Published on June 18th, 2017 | by David Morales0
Home Gardening: Young growers to seasoned pros
It is gorgeous outside and the perfect time of year to start your home gardens. That means you have to get your hands dirty and get digging. While millions of Americans are working in their yards, new trends are emerging and due to new tool innovations, gardening is taking on households in new and exciting ways. From organic grows to table edibles, a new survey reveals that 74 percent of all U.S. households participated in lawn and garden activities in 2016. Also, five of the six million new gardening households are inexperienced gardeners, leaving the highest investment in gardening materials to baby boomers and seasoned pros. But what keeps a garden fresh all summer long? Joe Lamp’l’s (aka joe gardener®) tells us via satellite, tips on planting an edible garden, ways to perfect the earthy art in little time and discusses the right tools for the job.
Joe, for those of us who aren’t experienced gardeners, where is the best place to start?
The best place to start for any gardener is to know what region you’re in because you know certain plants are more ideally suited for certain parts of the country. So, you want those plants that do best in your region. Those are the ones you want to buy, but how do you know what region that you’re in? Well you can go to your Master Gardener Extension Service or you can go to an online source like gardenclub.homedepot.com, would be a good one, and just figure that out. With your zip code, it’ll tell you where you live and then you know what plants to buy. But before you even put a plant in the ground, you need to focus on the soil. So, a newbie or an experienced gardener needs to have great soil and the problem with new gardeners, they sometimes get bogged down and thinking that they got to figure that out — but they don’t. They can go to a garden center — if they want to do organic gardening — they can get organically derived soils, or Miracle Grow has a lot of different soil products for an in-ground bed or a container.
So then, you’ve got the right plant, you’ve got the great soil, and then you can buy edibles or you can buy color or both. New gardeners, even experienced gardeners sometimes struggle with color combinations and I love the industry, because like Vigoro Rose got this figured out too they decided to go ahead and put those combinations into a pot for you so you don’t have to be the landscape designer anymore. They have complementary colors and then like this drop-in bloom line, you can put it as is into a pot or take it out and plant it. But now you’ve got color, you got edibles, you got great soil and you know the plants that you need for your region. So, you’re off and running whether you’re a new gardener or an experienced gardener.
What are the right tools every green thumb should have in his or her toolbox?
Having the right tool for the job makes any job easier and that is no less true for gardening. So, one of the tools that I use multiple times every day in my garden is a soil knife. The company teamed up with Home Depot to modify a classic. This is called a Hori Hori knife. It’s been around for thousands of years, but what’s nice about it, it’s stainless steel, has a very sharp stiff blade and it won’t rust. It’s got a serrated edge on it so when you’re cutting open those bags of soil or you need to measure the depth of your bulbs or your seeds. It’s got pre-measurement lines on it. It’s got a place where you can cut twine or wire on the edge. The knife just feels really good in your hand, so for me, a good application would be when I’m planting something, I just hold it and pull back the soil and you know you’re going up to six or more inches on the blade. So, that’s plenty deep for almost any plant, and then you just pop the plant in the ground pull the soil back a little bit and then you know, most of the work has been done by the knife, which makes it super easy, and that’s the joy of having the right tool.
It makes every job easier, but then you need to water the plants. I always look for that next great watering device and this is a really cool one. This is the Cannon by Orbit and it has seven different applications on the end, but this lever right here can control the volume of water depending on whatever application you’ve picked. But pull it back a little bit, and you get a gentle flow. You can pull it back a lot and have it really fill up. But you’ve got to water your plant or maybe you’re filling up a bucket for something then you can just pull that back and it’s not going to blast all out. You know that’s the thing about a lot of these devices, at the end of hoses, the water goes everywhere. You need to have a good hose that doesn’t kink. You can help minimize the kinking by having a swivel like this device that you can buy for under six bucks and if space is a challenge, you can get a hose that is flat and stores really easily too. So, all of this 50-foot hose is in a small box. So, basically there’s a hose and a watering device for every application.
For more information, you can go to gardenclub.homedepot.com to learn about everything I talked about.