Tony O’Neill, gardener and author of the popular “Composting Masterclass” and “Your First Vegetable Garden,” combines lifelong passion and expert knowledge to simplify the art of gardening. His mission? Helping you cultivate a thriving garden. More on Tony O’Neill
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I am pleased to announce that Simplify Gardening has acquired the very informative gardening website Greenthumbwhiteapron.com.
For most of us, our gardens express our intimate relationship with nature, a relationship marked by continued discovery, awestruck respect, and deep appreciation.
Gardening is my passion and allows me to lose myself in the garden. It can improve your mental health and provide a sense of well-being.
Not only can you grow your perfect-looking garden or indoor plants, but you can also grow your food.
Preparing that food into stunning tasting and looking meals is exactly why Greenthumbwhiteapron.com succeeded. To the patrons of Greenthumbwhiteapron.com, welcome! Simplify Gardening Acquires Green Thumb White Apron
I trust you will find Simplify Gardening the perfect source of value-adding growing content and ways to simplify the gardening process.
Who is Simplify Gardening
My love of gardening was birthed in me by my late grandfather, who involved me in his relationship with the soil from when I started school. I am a fireman by profession, but gardening is my passion.
I love sharing my knowledge with others. One of my greatest thrills is seeing the ignited passion in others, a passion for collaborating with nature to create something beautiful and functional.
I aim to help 10 million people find the joy in gardening that I do. I know a big goal, but I believe that once that bug bites you, knowledge and time are the only things holding you back. You have the time, I have the knowledge that I share with you right here at Simplify Gardening.
Even before Google acquired YouTube in 2006, I used the platform to upload videos of all things gardening. After deleting many initial videos and rebranding my site twice, I have a library of more than 450 tutorials and 345,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel.
I cover everything, from growing nutrition-packed vegetables to caring for houseplants and everything related.
I love the combination of art, commitment, and science that growing vegetables offer. Vegetable plants speak to me of the ability to support your family with time-proven methods.
Simplify Gardening is broken down into various categories to make it easier to find what you are looking for; however, if you don’t think a category is the easiest way to find something, just add what you’re looking for into the search box.
I will be adding new categories regularly as I cover these. So far, the categories I cover are below.
- Vegetable Gardening
- Outdoor Gardening
- Pests and Diseases
- Organic Fertilizer
- Indoor Growing
- Growing Guides
- Bonsai Gardening
- DIY in The Garden
- Flower Gardening
- Fruit Growing
- Garden Tools
How to Cultivate A Green Thumb!
Cultivate a green thumb
When gardening, people are either told they have a green or brown thumb; this means they are either very good at growing plants or can kill them with a look.
I love all forms of gardening, but vegetable gardening took my top spot. There is something about sowing seeds and seeing them grow from small seedlings to fully mature plants that you can harvest and turn into nutrient-dense meals to feed your family.
But turning a brown thumb into a green thumb takes time to learn the fundamentals so that you can be successful. This all starts at the beginning.
Choosing the Best Area To Garden
Structure In The Garden
Now you have selected the location of your new vegetable garden, the next step is to think about structure.
The structure simply means where you will place the potting shed, polytunnels, greenhouses, compost bays, paths, water storage, and any other large structures that will be the backbone of your new vegetable garden.
One thing to decide is whether you grow directly in the soil or use raised beds. Raised bed gardening is great if you have poor soil, but more on that in a moment. If you grow in raised beds, these need to be placed into your plan for the structures.
While at this stage, consider the materials you will build raised beds from. Will you build from wood or metal? It is safe if wood is the best material to build a raised bed. There is so much to consider at this stage.
Raised beds are great as it allows you to control the quality of the soil; they drain much better than the ground, They warm up much quicker in the spring, and you can cover them in the winter. Most vegetables will grow very well in raised beds, especially potatoes. Grow vertically by providing plant supports and structures
The soil in your garden is the next thing to consider. Before you can amend the soil, you MUST do a soil test. Testing the soil in your garden will show you precisely what is missing, allowing you to formulate a plan to improve the soil quality to get plentiful harvests.
There are store-bought soil tests to allow you to do this at home, or you can even send off your soil samples to a soil testing lab that can provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of your soil makeup.
Once you have the test results, you can formulate your plan to improve the soil quality in your garden.
You can choose what you need to add, whether you are happy to use chemical fertilizers or if you want to use organic fertilizers like me. I use comfrey, nettles, compost, and seaweed to manage my garden.
As you can see, there are many ways to enrich the soil in your garden. I use a lot of compost to amend my soil. I have been asked time and again how much compost is too much. Does trench composting improve the soil? can I compost food scraps? and does compost attract pests? All of these questions are something that is always asked of new gardeners. The truth Is compost is awesome for the garden. Home Made Compost
You now have the structure of your garden set up, the soil has been tested and amended, and it is time to sow seed.
Sowing your seed is a cheap way to grow many plants. Raise them in a greenhouse or polytunnel and then plant them out when the weather conditions and temperatures are more conducive to good growth.
When sowing seed, there is a lot of factors to take into consideration, such as:
- How much water do seeds require?
- What to do if seeds starts to get too leggy?
- How much lighting do seeds need?
- How to prevent damping off
- Does the seed starting mix go bad?
- How to heat a greenhouse
- When to plant out seedlings
Garden Maintenance During The Growth Phase
It is all very well sowing seeds onto the seedling stage, then planting them in the garden. However, you must ensure you maintain the garden throughout the growing season.
You will need:-
- Water Crops
- Pull Weeds
- Mulch Around Plants
- Build Support Structures
- Soil Management
- Manage Pests (More on that later)
- Fertilize (More on this later)
You may be fortunate to have a faucet or tap in your garden that you can supply water directly from the mains supply. However, if you are like me, you would like to collect rainwater for your garden.
There are many ways in which to water the garden, These include
However, if you decide to water, you will either need a tap or storage for your water. Storing rainwater can take up a lot of space, but it is much better for the plants, and it makes you much more self-reliant as it can save you money, and you are not tied to hosepipe bans in hot weather.
It is crazy how fast a clean garden reverts. Nature will quickly reclaim bare soil by covering it with weeds. It is a constant battle, but little and often is the key to combating weeds.
It is often said that weeds grow faster than vegetables in the garden, but the gardener has many other ways to deal with weeds apart from pulling. One of these is to suffocate them using sheet mulch or plastic.
Mulch Around Plants
One of the best things you can do in your garden is to use mulch. Mulching around your plants has many benefits in the garden, such as:
- Smoothers out weeds
- Prevents soil erosion
- Reduces evaporation
- Aids in Water Retention
- Keep the soil cool in summer and warmer in winter
While inorganic mulch consists of plastic, cardboard, stones, gravel, pebbles, and tin sheeting.
Covering bare soil prevents light from germinating weed seeds and drastically cuts down the gardener’s work. This is why No Dig gardening is so popular.
Loads of people worry about mulch turning white and think something is wrong with it. Sometimes it prevents them from using it because of this very reason. but this article will help you understand what is going on and why you should not bother removing it. Adding Mulch to a Flower bed
Build Support Structures
The garden’s structures support plants and increase the growing area; if you grow verticle, you’re only using a small footprint. This is perfect for smaller gardens that wish to produce loads of food and is a perfect way to maximize square foot gardening methods.
Bean and tomato supports are among the most popular in the garden, but trellis and pergolas can support vining plants such as gourds, squash, grapes, and other climbing plants.
So you have worked hard to grow your garden and are now harvesting your first crops from your land. It is a fantastic feeling, but we can’t keep growing and stripping the nutrients out of the soil without putting them back.
If we tried to do this, we would see smaller yields in following harvests. We can combat this by feeding the soil.
I have a favorite saying which is:
FEED YOUR SOIL NOT YOUR PLANTSTONY O’NEILL
I am an organic gardener and avoid using chemical fertilizers. So I will talk more about organic ways to improve soil quality. There are multiple ways to improve soil, which should be used in conjunction with each other.
- Leaf mold
Each of the methods above has ways to improve soil health, But they all will do one thing: feed the microbial life in the garden. Some have more Phosphorus or Potassium, and others have more Nitrogen.
If I can give you one bit of advice as a gardener, this section within the article would be it. Compost is the lifeblood of any garden. What I mean by this is t is the fuel in the engine. The food feeds the microbes; without them, there is no garden.
This very reason is why I wrote the book on composting to help you understand how important this subject is. You can get more information on that book below.
My Book Composting Masterclass Is Available Now!
So many people struggle to make compost. It either takes an eternity to break down or becomes a smelly mess. I wrote this book so that you can learn what happens in your compost pile at the microscopic level, as well as the fundamentals. Knowing this will allow you to understand at what stage your compost is and allow you to problem-solve and find solutions when making compost. Check out what others say about the book!
The most comprehensive book on composting I have ever read!
I thought I knew something about composting organic materials to use back in my garden as “black gold.” Still, Tony’s breaking down (pun intended) composting principles and methods has given me a better understanding of the whole process.
If you want to know everything about composting and becoming a Compost Master – read this book!
Mark Valencia (Self-Sufficient Me)
However, your garden, there is a composting process for you.
And within each of these, there are multiple uses and ways of getting compost. such as compost toilets, grass clippings, and Leaf compost another addition would be something like spent mushroom compost; this is a by-product
Gardening is not all roses and pumpkins. From time to time, pests can throw a spanner in the works.
It is incredible how many pest species you will find in the garden but remember this one thing. Healthy plants don’t get attacked, so manage the rest as well as you can, and it will be 9/10ths of the battle.
If you find pests, there are many ways to treat them, but below are some pests you may come across in the garden.
Fertilizing The Garden
As I have already mentioned, I am an organic gardener, there are many chemically based fertilizers available, but that is not the scope of this article. Just pop to Amazon if you wish to buy chemically based fertilizers.
There we have it. How to turn your brown thumb into a green thumb. follow the fundamentals and the information in this and the linked articles, and you will be well on growing your won food successfully.
I would like to welcome all the readers of Greenthumbwhiteapron.com again. I sincerely hope that you enjoy your time at Simplify Gardening.
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