A gardenless yard is a blank canvas, in my eyes. We all have an idea of what the perfect garden should look like. Some envision a perennial garden filled with roses, for some, it may be an edible garden, and others, a container garden for the patio filled with lovely flowers.

To help you make your dream garden a reality, there are some tips and tricks that master gardeners have shared to help your garden grow. To begin, one of the most important tips is to understand how much sunlight your garden area will receive. Some plants prefer light shade, and some prefer full sun; and, depending on the season the sun can move to another area of the yard. As well, every gardener should have a garden plan. Know where you want the plants to be planted before they go into the ground. For example, if plants are vining varieties, make sure you have given them plenty of room so they do not overtake parts of the garden where other plants are growing.

10 Tips To Help You Grow Your Dream Garden

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt to the planting hole and cover with a thin layer of soil and plant. Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfur which are both important to plant growth. Moreover, once the young plant roots reach the Epsom salt added to the planting hole, it will help improve flower blooming and enhances a plant’s green color and can even help plants grow bushier. Alternately, Epsom salt can be added prior to planting. Simply soak root balls in 1/2 cup of Epsom salt diluted in one gallon of water.
  2. Naturally get rid of insects on your plants by making a garlic-hot chili foliage spray. Because insects do not like the smell of pungent leaves, the chili pepper spray will repel them. For a basic chili pepper spray, add 1½ teaspoons of chili powder, 1 chopped garlic head, 2 drops of liquid dish soap to 1 quart of hot water. Allow mixture to sit for 30 minutes, or until cool. Drain mixture and add to a spray bottle. Test the mixture on a few leaves to ensure the foliar spray does not burn the plant. If the leaves do not turn yellow or are affected, then spray the plant.
  3. Make a natural version of Miracle Grow. In a large mason jar, add 6 crushed eggshells, used coffee grounds, a banana peel and fill it with water. Place the mixture in an area not exposed to sunlight and shake daily for a week. Strain the mixture and feed your plants with it. This provides a natural fertilizer for the plants without all of the nasty chemicals.
  4. If you are planting in small pots, place a coffee filter in the bottom to prevent soil from draining out the holes.
  5. Make your own seed tape –
  6. Insulate tomatoes from end-of-the-season cold snaps with plastic wrap. Wrap tomato cages in a layer of plastic wrap around the sides and top. This will protect young tomatoes from cold weather but still allow for air circulation.
  7. Use a wad of shipping tape to remove aphids from tender leaves.
  8. Mulch your plants with several inches deep with organic matter to suppress weeds and maintain good water retention.
  9. Do you have to head out of town and have no one to water your container garden? If you have a kiddie pool, set the plants inside the pool filled with water. This could keep your plants watered for up to a week!
  10. Common baking soda can help reduce powdery mildew on plants. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to one gallon of water and water affected plants.

Do you have a favorite gardening tip? Leave it in the comments and help the garden community!