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Colorado Gardening for Beginners by Tagawa Gardens

hi i'm luanne aiken with tagawa gardens

in centennial colorado

and we're here today to talk about

gardening for beginners whether you're a

brand new gardener

or just new to gardening here in

colorado there are some basic do's and

don'ts that i'd like to share with you

to help make your garden the best it can

be

let's jump right in any conversation

about gardening shouldn't start with the

plants

you should start with the soil and in

case you hadn't heard the soil in

colorado could use some help

that's where compost comes in whether

you make it at home or buy it

this stuff is a gardener's friend

compost is fully decayed organic matter

like leaves and shredded twigs working

two to three inches of compost

into the existing soil in a planting

hole or even into an entire bed

will help open up heavy clay soil or

help sandy soil retain moisture

don't layer it mix it with the existing

soil down to where your plant's roots

will eventually be

those roots will thank you so you've

improved your soil and now it's time to

run to the garden center and buy up a

whole bunch of plants right

well right if you first learn this

little mantra

always put the right plants in the right

place

for example if you put a sun-loving

plant like daisies in the shade

they'll be starving for the sunshine

they need to make big beautiful flowers

so why bother and if you put a

shade-loving plant like impatiens in the

full sun

be prepared to watch them fry it's not

just the light you need to think about

when you're choosing what to plant

take this sweet soft little pine tree

for example wouldn't it look just

great right next to your front door well

maybe not

when it grows to be 25 feet tall and 10

feet wide

and gobbles that front door right up

just for the record

annuals like petunias and geraniums are

the plants that give you instant color

for one season

and then die well well-cared for

perennials like this pin cushion flower

should come back year after year so now

it really is time to plant

here are some tips and tricks water your

plants well when you get them home

it helps them adjust to the stress of

moving to their new surroundings

don't plant them right away put them in

a sheltered place for a couple of days

away from direct sun so they can adjust

to the wind

colorado's dry air and temperature

fluctuations outside of the garden

center

and save those plant labels they can be

a huge help down the road

once it's time to plant make sure that

each plant's finished

soil level is the same as it was in its

pot no higher and no lower

let's talk mulch mulch is usually made

from shredded tree branches or bark pea

gravel can be used as mulch too

a two to three inch layer of mulch will

help conserve moisture

suppress weeds and it gives your garden

a nice finished look

i let a few inches of fallen pine

needles serve as the mulch in some of my

secondary beds that i rarely replant

and in my vegetable garden i use straw

as a mulch knowing that at the end of

the season i can work it into the soil

and it will decompose

for beginning gardeners and even for

some veterans proper watering routines

don't always get as much attention as

they should

one of the most common watering mistakes

is watering too frequently

and not deeply enough for example i have

some pepper plants growing in this big

nursery pot

giving them 10 or 15 seconds of water

just isn't enough

i want to keep watering until i see the

water beginning to come out of the

drainage holes at the bottom of the pot

that way i know the roots down low are

getting a good deep drink

this approach is the same with so many

other plants including lawns

many trees shrubs and perennials you can

check the soil in the ground or in a big

pot like this with a moisture meter if

you're not sure

but watering deeply and less frequently

will give you healthier plant roots and

you might save money on your water bill

too

feeding the various plants throughout

your garden and landscape doesn't have

to be a mystery

let's take a look at the basics

fertilizer packages list the

concentration of the three most

important plant nutrients

generally speaking n is for nitrogen

which helps make healthy foliage

p is for phosphorus which stimulates

blossoms and roots

k is for potassium which promotes a

plant's overall

vitality there are plenty of fertilizers

to choose from

you can go with an all-purpose

fertilizer which is fine much of the

time

or especially formulated plant food for

specific results

always follow the directions on the

package too much fertilizer can be worse

than too little one of the most

important things to get ride in your

garden or landscape

is the use of pesticides the word itself

pesticide

covers a lot of ground for example an

insecticide

is used to control insect pests

insecticides come in either

organic or synthetic formulas while the

organic products are generally less

toxic

both organic and synthetic insecticides

need to be used with great care

exactly according to the directions on

the package it's the law

remember the vast majority of insects

are either beneficial

or completely harmless a diversity of

insect life

is the sign of a healthy garden unless

you know something's harmful

why not just leave it alone case in

point say you find this weird little

creature

right where your plants are showing

damage but if you kill it just because

you can

you've taken out one of the gardener's

best friends both the larva and the

adult stages of ladybugs were just doing

their job

eating the aphids that caused the damage

in the first place

while insecticides are aimed at insects

herbicides are used to kill

unwanted vegetation like weeds but you

have to follow the directions to the

letter

if herbicides are misused perhaps

applied when it's windy or too hot

they can easily drift and damage or even

kill

desirable plants fungicides are the

pesticides used to control

fungal diseases on plants there are

several organic fungicides to choose

from

again they should be used only according

to the directions

and so you know there is research to

indicate

that the use of fungicides on blossoms

can be harmful to honeybees

and one other thing you spend so much

time creating a beautiful yard and

landscape

spend a little more time maintaining it

for example you want to sharpen or

replace your lawnmower blade

at least once a season and don't forget

to deadhead

every time you take off a fading flower

another one will be right behind it

so you can keep the flowers coming and

never be afraid to ask for help

either from your favorite garden center

or from the master gardening office in

your county

good luck now let's get gardening

together

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