Increasing your topsoil's food production potential
Any self-sufficient home is going to need to produce home-grown food. But what if you don't have a lot of gardening knowledge? Well now's the time to learn, with handy gardening tips that will not only make growing food easier, but that will cut down on waste too due to the reusing and recycling of materials. Some of the factors to consider when planning for a home garden include: Space Availability of water Pets Type of soil Add Topsoil to a Milk-jug If you want to protect younger seedlings from spring or summer frost, just cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place it over a plant any time you hear forecast of freezing temperatures. It's also a great way to keep animals from digging at or urinating on small plants. Some people cut partially around the milk jug, put in topsoil and seeds, then tape the jug shut. This makes a great container to sow your seeds at the end of winter and get a head start on growing in spring. Just make sure you leave the cap off. Mix Topsoil with Coffee Grounds Coffee grounds are a great addition to your garden. When mixed into 8 to 10 inches of topsoil, the plants get more phosphorous, potassium magnesium, and copper. This will also add acidity to your soil, which is good for a lot of plants. The other great thing about coffee grounds is that slugs, snails, and cats hate coffee. Just sprinkling the grounds around your garden can keep these creatures at bay. If you don't drink coffee, you can go to any coffee shop and pick up a bag of used coffee grounds. Sprinkle Eggshells on Your Topsoil Eggshells contain a lot of calcium, which is great for your topsoil. Instead of throwing eggshells away, just crumble them up and sprinkle them around your plants. You will also deter slugs and snails from entering your garden, because the sharp edges of the eggshells will hurt their sensitive foot. Another way to benefit from eggshells is to sterilize them by baking at 250 degrees for 10 minutes, and then adding them to bird feeders. Mother birds need extra calcium for laying more eggs, and the more birds you have around the more insects get eaten. Vertical herb garden This is one of the simplest yet most handy tips for space-efficient gardening. Get a hanging shoe rack and use each pouch to add topsoil. Keep it near your kitchen if not in your kitchen and have fresh herbs for your cooking all the time. The best thing is to find a vinyl or plastic shoe rack, but if you find one with cloth or canvas, you can always line the inside with some plastic before you put in the topsoil. The plant a few different seeds and water regularly - it's that simple to have fresh herbs all the time. Whether you've been growing your own food for years or are just starting out, hopefully these tips can help you grow more food with less work.