Boost your flower bed's soil quality and reduce its number of weeds in one go by stocking a few rolls of Vigoro's Weed-Block Diamond Landscape Fabric. The patented weave of the UV-treated polyethylene material funnels air, water, and nutrients toward the roots, keeping the soil cool and moist—and simultaneously deters undesirable greens from creeping into your garden without the use of chemicals. Just a couple of 3-by-50-foot rolls could spare you some back-breaking chores for seasons to come! Available from Home Depot; $9.97 per roll.
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- 10 Ways to Buy Your Garden on the Internet
10 Ways to Buy Your Garden on the Internet
Weed-Blocking Landscape Fabric
Rubber Garden Edging
Whether setting up a starter garden or flower bed, your budding landscape project could benefit from a border. Just as a frame enhances a painting of florals, the brick-like pattern on the Multy Home EZ Border Stones adds definition to a garden patch. Curve the 4-foot lengths of scratch- and UV-resistant edging along a naturally rounded landscape feature or keep them straight around your rectangular plot, then simply push them into the soil—no extra digging required! As the name suggests, it's a cinch to install. Available from Home Depot; $53.97 for six pieces.
There’s more than one way to grow tomatoes. One option: Shop your local nursery for baby tomato plants, or starts. That way, you sidestep all the hassle of the earliest stages and skip several weeks in the timeline to harvest. The cons? You’re limited to the varieties in stock, and you'll pay at least a few bucks per plant. Grow from seed, however, and you get the chance to try your hand at almost any type of tomato, including specialties like the Heirloom Taste Collection. Purchasing and planting seeds also offers an unbeatable bargain: With the seeds in one cheap packet, it's possible to grow hundreds of pounds of plump, juicy tomatoes. Available at Burpee; $16.95 per four packets.
"Timing is everything"—the old aphorism applies in the garden as much as anywhere else. That's because in most parts of the country, the growing season only lasts for the handful of months between the last spring frost and the first hard frost in fall. To give themselves a wider window of opportunity, many gardeners rely on cold frames like this one. By warming and sheltering the plants under its cover, a cold frame typically extends the growing season by a couple months (or even longer if you live in a warm region). You can design and build your own cold frame, of course, but there's also always the option of buying a ready-to-assemble kit online. Available at Amazon; $55.99.
All-Purpose Garden Soil
To grow thriving outdoor plants, a gardener needs a solid foundation. Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Garden Soil provides your annuals, perennials, and vegetables with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. The versatile mixture feeds your greenery for about three months, thanks to a constant stream of plant food released into the ground. It also boosts the quality of your existing soil to promote big and beautiful plants. Available at Lowe’s; $4.48.
Soil Test Kit
For healthy and fast-growing plants, a gardener must pay attention to their soil’s pH, as well as the levels of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potash (K) in the mixture. The Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit makes soil testing easy. After dissolving a capsule into watered-down soil, users determine the results with a “color comparator” chart. An included guide instructs readers on adjusting their soil to achieve ideal growing conditions for more than 400 different plants. Available on Amazon; $12.59 for 40 kits (10 each for pH, N, P, and K).
Nothing ruins a manicured lawn like a gaping bare spot or an unsightly pipe popping out of the ground, but there's a quick solution for hiding those flaws: Mock Rocks. The faux stones have hollow insides, allowing you to slip them over the offending eyesores, and making them easy to move around the yard. The rocks are durable and weatherproof, and come with stakes so you don't have to worry about them blowing away on a windy day. Available at Plow & Hearth; $119.95.
If gardening is your favorite hobby, then chances are you've longed for your own greenhouse. This dream might be more attainable than you've realized with the Palram Snap & Grow Greenhouse. The snap-together greenhouse provides 53 square feet and 6’8” of weatherproof growing space right in your backyard. The polycarbonate panels of the greenhouse protects your plants from UV rays, while still letting in over 90% light transmission. The roof is equipped with gutters, so you can create a sustainable irrigation system to water your garden. And oxygen stays flowing throughout with help from a roof vent and split door design. Available at Amazon; $567.78.
Why lure bees to your garden? Quite simply, those tiny winged creatures help your plants thrive and boost vegetable yields by pollinating blooms as they settle in for a snack. Bring bees—and butterflies and hummingbirds—to your yard by planting a pollinator garden. These small flyers have been known to travel miles for a taste of wildflowers, such as the coneflower. Drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, these plants can be buried as roots in the spring to bear flowers in the summer. Available at Home Depot; $11.42.
Soil erosion, weeds, and even pests can't compete with a thick layer of cedar mulch. Just like the moth-repelling cedar blocks you keep in your closet and dresser, cedar mulch has the ability to naturally scare off certain types of pests. When applied to garden beds, it can help retain moisture but without causing your garden to overheat, as can happen with synthetic mulch. And because this heavy bag of mulch is delivered right to your door, you'll need to do very little heavy lifting to add it to your landscaping. Available on Amazon; $9.00.