8 Genius Yet Simple Tomato Growing Tips

This may seem counterintuitive, but you may want to plant three or four varieties of tomatoes, especially if this is your first year planting them. By growing a few different varieties in the same year, you can determine which is best. The local climate, soil type, and garden location will all affect your tomatoes, and you may find that one variety grows much better than the others. After that, you can focus on that one variety, if you want.

The best location for tomatoes to grow is in direct sunlight with shelter from the wind. The sun will give the tomatoes all the energy and nutrients they need to grow, and the protection from the sun will allow them to grow without their root and vine system being compromised.

Speaking of root systems, plant your tomato seeds four inches deep. This promotes a strong and healthy root system. If you live in a really hot climate, you may want to plant them six inches deep in order to access moister soil.

You may also consider composting your soil. I highly suggest this since the compost will provide more nutrients for the tomatoes to absorb. This may not be necessary, but it can definitely help if your tomatoes seem to be struggling to grow.

Once the tomatoes have grown and are beginning to sprout flowers and other runners, pinch and prune them. The flowers may be pretty, but they’re taking away energy that could be used to grow better tomatoes. Also, the runners and growths in the joins of the stem take away energy too. By pruning and pinching them off, you help the plant conserve energy.

For those with limited ground space, use cages, trellises, or stakes for vertical growth. This is actually a great idea even if you have a large garden. Vertical growth makes it easier to harvest when the time comes, plus it can also help prevent infestation and fungal growth.

When your tomatoes get to about 3 feet in height, remove the leaves from the bottom foot of the stem. These are the oldest leaves on the plant, and they’re the ones most likely to grow rot and fungus. By removing them, you’re saving yourself possible work in the future. It’s just a nice precautionary measure to grow the healthiest tomato plants possible.

Remember to water your tomato plant regularly. Now, this is always important, but irregular and infrequent watering can actually do more damage to tomatoes than good. Poor watering habits can lead to the tomatoes drying out or even growing rot, neither of which are good. Most experts say your tomato plant should get at least 1 inch of water a week.

10 Perfect Climbing Plants for Trellises, Archways, and Arbors

Bougainvillea. Here’s an easy plant to take care of. Bougainvillea is very pest- and disease-resistant. The colors are also really pretty. Grow this for a beautiful and easy-to-maintain plant on your archways.

Honeysuckle. Just the name of this plant is great. And it looks fantastic. You’ll also add a nice aroma to your yard with this plant.

Zephirine Drouhin Rose. This plant is a great grower and it’s also thornless. Can’t beat that. The vines are incredibly flexible, making them great to wrap around arches and trellises.

Clematis. Grow this for a classic and classy look. It will usually start flowering in spring to give you the color you want. I like combining this plant with other climbers to get a unique appearance.

Abutilon ‘Kentish Belle.’ The shape of the flowers alone makes this plant worth it. But the colors are also spectacular. There are a few varieties you can grow, each one as astounding as the next. These plants are easy to grow and they grow fast.

Golden Trumpet. The name of this plant kinda says it all. You get a beautiful color and shape from this plant. And the contrast against the green and brown of the vine makes it even better. These are some of the best climbing plants, I think.

Blue Moon Wisteria. The name is a bit misleading because you can get flowers that are blue, purple, red or white. Nevertheless, this is an amazing climbing plant for your trellises, archways, or arbors. Grow in full sun to get the healthiest plants and blooms.

Morning Glory. This plant is considered a weed by some (like my grandpa), but I think it’s too beautiful to be a weed! As long as you control the growth and keep it contained, Morning Glory is a great addition to any yard, especially the trellises and archways.

Sweet Peas. You can’t really do research on climbing plants without seeing information on sweet peas. It’s a popular choice because it grows well and also smells great. It does require more work since it’s prone to bugs and pests.

Passion Flower. For a hardy plant that grows well in tropical areas, try this guy. It has a great smell, edible fruit, and bright flowers, so it’s a pretty good choice. It’s fast-growing, so keep an eye on it.

12 Plants that Give the Most Bang for Your Buck

Celosia. Here’s a plant perfect for adding texture to your garden. It also comes in many different sizes and shapes. For example, you can get the round celosia, or you could try the thin arrow-shaped celosia.

Snapdragons. My favorite thing about snapdragons is the variety of colors they come in. You could only plant snapdragons in your garden, and you’d still get a rainbow of color. Of course, they look best with other flowers, but snapdragons are a garden must-have!

Lavender. If you know me, then you know I love lavender. I can’t get enough of it. I think it’s an amazing plant that gives great bang for your buck because you can use it so many ways. It freshens up the garden, it can be used in cooking and medicine, and it adds a great touch of color to the yard.

Bee Balm. Also known as monarda, this plant is great if you want to bring pollinators to your yard. It spreads pretty well, so make sure you keep it under control. Other than that, you shouldn’t have any problems!

Amaranth. To get a flower that’s unique as its name, plant some amaranths. You can buy them from the nursery at a good cost, or you can plant from a seed for nearly no money. Amaranth has an amazing shape and color, so it’ll add wonders to your garden.

Black-Eyed Susan. This is a simple and elegant flower. One of the reasons it’s so good is because it can survive in really poor soil and dry climates.

Hyacinth. If you need a plant for a tight spot, this is your flower. Hyacinth looks amazing in small patches (I think it’s the way the flowers fold over), and the colors will astound all of your guests. Planter boxes, window boxes, or any confined space are a great choice.

Zinnia. This is one of the best flowers if you want a low-maintenance plant. The return on investment is huge. They’re incredibly easy to grow, and the bright colors will blow you away.

Yaupon Holly. Although not very common, this is a great plant for tougher climates. It’s very drought-resistant, so it won’t die if that’s a concern. It can also get up to 15 feet tall, and I’d say that’s quite a bang for your buck!

Morning Glory. Honestly, this is one of my favorite plants. It grows so well and easy that my grandpa considers it a weed! You almost have to do zero work to have these beautiful blossoms appear in your yard.

Daylily. This is one of the better plants for lining your garden. They add simple but bright colors and create a great border. They also come in a rainbow of colors, so you’ll never run out of choices.

Clethra. There are so many great things about this plant that make it worth the price. First and foremost, the smell is amazing! You’ll love it in your yard. It also attracts bees and butterflies, which means more pollination in your garden. I also love the look of the plant.

10 Best Plants for Rock Wall Landscapes

Ivy. You can’t have an article about rock-climbing plants without mentioning ivy. It’s a classic charmer, and it looks amazing on nearly any rock wall. The lush green contrasts so well with the earthy tones of the rock.

Moss Phlox. Choose between pink, white, and purple flowers. This plant is beautiful in color as well as its shape. Moss Phlox will cascade over the rock wall, adding a soft touch to the stone wall.

Moss. You could also just consider simple moss. It’s an easy but classic design idea that everyone loves. If you want your yard to look like a quaint English cottage, this is definitely your best choice.

Rock Cress. This is a great option because it thrives so well in the soil between rocks. It doesn’t need a lot to survive, and it’s also such a great color. It’s also quite heat- and drought-resistant, which makes it even better.

Candytuft. I think I would plant this just to be able to say its name all the time. Candytuft is a perennial that requires little maintenance but that looks astounding. If you want the blooms to last even longer, prune this plant regularly.

Sedum. Here’s an unusual twist to rock wall plants. It may not be your typically flowering plant, but its still gorgeous and can survive in the rock wall. Sedum adds a tough but subtle element to your landscape.

Succulent. In fact, you could actually branch out quite a bit and try succulents in your rock wall. It may not be the cascading idea you were going for, but it will add color and plants without all the hassle of most others.

Japanese Forest Grass. There’s really not a whole lot to say about this plant. It gives you the grass you’re looking for while actually surviving between the rocks. Almost no other grass will grow like this.

Creeping Thyme. Plant this and watch it spread. As per its name, creeping thyme will spread out among the cracks in your rock wall without you having to guide it much at all. Not only that, but the colors of the flowers are brilliant!

Alyssum. This plant will add a magnificent splash of gold to any rock wall you plant it in. Keep it in full sun and well-drained soil so that it can thrive as best as possible.

10 Plants That Even Children can Grow

Lavender. This is one of my favorite plants. Not only does it smell great and can be used in so many ways, but the color is also beautiful. Lavender is really hardy, so even your young kids can grow them without much fear of it dying.

Aloe. This plant can be grown outside, but it also flourishes well inside in a container. That makes it ideal for kids. They can keep the aloe succulent in their room and take care of it.  The leaves are a bit spikey, so make sure your kids know that and handle accordingly.

Christmas Cactus. This is an incredibly gorgeous plant that doesn’t require much upkeep. It blossoms in a few different colors including red, white, and lilac. It blooms near the end of December, adding a lot of color to an otherwise gray season.

Peace Lily. This plant can grow pretty big, but you don’t need to do much to care for it. It survives in low humidity and low light. Beautiful flowers typically bloom in the summer, which makes this plant definitely worth any work you may have to put into it.

Sourwood. For a tree to grow, try a sourwood. There are a few different varieties, so choose the one that fits your budget and schedule best. It’ll be a fun project for you and your kids to take care of a tree. They’ll love seeing it grow!

Apple Tree. If your kids are just dying to grow a fruit tree, then apple may be one of the best. It’s a fruit tree so, it will require some work, but nothing that a firm schedule shouldn’t fix.

Ficus. Here’s a plant that’s great for indoor growing. It can get big, so it’s a wonderful décor for any room in need of a floor plant. Wherever you put it, just keep it there, because the ficus doesn’t like being moved and changing environments.

Day Lily. These are a colorful and simple plant to grow. They look great in the flowerbeds, in direct sight, or tucked away in a garden somewhere.

Black-eyed Susan. Your kids will love the contrasting colors of the perennial. It is a self-seeding flower, so you don’t have to do much on that front. Grow in the garden or window boxes for best results.

Hoya. This is a unique and fast-growing hanging plant. It’s great for home décor that you plan on putting on the walls or hanging from the ceiling instead of just growing on a countertop. Your kids will love the extra dimension this plant gives to the space.

9 Plants Perfect For High Traffic Areas

Creeping Thyme. This groundcover only grows to about 3-6 inches high, perfect for high traffic areas. The plant is also very fragrant, and it blossoms many small and beautiful flowers. Creeping thyme can grow in dry soil and it can also be tucked away in tight spaces, too.

Moss. There are a lot of varieties of moss you can include in your yard, but most of them are great for high-traffic areas. Some moss even releases a nice fragrance when you step on it, so look out for those types! You’ll love them.

Golden Creeping Jenny. Add a tinge of gold to your garden and yard with this plant. It can grow in most places, including tight rocky spots. Plant it between stones, between steps, or somewhere similar. It can handle the traffic.

Bronze Dutch Clover. This plant is perfectly paired with brick or other similar stone and material. The colors of the plant complement the brick, making for a super creative and cozy looking yard.

Dwarf Mondo Grass. This plant grows well in both sun and shade. It’s very drought-resistant, which makes it great for hot climates. On average, it only grows to about 2-r inches in height. The dark green color is a must for any yard needing groundcover.

Sweet Fern. This isn’t the most colorful out of all the groundcovers, but it definitely gest the job done. It can thrive in hot and dry climates, and even in soil that is lacking in nutrients. Because of that, it’s a great plant to have in tough-to-grow areas.

Purple Mazus. This plant is both hardy and strong. It adds a wonderful touch of color to your yard, and it can withstand being stepped on. Combine it with some complementary flowers, and you’ve got yourself a sweet garden setup!

Ajuga. This is a pretty popular groundcover. It can range in color from purple to green to hints of pink. It’ll grow to about 6 inches tall.

Blue Star Creeper. Here’s a plant that’s perfect for growing in between rocks or stepping stones. The flowers add even more color and texture to the yard.

Top 10 Companion Plants for Your Tomatoes

I like to grow onions with my tomatoes when I have the chance. They don’t really add benefits to the soil or anything, but I think tomatoes and onions go together in so many recipes. If you have tomatoes and onions, you can make soups, sauces, pizza, and so much more!

Marigolds are one of the best companion plants for tomatoes. They have an amazing color, but they also add lots of benefits. Marigolds help repel pests that typically attack tomato plants. This is especially true for pests that like to eat the roots.

Plant some leaf lettuce around your tomato plants. The lettuce acts as a type of mulch that protects the ground and keeps your tomatoes strong and healthy. You can also harvest the lettuce, which makes it even better!

Lots of gardeners say that garlic is a great companion plant for tomatoes. I like this idea because garlic and tomato together tastes AMAZING! There’s nothing better than a smooth and garlicky tomato sauce.

Borage is a lesser known plant, but it’s perfect for companion planting. It’s believed to prevent hornworms. The colors are also very bright. The flowers taste like cucumbers, so you can add them to drinks and salads.

Chives are said to increase the health and flavor of your tomatoes. Seeing as you can also harvest chives, I think this is a great companion plant for the garden. The blooms have some magnificent colors as well.

To get just general protection and benefits, plant some basil alongside your tomatoes. Lots of people say that basil will increase the number of tomatoes that grow too. Plus, tomato and basil go together in so many recipes; they’re the perfect duo!

If you’re concerned about insects and want a plant to help repel them, then try amaranth. It’s supposed to keep most pests at bay that attack your tomatoes. You’ll want to combine this with other preventions, but amaranth is a good start.

Plant some sage around the tomatoes. Even if it doesn’t protect or benefit the tomatoes, at least you’ll have some free sage you can add to any recipes!

Carrots grow really well with tomatoes. They don’t necessarily add any benefits; the two vegetables just work together really well to maximize your garden space and nutrients. You can plant both close to one another and get a good harvest of both.

14 Deliciously Fragrant Flowers

If you want a plant with a pop of color and also a great fragrance, then look no further than lavender. Although it may take some time to get used to its maintenance routine, lavender is one of the best smells for your yard and garden.

How to Keep Your Plants Blooming Longer

If you’re like me, then you probably love tea. And even if you don’t like tea, your plants do! Lots of people say that soaking your seeds in tea up to 24 hours before you plant them will help them germinate better. Try it out, and when you realize it works, keep on doing it!