This week on Hey Riley: We’ve got great homesteading tips in regards to gardening! Drought tolerant advice, gardening tips for beginners, and making the most of what you have. Keep reading for all the tips & tricks. Submit your own – we welcome all!
Hey Riley: My patio was chipping away, but I found a solution to save it! I covered in in concrete, and then used some tools to make it look more like stones: adding fake joins, etc. After it set I added real grout to the inset areas. Now it looks like a smooth stone patio! I’ll try to send a photo. – M.P.
Hey Riley: My husband and I just moved into our first home. We have a pretty spacious backyard and are trying to figure out what to do with it. We both work, love to entertain, and don’t have kids (yet). Whatever can we do with this space that isn’t too complicated, but will look nice and relaxing? -Newly Nested
Dear Newly Nested: What a fun journey you are about to embark on! While many find their zen while gardening and growing fresh plants, it is not a hobby for all! Look for containers or even vertical garden options to add some greenery without the hassle. Simple plants will only require water, and some trimming. Drought tolerant plants are suitable for the low-maintenance homeowner – Catch a full-list here.
You’ll also want to keep ample space for entertaining, build a patio and add seating. Adding a water feature and taller shrubs is a nice way to break up the space while adding some privacy. Your water feature may need to be cleaned out regularly, I would talk to an expert at your local hardware store to find the best one for your budget and needs.
Lastly, I would like to recommend a firepit. (Please respect the open-flame regulations in your area.) The mighty fire is a lovely asset to any yard, as it provides heat, light, and a means for cooking. It is also a lovely feature to gather around for late-night entertainers.
Meanwhile, make a plan that suits your time, and relax. -R.E.C.
Hey Riley: I’ve always been one for the colors found in nature. Keeping my garden as natural looking as possible in greens, greys, and browns. Recently however, I saw the most beautiful homestead in all natural colors, with just a pair of red garden chairs standing out. It brought the scene to life! What are your thoughts on color? How can I use it to enhance my own garden? -Considering Color
Dear C.C., There is no right or wrong way to let your garden grow. Now, of course there are basic guidelines we follow, but has anyone ever been locked up for wearing white after labor day? No.
Your garden is whatever you want it to be: clean kept, and in a row, casual country, wildflowers and overgrown… There is beauty in diversity. However, this blend of neutrals scene you have described is a wonderful way to start that is not overwhelming in color. The rule of thumb is to keep colors to a minimum of 1 or 2 accents. You have your base color, then you have your color pops. In fact, these color pops can even help bring out the neutral shades and give the garden life! Red is a notorious scene stealer, you’ve seen this in natural ways, like red roses, or in photos: a red barn on a green pastor, you’ve even seen this on exterior houses such as red shutters or a red front door. The one color pop ties the look together to make it that much more appealing.
Work with your own favorite colors, and experiment with colors to find what appeals to you and works with your own home the best. Inspiration can be found in the simplest of places, from magazine clippings to butterfly wings. -R.E.C.
Hey Riley: I live in California where we’re experiencing a drought and the city is regulating how often we can even water our lawns! How can I be water-wise with my garden while still getting the joy and therapy I need while gardening? -Need to Weed
Dear My Needy Friend: Don’t let the drought get you down, instead see it as an opportunity to plant new kinds of life! Try your hand at succulents, and other drought-tolerant plants. Switch out your lawn for a water-wise ground cover, and add stepping stones for a nice walkway. Here are 40 drought tolerant plant ideas to get your garden growing again. You can also take matters into your own hands, and save water on your homestead through various tips and tricks, like switching out your sink nozzle with a greener one (see more water-wise tips here). -R.E.C.
Riley, Riley, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With wishing wells and buzzing bees and bell[peppers] all in a row. 😉
That’s all for this week, stay tuned because next week we’ve got some great homesteading tips for the organized family!
Got a question or a handy tip of your own? Send it to Riley E. Carlson via [email protected]