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Posted by St. Martin Team on 11/18/2021

Garden edging is an important element of landscaping design that serves many purposes. There are a variety of different materials and techniques for edging, ranging from professional installation to DIY weekend projects. If you’re wondering whether to add garden edging to your outdoor spaces, here are some key benefits to consider:

Defining and Separating Spaces

The obvious visual aspect of garden edging is that it creates a divider between two pieces of the yard. You can use either straight or curved lines to surround flower beds, trees, vegetable gardens and lawns and set them apart from the rest of the space. Not only does this look aesthetically pleasing, it will help you establish traffic flow and set limits.

For example, if you want to avoid damage to your lawn or flowers, defining the edges of pathways will send a more obvious message. Clearly defining what is safe to walk on and what is not will help keep your garden healthy and tidy.

Containing Your Garden

Edging provides some excellent benefits from a pure gardening standpoint as well. If properly installed, garden edging will extend below and above the soil line to create a solid barrier. This barrier can keep away many pests that could harm your plants, and will also keep spreading plants from growing out of control. You can also prevent the spread of weeds with garden edging, keeping your flowers, gardens and lawns free of uninvited guests.

Depending on the material and size of the garden edge you create, you can even discourage larger animals like dogs, cats and deer from trampling your flowers and veggies. This will help prevent cross contamination between different garden beds as well.

Helping You With Maintenance

While it takes some work to install, garden edging will help you with long term landscaping maintenance. Trimming the edges of the lawn is easier when you have a solid line to guide you and you’ll avoid spreading grass into the flower beds that you’d need to clean up later. Any plants around the edges of the garden are a lot less likely to be damaged by mowing, weeding or general yard traffic which means you won’t have to replace them as often. This, combined with the bonus of keeping pests and weeds away, means more time for you to spend on other things.

Improving Your Garden’s Appearance

Garden edging can be just as visually pleasing as practical. With the many materials and techniques available for edging, you can create a beautiful aesthetic and benefit your plants. Some edging can create contrast by drawing bold lines between parts of your lawn, while others can stay neutral. Neutral-colored edging will give colorful flowers and foliage a perfect backdrop to stand out against. Not to mention, in protecting your lawn, pathways and garden beds from damage and pests you’ll be improving the look of your entire yard.

Garden edging can be incredibly beneficial to a landscape. Along with the visual appeal it’s also helpful in maintaining a successful garden. With the wide variety of edging materials available, you’re sure to find something that will fit your aesthetic and practical needs.





Posted by St. Martin Team on 9/15/2016

Cooking vegetables from your own garden is a great experience. In the same way that you appreciate a meal made from scratch more than a frozen dinner or takeout, cooking food that you grew yourself is an extremely rewarding feeling. Aside from being delicious, growing your own food can help you save money, waste less food, consume less plastic packaging (helping the environment), and try out new recipes you normally wouldn't. When it comes to planting vegetables for cooking, however, there's more to it than simply tossing some seeds in your garden. Here's how to get the most out of growing your own vegetables for use on the dinner table.

Plant smart

One of the first mistakes beginner gardeners make is planting the wrong vegetables or the wrong proportions of vegetables. One or two squash plants, for example, will provide ample amounts of squash for most small families. So, think about the meals you love to cook and what vegetables they require. Then find out how much those plants yield. Some vegetables can be planted and harvested at many times throughout the growing season. If you eat lots of leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.), don't plant a huge row all at once. Instead, plant in intervals of two or three weeks so you can reap the rewards throughout the season. Similarly, many lettuces (such a romaine) are able to be continually harvested--that means there's no need for pulling the whole planet out of the ground and replanting.

Plan your meals

To get the most out of your garden plan a weekly menu that incorporates items from your garden. If your tomatoes look like they're ripening, plan for making tomato sauce, pizza, or caprese sandwiches the following week. Get creative with recipes. If you have a surplus of peppers, try different stuffed pepper recipes. The internet is your best friend when it comes to discovering new uses for surplus vegetables.

Preserving

A garden should be useful to you year-round, not just during the autumn harvest season. There are several methods of preserving your vegetables. The way you choose depends on your own need. Common means of preservation include:
  • Freezing meals. Remember those stuffed peppers? You don't have to eat them every day of the week once your peppers are ripe. Cook up some rice, beans, and sauce, stuff your peppers and bake. Eat however much you want and place the rest in airtight bags in the freezer. They'll make great lunches for when you're in a rush.
  • Blanching and steaming.  If you're not quite sure how you'll want to use your vegetables but you know you'll use them later blanching and steaming are great options. Boil or steam them for five minutes then toss them into a bucket of ice-water to cool. Once cool, drain them and freeze them in bags.
  • Canning.  This method takes some preparation and research but canning is a great way to save fruits and vegetables for use throughout the year and are great if you don't have extra space in your freezer for frozen vegetables.







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