost

Compost closes the loop. It increases organic matter in the soil to help retain soil moisture and supporting the healthy growth of plants, trees, and vegetable crops. There are several options available for purchase online for both indoor and outdoor compost bins. You can even start your composting experience with a water bottle.

Reuse

Certain types of organic kitchen waste, like coffee grounds, can add important nutrients that your soil needs. Mixing coffee grounds into your soil can balance the alkalinity of your soil, deter pests such as slugs and snails, and grounds are a nice treat for earthworms. Banana peels are a great source of potassium to help produce healthy, beautiful roses. Cut up the peels and put them around the base of your plant – there is no need to even compost them first. Eggshells can also be washed and crushed to provide a source of calcium for roses – just mix slightly into the dirt or they can also be added to compost for a calcium boost. With increased online orders and some recycling collection systems overloaded or suspended, use corrugated cardboard to help combat weeds – just lay them over the soil and cover with mulch. The practice not only helps keep the weeds out but also helps keep moisture in the soil.

Test your soil

It is helpful to know the soil type, the quality, and the pH balance of your soil. A simple test can help you determine which plants might be best supported in your soil type. The type of soil you have, and your geography, will determine which native species will thrive in your location and can help determine which plants will be able to withstand weather patterns common to your region.

Start small

If you don’t have a lot of gardening experience or live in an urban environment without a lot of space, gardening can seem like a daunting or impossible task. But by starting small and planting in a container, making a window box with herbs, or making a vertical garden on your balcony, you can easily add green to any space. No matter the size, ensure your plants will be provided sunlight throughout the day. If you’re just getting started, call your local nursery or garden center (note: some may be closed) to learn how to “plant right” by putting the right plant in the right place at the right time.

Grow your own food

Now is the perfect time to consider planting fruits and vegetables at home. Growing food at home not only could help you skip some trips to the grocery store, but it could also provide some much-needed stress relief. If starting from seeds, keep in mind that the seeds do not need to be organic; it is all about the growing technique. -kab.org