Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
You may not know even where to start. Apartments, college dorms and rental houses don’t provide much outdoor space—often only a patio or balcony.
Maybe, you’ve failed at gardening before—who hasn’t?—and it’s got you bugged. You think you can’t succeed, but you’re smart, witty and accomplished. I know you can.
Here are my five steps for success:
Step One: Ask yourself some questions before you begin.
What vegetables and herbs do I like best? Which are the most expensive in the grocery store, or don’t taste as good when shipped hundreds of miles across the country?
Don’t grow food you don’t like. If you’re unfamiliar with a particular vegetable, wait and grow it the following year after you have had success. Consider growing vegetables that are expensive to purchase in the grocery store.
What does my growing area look like? Does it get morning or afternoon sun? Is it covered or uncovered?
Vegetables need six to eight hours of sun to perform at their best. In southern gardens, for some plants, morning sun is best. If your patio or balcony is covered, you won’t get as much rainfall or sun. Search online or read seed packets and plant tags for more information on veggie requirements.
How will I water my plants?
Most vegetables need consistent irrigation to survive and thrive. Place them where they are easy to water, or you’ll find it hard going come summer. Since many apartments don’t have outside water spigots, you may need an attachment for your kitchen sink and a water hose long enough to stretch from the sink to where your plants are. You’ll also want somewhere to store that hose and a spray nozzle. I like the ones with selectable spray patterns. Quick connects for hoses are good too. If you only have a couple of pots, a quality watering can will work.
What type of container should I use?
This partially depends upon personal preference. Although I love glazed ceramic pots, I collected them over several years because they are pricey. They are also heavy and difficult to move about without a dolly. Plastic containers, including five-gallon buckets, work. Flexible, fabric pots like those shown below are fabulous because they can be folded and put away once gardening season ends.
Choose containers large enough to accommodate plant roots. In other words, don’t grow tomatoes in a small pot. Vining plants like squash can be trained vertically with trellises to give them room to grow.
Step Two: Stay small.
Take a list to your local nursery or box store and try to stay within your space limitations and price range. If you go too large, you’ll be frustrated mid-summer with a garden of neglected and/or dead plants. Start with a few containers and transplants, and build upon this framework later. For a jumpstart, purchase plants from your local nursery instead of seeds. Lettuce and other leafy vegetables grow well in containers from seed, but they are spring crops in much of the country.
Step Three: Get the low down on potting soils and choose an organic, local brand, if possible.
Know what goes into your potting soil. If you’re concerned about the sustainability of peat bogs, do some research beforehand. Peat moss is the base of most potting soils.
Step Four: Gather your tools.
• Fiskars Garden Shears to open the bag of potting soil and other chores.
• Fiskars Big Grip Transplanter
• Potting soil
• Garden gloves, if you want them, and
Loosen plant roots and place vegetables and herbs at the same level they were before in their small pot. Water plants until soil is moist, but not soggy. Unless you get plenty of rain, and your planting area is uncovered, you’ll need to water pots daily in summer—sometimes twice a day in hot parts of the country. Place plant supports now—as in the photo below—and save yourself some time and trouble later. Soon you’ll be harvesting the best food you’ve ever eaten from your container garden.
Step Five: Don’t focus only on results.
Gardening is a process, not just a means to an end. Enjoy everything it offers including singing birds, buzzing insects and abundant sunshine. These are all good—essential, in fact—for you, heart and soul.
For even more gardening tips, see my book, The 20/30-Something Garden Guide, a No-Fuss, Down-and-Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone who Wants to Grow Stuff to be published in February 2014.
Garden gloves, if you want them