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Category: Gardening Tips

How Deep Should a Raised Garden Bed Be

Raised garden beds are a great way to improve your garden. You can grow more food with less work, which is a wonderful thing. The beauty of raised beds is that they’re completely customizable, so you can decide exactly how deep they should be. You can read tons of books about raised garden beds and try to decide for yourself, or you can read this blog post and let us help you out. For this guide, we’ll assume you will use the dimensions of a typical 4’x8′ bed.

How Deep Should a Raised Garden Bed Be?

The depth of your raised garden bed is the distance between the soil and the height of the bed. The ideal depth of a raised garden bed depends on how you plan to use it. For example, if you plan to use the bed for growing crops, you might want to leave a few inches between the soil and the top of the bed for planting seeds or seedlings.

Usually, a garden bed should be around 8 to 12 inches (30.48 cm), although a few things can definitely be changed when you feel the need to.  

Can the raised bed actually be too deep?

Some raised garden beds are 2 feet (0.61 m) high; others are 5 feet (1.52 m) high. Can raised garden beds be too deep? In some areas, the ground is just too hard. Raised garden beds are designed to contain the soil in neat, tidy rows that can be easily tilled. The sides of a raised bed will be higher than the surrounding ground. If the raised bed is too high, it can hold in excess amounts of moisture, leading to anaerobic conditions. These conditions can cause the soil to become too acidic and cause root rot, which will kill the plants that are growing in the bed.

A raised garden bed—a box filled with dirt that sits above the ground—is the most common solution for a home garden, and they come in all shapes and sizes. However, some raised garden beds are better than others, depending on the growing conditions in your area and the type of plants you are growing. For instance, raised garden beds that are too deep may not drain properly, and the resulting waterlogged soil may cause diseases in your plants.

How wide should a raised garden bed be?

raised garden bed size

Many variables affect the size of the raised garden bed, the most important being the type of plant material you are growing. You can grow a wide variety of vegetables and herbs in a raised bed, but if you plan on growing in the winter, you will need to make sure the bed has a good covering of mulch to keep the bed from freezing. (If you are in a cooler climate, you can use a covering of straw or hay for insulation).

What do you put in the bottom of your raised garden bed?

Whether you want to grow your own food or beautify your yard, it is important to know what to put in the bottom of your raised garden bed before you begin planting. The soil needs to be loose and have plenty of air pockets in it to not compact into a solid mass. This will allow water to drain and air to circulate, necessary for healthy, thriving plants.

What soil mixture should you go with for your raised garden bed?

You want to build a raised garden bed for your home, but you’re still unsure what type of soil to use for the bed. You’re aware that there are several types of bedding materials to go with, but you’re still unsure which is the best choice for you. It can definitely be difficult when choosing the right mix for your garden bed, but with enough research, you can definitely find the right one for you.  

The soil mix you choose will depend on what you’re planting, how you’ll be using your raised bed, and how long you’re planning to be growing in it. If you’re using a raised bed as a temporary garden—perhaps just as a place to grow a few vegetables while your backyard is being built—a simple soil mix will work fine. If you’re planning on using the bed long-term, you’ll need a more durable solution.

How to Choose an Orchid Pot?

How to Choose an Orchid Pot?

One of the most beautiful pot plants is the Orchid. And, many people will agree with us. Especially when the orchid is flowering.

However, one thing that you need to make sure about when you are purchasing your Orchid, is that you are purchasing the right Orchid pot as well. These plants can be purchased in pots, but this doesn’t mean that this is the right pot for them to grow and flourish in.

This is everything you need to know about how to choose an Orchid pot, why the right pot is important and other things that you should consider.

Does an Orchid Need a Special Pot?

When you are purchasing an Orchid plant, most of the time it comes in pots. Already flowering. So, most of the people think that the pots are correct and that they don’t need to worry about replanting the Orchid.

After a couple of weeks, the orchid starts to fade and isn’t flourishing anymore. The main reason is that the pot isn’t correct. Any orchids need special pots with special features to grow and to flower on a regular basis. If your orchids don’t stay healthy and die on a regular basis, this is where you need to start.

Things to Look for When Choosing an Orchid Pot

Now that you know that Orchids do need to have a special pot, you might be wondering what should you look for when you are choosing an orchid pot. With these features, you will get to know orchid pots better and will know what to look for, when you are purchasing the right pots.

Orchid Pot with Holes

There is one secret to purchasing the right Orchid pot. Drainage holes. The more the better. You will see that the pots that you buy the orchids in, doesn’t even have drainage holes, because this is display pots.

Making sure that people like what they see and to make the plant look beautiful. However, this is why your plant dies after a couple of weeks. You do need drainage holes in the pot. At least between 4 and 12 drainage holes.

Some Pots that will be Great for Your Orchid

Finding pots that have enough drainage holes isn’t hard. But, are there any other things that you should consider when purchasing your orchid plant?

There are different types of pots with drainage holes. Which ones are going to be best for your plant to flourish and to grow successfully? These are some samples of pots that you can consider purchasing.

  • Plastic pots. These pots are great. They keep the roots warmer in cold climates and can retain more moisture. However, they are lightweight and can tip over a lot easier.
  • Clay or terra cotta pots. Heavier pots that won’t tip over. Great to keep roots cool, if you have a hot climate. It breaks easily and most of the terra cotta pots only have one hole. That isn’t recommended for an orchid plant.

Buying Orchid Pot Guide

With this buying guide, you will know for sure that you are purchasing the right orchid pot. Making sure that your expensive, but beautiful plant stays healthy and flowering in-season. These are the things that you need to consider when purchasing the right orchid pot.

1. Ventilation for the roots is essential. The more holes the pot has, the healthier your orchid will be. When buying a pot without the right amount of holes, you can always make more holes if needed.

2. Smaller holes are better than medium and larger holes. This is because you want ventilation and not water and soil to fall from the holes.

3. The transparent pots are better options because the roots love sunlight. With the transparent pots, the roots will get more exposure to the sun. You can also place the orchid in a sunny place, where it can get some sunlight throughout the day.

4. Larger pots are always best. Even, if you have a small plant. The roots need space, but you need to be careful not to purchase too large. You can always replant the orchid if the pot is getting too small.

An orchid needs a special pot to grow and to thrive. With this guide, you are getting all the information about the right pot for an orchid. Then, you will know what type of pot to purchase when you are replanting your orchid again. Whatever pot you decide on, one thing is important. Ventilation holes. The more, the better.

How to Care for Gardenias in Pots?

Gardenias or Cape Jasmine are fragrant shrub plants that come with pure white flowers and green shiny foliage that people love.

How to Care for Gardenias in Pots?

Gardenias tend to be tricky plants to grow, especially when you live in cooler zones and you want to keep them as house plants. Therefore, there is a need for proper planning so that you can end up creating the right conditions for caring for your gardenias in pots.

Picking the Right Pot for Your Plants

Considering you are going to grow the plants in pots, the first thing you should do is get the right size of the pot. It is advisable that you get a pot larger than the plant.

Always keep the pot four inches bigger than the pot in which the plant was initially in. It is still crucial that you retain the original soil as much as possible.

Having a larger pot ensures that the Gardenia plant has enough room to grow in the future.

As part of making sure the plant grows better, you should consider filling the pot with the soil type that drains well. The last thing you want is to end up with soil that holds onto water for too long that it leads to puddles.

There are some gardeners that recommend mixing the soil with peat moss, potting compost, and coarse sand to make it better at drainage.

As much as the soil should be good at drainage, you will still need to include drainage holes in your pot. Another reason why the pot should be large is to prevent the plant roots from growing until they clog the drain holes.

To ensure there is better drainage, do not stand the pot on a saucer or in a trough. This would make the soil to retain a lot more water than what is necessary, making the roots remain wet for longer.

Give the Plant the Right Humidity

The humidity that you keep your plant in matters a lot to its growth. Gardenias need the right amount of humidity to survive. As a result, it is best if you provide a humid atmosphere for the plant to grow. You can do this by laying pebbles or stones under your plant pot. What follows is to spray water onto the stones every morning.

The water sprayed on the stones will evaporate slowly during the whole day and thus creating enough humidity for the plants.

Another option is to get a shallow tray wider than the plant pot. Add stones or gravel to the tray and then pour some water to them. Keep the water level below the top of the stones. Setup your pot in the tray once the water is added to the stone. The water will keep moisture in the air as it slowly evaporates from the stones. As a result, you should have enough humidity needed by the plants.

Keeping it Indoors or Outdoors

As part of caring for gardenias in pots, you would have to consider whether to keep it indoors or outdoors.

For those who want to keep them outdoors, you need to understand the zones where the plant would thrive. Gardenias can grow well outdoors if you are in the US zones 8 to 11. These zones are known to have stable temperatures that do not drop below 10 degrees F.

In case you live in warmer zones, then it is necessary to shade these plants from the sun’s main heat. Watering outdoor plants is necessary to maintain the best humidity.

Keeping the plant indoors comes with some considerations too. You might have to keep the room temperature above 60 degrees F and place the pot on a window ledge where it would get the most sunshine it needs to grow better.

Watering and Fertilizing

Watering is an important part of caring for your gardenia plants in pots. As much as it is important, the last thing you want to do is overdo it. Do not overwater your plants. Only water them when you notice the soil is dry below its surface.

Still, on watering, make sure to water the soil and not the plant foliage.


If you take upon the challenge of growing gardenias, then you need to do it properly. Make sure that you have all the important supplies and follow the tips mentioned above. If you do it right, you will end up with several good-looking gardenia plants in pots around your home.

How to Make Potting Soil for Indoor Plants?

It is important to make sure that you are using the right potting soil for indoor plants. This is the only way to make sure that your plants are staying healthy and growing correctly.

The problem is that there are many people that don’t know how to make potting soil correctly for indoor plants.

How to Make Potting Soil for Indoor Plants?

With this guide, you are going to get everything needed to make the right potting soil and to have healthy, growing plants that you can enjoy.

What is potting soil?

The first thing that you need to know is what is potting soil. This isn’t just normal soil that you are adding to your pots for planting plants and flowers.

These plants have different compartments and are is essential for the health and growth of indoor plants and pot plants and flowers. Plants that don’t have this soil, have a higher chance of dying, or not growing and flowering as needed.

Different types of plants require different potting soil

Something that you need to know is that different plants require different potting soil. Meaning that you need to make sure about the type of plant that you are going to replant into a pot. Especially, when it comes to indoor plants.

Some plants need to have soil that is draining water faster, while other plants need a slower water drain. This is why it is essential to make sure about the type of plant, and the type of drainage requirements a plant needs before you start making your own potting soil or purchasing your potting soil.

Talk a professional when purchasing potting soil

It is important to talk to a professional when you are purchasing potting soil for your indoor pot plants. This is especially important if you don’t have much information about the different plants and their potting soil needs.

Even, if you consider making your own potting soil. You still need to know the type of potting soil and the ratio that the soil needs to be. With talking to an experienced person, you will know for sure that your plants will grow and become healthy.

Benefits about making your own potting soil

There are many reasons why you should consider making your own potting soil. Reasons that will let you reconsider when you are on the verge of purchasing ready-made potting soil

The first benefit is that this is a lot cheaper to make your own potting soil than to purchasing potting soil. Yes, you might need to purchase different soil, but this is cheaper and easier to find.

You will know for sure that the potting soil is correct for the type of indoor plant that you are considering planting. Many might think that there is no difference in potting soil, but this isn’t correct. With making your own, you will be able to know that your plants are getting the best possible soil to grow.

Different ways that you can make your own potting soil

There are different ways and different recipes for making your own potting soil. It is recommended that you know as many recipes as possible, in order for you to find the right recipe for your type of indoor plants.

Make your own potting soil

The first type of potting soil is a compost-potting soil mixture. Making sure that the soil is nutrients rich and healthy enough for indoor plants. This is also the most common homemade potting soil that most people are making.

The other type of potting soil that you can make at home is the normal homemade potting soil. For this soil, you will need to have these ingredients:

  • Garden soil
  • Spaghnum peat moss
  • Perlite, vermiculite, or sand

With the third one, you are using the ingredients mentioned above, but you are adding fertilizer or the homemade compost to the mixture. Making sure that your potting soil is just perfect for healthy plants and flowers.

Consider when making potting soil for indoor plants

It is important to remember these things when you are making potting soil for indoor plants. Every type of soil that you are making should still be disease free.

The only way that you can ensure this, is to make sure that you are purchasing it from a nursery. Don’t ever just use soil and sand from your own garden.

You should make sure that the potting soil is great for the type of plant you want to plant. Some might need more garden soil, while others might need to have more perlite or peat moss. This is why you should know your plants before you can start mixing your own potting soil.

With this guide, you are able to make your own potting soil correctly. You can’t just mix a couple of different soil together and say that now you have potting soil. This isn’t how it works.

The more information you are going to get, the better you will understand what soil is needed. And, you will have a lot more success with your plants indoors. If you are unsure about the potting soil, you should talk to a professional and get the right assistance.

Perfect Tips For Garden Protection From Winters

Perfect Tips For Garden Protection From WintersIn the garden, you may begin with covering all water faucets and wrapping exposed pipes. This will protect sprinkler valves from freezing as well. Better keep wrapped and covered anything that could possibly be damaged by freezing temperatures.

During winters gardens go dormant, plants in containers, as well as hanging baskets, still need moisture periodically. Depending upon the size of your garden you must prepare months in advance and save approximately half of the grass clippings for the compost pile and half set aside for use as winter mulch.

Use this grass in conjunction with fallen tree leaves as primary mulch material. Add a bit of mushroom compost to the blend to sweeten the mix. This mulch/compost recipe is piled liberally around the base of all our Esperanzas, Jatrophas, Lantanas, Plumbago and Vitex.

For those of you with gardens with fewer plants to protect, sheets and blankets work fairly well to protect from killing frost and offer a few degrees of temperature improvement which may prove the difference in the life or death of the plant.

They say to never use plastic to cover your plants and this is for good reason. The plastic cover could cause a hothouse effect and with direct sunlight end up burning your plants rather than preventing freeze damage. If your option is paper or plastic, always go for the natural material for plant freeze protection.

Using the right fertilizer is crucial in winters. If the fertilizer is of a chemical blend, better avoid that using as a winter lawn fertilizer The soil temperature may be too low to breakdown the chemical blend for the grass to use and could just sit there until such time that the soil temperature rises enough.

If on the other hand an organic fertilizer is used, soil temperature will have little effect on absorption. Even if the grass has gone dormant the nutritional value of the organic materials will improve the soil and prepare your lawn for a flush of growth come spring.

A little protection of your garden in winter will save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars next year in purchasing replacement plants. Take care of your outdoor living space and it will reward you in the spring and for years to come.

Our gardens cycle like us – young when we are young, grow old as we grow old and will die as we die. Think about this for a moment. When we began our gardens at whatever age, most everything is new. For the most part, the plants we use are new except for the pass-along planting materials/gifts from gardening friends or relatives.

The hardscape material we use for edging, seating, or paving, etc are usually new. Our garden experience is new and we have yet to kill a single plant. Just think of the destruction that awaits us but also the joy in getting there. As we age, so also do our gardens in ways that we never imagined in our youth. The clipped hedges and crisp grass edging are not quite as tidy as in the past.

Growing Vegetables With Raised Beds in Your Garden

Growing Vegetables With Raised Beds in Your GardenRaised bed gardening is gaining popularity among the gardeners across the globe. Even the first time gardeners and homeowners with smaller yards, senior citizens, and novice gardeners are now understanding the importance of compact and easy-to-maintain gardens.

The gardening times are now changing and now you have raised beds in various sizes available in garden centers, catalogs and online. Interlocking corners make it possible to build one in a short period of time. Price varies with materials — plastic or cedar.

A 3-foot-by-6-foot, 10-inch deep bed will hold a variety of vegetables, both above ground and root plants such as tomatoes, herbs, onions, and carrots.

In case the raised bed is only 10 inches deep then you need to ensure that the soil on which it rests is cleared of all debris, grass removed and soil tilled to allow roots to extend into the soil beneath the bed. Fill the space with a mixture of hummus and garden soil. Fill the area to the top edge, dampen the soil and let the bed rest for a day or two, as the soil will settle. Add more soil if necessary.

When using a soaker hose or customized soaker system, lay it in a circular or serpentine pattern before planting. Both systems deliver water directly to the roots without wasting water. After planting, add a layer of mulch to trap moisture and to keep weeds at a minimum.

With raised beds in your garden, you may select any particular theme. Edible plants that are required for a type of food. One garden bed can grow enough produce provided you follow a little research before selecting the plants.

You can easily grow varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and garlic may also be grown with raised beds. Onion sets may be planted two-inches apart around the edge.

Experienced gardeners suggest that a maintenance schedule involving weeding, watering, insect inspection, and harvesting is required.

Flowers grow well in raised beds. Plan a layout with taller plants in the center and graduate the plant sizes to the edge where cascading flowers provide an attractive border. Flower beds also should have the same maintenance schedule, but substitute deadheading for harvesting.

Growing Vegetables Outdoors All Winter Long

Hoop FrameIt is indeed possible if the plants are kept properly warm. It would be good to cover the plants during winters, tucking them in and letting the natural light do all the work. Learning this to do with a little skill would enable you to harvest fresh homegrown vegetables any time of year.

Gardeners know it well that planting vegetables normally wouldn’t grow well in winter. Every generation seems to have a better idea and sometimes these ideas give birth to new ideas.

An innovative idea would be to extend the growing season by at least a month on either end with the raised bed hoop house.  The wooden raised bed with required dimensions needs to be installed with flexibility for removable hoops that could be draped heavy with clear plastic. The bed could be as long as we wanted. The plastic should be used to keep out the cold air but let the sunlight in.

The beds should be no wider than four feet. This is because a person’s arm reach usually averages around two feet and this made it possible to pull weeds from either side without straining or having to walk onto the garden bed. Staying out of the garden bed avoided tamping down the soil.

It would be good to plant and seeds more than a month earlier than usual by keeping the plastic tucked around the hoops and the ends of the bed. You may take the plastic off the hoops for the summer, but at the end of the season, you should manage to keep cold tender plants going for a month longer than usual, even after a few good frosts.

Many vegetables including few varieties of lettuce and spinach and other greens can be harvested all winter long with a similar setup. Instead of using clear plastic you may also use floating row cover that keeps plants warm. Floating row cover also ensures keeping insects off the seedlings. The cover enables sunlight and water to permeate its fabric. Different types of row covers with varying strengths are available which would offer even more protection.

It is possible making the hoop houses portable so they can be moved from one garden bed to the other offering a chance to rotate the crops each season. It is extremely important to tuck the cover completely around the bed including both ends and secure it to the ground by either laying boards or pinning it tightly. You can lift off the plastic to harvest your lettuce or spinach, but cover it back up immediately and don’t lift it again until the next harvest.

Perfect Tips For Non-Chemical Pest Control

Chemical Pest ControlHome vegetable gardeners have been trying to avoid usage of chemical pest controls as this has become a new gardening trend main objective is to garden with no pesticides. It is always better to keep the pesticides at bay from the vegetable garden. Here are some common examples of nonchemical pest controls.

Look for plant varieties that have some degree of disease resistance. New hybrid resistant varieties enter the market each year after extensive evaluation. Roses and tomatoes are susceptible to many diseases.

The newer Knockout shrub roses have a strong resistance to common diseases, including leaf blackspot. These roses require no spraying.

Tomatoes suffer from a wide range of disease problems. Today, many hybrids are much less prone to disease.

There are many types of physical barriers to keep insects, birds, rabbits, raccoons or deer at bay. A floating row cover is a lightweight fabric that lets in light, air, and water, but keeps insects out of a row of melon or cucumber vines that are susceptible to wilt disease. The fabric is kept in place along the edges with old boards or other weights.

The cover prevents cucumber beetles from feeding on the plants. As beetles feed, they transmit wilt disease bacteria to water-conducting vessels. In time the water vessels plug up and cause severe wilting and death of the plant.

When vines begin flowering, the cover has to be removed so bees can pollinate the flowers. It’s important to keep young seedling plants protected from beetles so they get off to a healthy start.

Garden fencing is a common and effective barrier to pests.  Use fencing to protect small clusters of tulips or other plants from rabbits and deer. Deer feed on the young foliage and flower buds. A circular wire collar with netting on top gives complete protection from deer or rabbits. The fencing should be as tall as the plant is when flowering.

A small vegetable garden can be protected from deer with a 6-foot tall plastic netting fence around the garden. Deer won’t jump into a small area because of poor depth perception. For a large area, fencing should be at least 8 feet tall.

single-wire electric garden fence will give complete protection from raccoons in a corn patch. The electric shock is harmless and intermittent so it frightens away the raccoons. The wire gives off enough “bite” to discourage return trips to the sweet corn.

Netting of various types can be used as a protective cover for berry plants. For a large cherry tree, it is easier to cover only a few branches. Birds are clever and will find any small opening to bypass the netting. As raspberries are not attractive to birds and require no protective cover.

Probably the oldest method of insect control. The fingers are readily available to do the job. If the idea of picking up an insect is unpleasant, use a pocket knife to push the insect into a can of soapy water. While time-consuming, it can be effective if done daily.

The larger the insect, the easier to see and handpick. The largest is usually the tomato hornworm, although it is sometimes missed because the green color resembles the tomato leaf color.

Handpicking Japanese beetles from roses is best done during cool temperatures in the early morning or evening. The beetles move slower at that time and are less likely to fly away.

Other common vegetable pests that are good candidates for handpicking include the Colorado potato beetle and cabbage worms on members of the cabbage family. Aphid populations can be dispersed with a forceful spray from a garden hose. Repeat until they are brought under control.

Perfect Small Space Container Gardening Tips

Container GardenAdding cheers and glory to your garden is easy with container gardening. You can have a good summer garden with a splash of lovely colors if you grow some beautiful ornamental plants in containers.

Even vegetables can also be grown in containers if you lack enough open space in your garden. You only need to try it and with a little knowledge, beautiful creations are possible.

Begin with selecting any container you like — something that suits your sense of taste and style. Containers now come in plastic, fiberglass, stone, concrete, terra-cotta, various metals,  marble, wood, recycled drums, old buckets, bathtubs, and so many other forms that even the most discerning taste or limited budget should be able to find one to suit.

In order to ensure that your containers can be used around the year, you need to choose a type that will not crack during winter frost and must be capable of holding with extreme temperatures. Your container must have drainage holes in the bottom preferably more than one. Plants grown in containers that do not drain will die a slow, suffocating death.

Use the right quality potting soil for your containers. Potting soil types could range from high-tech, store-bought potting mixes to whatever soil is available from the garden or compost. The key component of a container soil mix is that it should be well aerated so it will breathe properly in the small surface area of the container.

Home-made soil mixes will compress over time and lose aeration, therefore, the soil-mix must be changed more frequently than custom potting mixes.

Never attempt mixing sand with potting mix. The sand will plug up the pore space in the soil and prevent good aeration. You can increase aeration of a homemade soil mix by using angular rocks, perlite or foam packing chips. Soils that resist compression will provide the best growing environment for plants in pots.

You should not be adding anything else to the bottom of the container except soil. Adding anything to the bottom of the container simply perches the soil’s water table above the drainage item and deprives your plants of a deeper root zone.

The soils, when watered in containers, will leach out some soil and colored water for a while, but this will end as soon as the soil settles down. The physical laws of gravity, water movement and leaching cannot be altered by landscape cloth or anything else.

Gardeners may go innovative with container gardening and grow almost anything be it flowers, plants, or the evergreens, perennials, and even food.