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Thursday, January 18, 2024

5 Tips for Home Gardening

Whether you’re just starting your gardening journey or you’re a seasoned green thumb, you know that gardening is more than just a patch of soil. It’s where your artistry–and nature’s–unfolds. Getting the most out of your garden requires knowledge, care, creativity and resourcefulness. Here, we’ve compiled five tips and tricks to help your garden grow. 

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Know Your Soil

Soil is, first and foremost, the foundation of your garden. Understanding your soil’s composition, from pH level to texture to nutrient contents, is crucial to your success. Conduct an at-home test to determine the health of your soil. Adding organic matter like compost will help to improve soil structure, fertility and water retention.

So, how do you conduct a soil test?

Well, there are a few choices. Here are your best options: 

    1. Purchase a soil pH test from a home and garden store, and follow its instructions closely.
    2. Mix a half cup of vinegar with a scoop of your soil. If it fizzes or bubbles, your soil is alkaline, or has a high pH level. Most plants thrive at a lower (acidic) pH level of about 6.5. Mix a half cup of water with a scoop of soil, and add baking soda. If it fizzes or bubbles, your soil is acidic. If neither test results in bubbles, your soil is neutral. Research your specific plants to see what pH level is ideal for your soil.

Right Plant, Right Place

We all know that not all plants thrive in the same conditions. It’s important to understand what plants are well-suited to your climate, soil and sunlight exposure. For instance, plants such as carrots and onions may require more water than lettuce and potatoes. Additionally, your soil’s water retention will affect your plant’s access to water. Compost-rich soil tends to have better water retention. 

Consider techniques such as companion planting, in which certain plants can help each other grow by proximity. Some plants help to repel or attract pests or beneficial insects. For example, some gardeners choose to plant basil near tomatoes can both affect their flavor and deter pests. Research companion planting in regards to your specific plants. If you’ve got a lot of ground to cover, you may need more than just a shovel. Check out some of our top-tier planting equipment at the link below for larger-scale planting projects.

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Water Efficiency

Efficient watering techniques are key to gardening success. Watering deeply but less frequently can help to grow deeper roots. Soaker hoses or drip irrigators are popular choices to minimize water loss. Similarly to companion planting, it can be beneficial to place plants that require similar levels of water consumption near each other. This will help to prevent over- or under-watering specific plants. 

Regular Maintenance

Routine maintenance will help to ensure that your plants continue to flourish. Stay on top of tasks such as weeding, pruning, deadheading and monitoring for pests and diseases. Address any issues promptly and naturally when possible. Need help hauling supplies and getting around the property? John Deere Gators are designed to help take the load off.

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Quick Tip

Some insects are good! Ladybugs, lacewings and bees and other pollinators are a few examples of beneficial biodiversity in your garden. Create habitats such as butterfly gardens and bee hotels


Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Staying curious and open to new ideas and techniques is the best way to learn how to make your specific garden work for your needs. Some gardeners keep a journal to track successes, failures, challenges and observations throughout the seasons. 

Top Tools for Gardening and Lawn Care

John Deere Lawn Tractor

With variable mowing, mulching and bagging capabilities, as well as the ability to pull lawn carts and more, a John Deere lawn tractor is among the most versatile tools to get your lawn and garden in top shape. Click here to check out our selection of lawn tractors. 

Quick Tip: Rig Your Grass Chute

The grass chute can tend to get in the way of close-edge areas like fence lines and the base of trees. Some homeowners prefer to drill a hole in the end of the chute and attach a handled rope so you can pull it out of the way in edging situations.

STIHL Equipment

We’ve got dozens of STIHL tools perfectly designed to help out around the garden. Check out tools like  Chainsaws, Blowers, Hedge Shears, Pruners, Hand Saws and much more.

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Reach Out to a Professional

Here at Heritage Tractor, we pride ourselves in being your choice equipment dealer. If you’re looking for more tips, tricks or tools to keep your garden in top shape, reach out to one of our experts! We’re here to help, and passionate about getting the best tools available into your hands. 

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