Create The Ultimate New Home Gift Basket

Posted by Katie S on Aug 28, 2020 10:08:01 AM

Create The Ultimate New Home Gift Basket

Did you know that the term “housewarming” comes from a time when people actually brought gifts of firewood to warm the new home of their friend or family member? Although the type of gifts has evolved and the sentiment is more metaphorical than literal, warming someone’s new home is still a valued tradition.

If you are looking for creative ideas for a housewarming gift that bridges meanings both historical and modern, and that is both thoughtful and useful, we have just the list for you.

 

1. Go Traditional

Housewarming gift ideas

One of my favorite housewarming gifts our family received when we bought our home was filled with some of these traditional items that carry with them a blessing for the new home.

    • A fresh loaf of bread: “That your home may never know hunger.”
    • Honey: “That you always know the sweetness of life.”
    • Salt (or a favorite spice): “That there always be spice in your life.”
    • Coins :“For luck or good fortune.”

 

2. Go Practical
Housewarming gift ideas

 

Whether your friend is buying a new home or a historic landmark, they will soon feel the pains of home-ownership. Literally the night we closed on our home, horizontal rains caused a roof leak which led to a huge bubble of water in our guest bathroom. It happens. There’s always something that happens. And then, something else. The good news is, this is where Nite Ize excels. Throw in some of our essentials that quickly become homeowner-favorites for repairs or sprucing up the place. These are way better gift options than a house plant that may inevitably die.

  • Gear Ties: when it comes to a “fix anything” tool, Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties can’t be beat. Hold anything together. Organize cords. Hang everything neatly in a nicely organized new space. These are a new homeowner’s best friend.
Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie
  • A Giant S-Biner: when it’s DIY time, having a big ole S-Biner #10 around can make light work of heavyweight tasks. Carry multiple paint buckets, hang up the heavy stuff, or clip it and use it as an extra hand.
S-Biner
  • A Great Flashlight To Explore Those Not-So-Great Crawl Spaces: The INOVA T4R is an intensely bright flashlight, perfect for spotting all those spiders in the attic or for looking under that new deck when trying to figure out those “where is that smell coming from?” questions.
INOVA T4R Flashlight
  • Slick Accessories For That New House Key: New houses tend to come with a handful of new keys. Help keep the new homeowner organized with handy IdentiKey Tags to label any key. And, no home is complete without a super-secret place to hide the spare key – upgrade theirs with the HideOut XL Magnetic Key Box.
HideOut XL Magnetic Key Box
Clip Pock-Its XL and GearLine
 
3. Go For Safety

Home Emergency Kit

Here’s a thought – give them something you hope they’ll never use, but that they will seriously thank you if they do. Every home should have an emergency kit – something to help in power-outages, storms, and other emergency situations. Throw in a few items to get your friends started on a kit. For a comprehensive list of ideas, check out our Home Emergency Kit Checklist.

4. Buck The Trend With A Bucket

New home gift basket

Baskets are lovely, but if you want to give them something really useful, make it a gift bucket instead. A 5-gallon bucket is worth its weight in gold when it comes to house projects.

 

Whether you opt to give something symbolic, sentimental, or practical, your new homeowner friend or family member will surely appreciate this time-honored tradition. Although any housewarming gift is a nice gesture, it's even nicer when you can give something that they'll use in their new home for years to come.

Topics: Garage Organization, Gear Ties, DIY, Home

How I Tie Down My Gear (And Keep It There)

Posted by MJ Smoot on Jul 23, 2020 10:08:48 AM

How To Tie Down Your Gear And Keep It There

As a rock climber for over 10 years, I never really paid much attention to tie down straps. I was a knot-tier and felt confident that I could secure just about any load with a piece of rope and the right knot. After losing a few items and pulling over to re-tie my loads one too many times, I’ve learned the value of quality tie-downs the hard way. And after years of trial and error, I’ve found the perfect tie-down options for my rig that ended up being a total game changer and time saver. With that said, I’ll jump right into the types of tie down straps that I like carry and some examples of how I’ve used them.

 

Outside the Vehicle

Whenever I am securing something to the outside of my rig – be it the roof rack of a car/SUV or in the bed of a truck – I prefer a tie down option that won’t accidentally come untied. The one that I always have in the storage box of my SUV are the Dual CamJam Tie Down System.

Dual CamJam Tie Down System

The Dual CamJam is great for larger items, and I’ve used mine to secure a lawn mower in a truck bed, mattress and box spring to my roof rack, as well as paddle boards and kayaks. The loop on the end of the webbing makes it easy to attach the strap to one anchor point and the dual cam system on the buckle allows you to rig your system in ways that a traditional cam strap won’t. Such as, wrapping the webbing around your load so that it does not slide around when driving (i.e. a load of 2x4s hanging out of a truck bed). The Dual Camjam also gives you a 3-to-1 mechanical advantage when tightening the webbing, meaning that pound-for-pound, you can put more tension on your load than with a traditional cam strap.

Dual CamJam Tie Down System

Pro Tip: When in doubt, buy a cam strap that comes with a longer webbing length. That way you’ll never come up short, and if you have extra webbing, you can tie up the unused portion so that it doesn’t flap in the wind when you’re driving down the road.

 

Inside the Vehicle

Inside my rig, the CamJam XT Aluminum has been just as handy. I’ve used it to secure a propane tank and cooler to the back of my SUV, not to mention a baby stroller to the side of my cargo area while still allowing enough space for my dog. The CamJam XT has even doubled as a dog leash when I forgot to grab one for a camping trip.

CamJam XT

In other situations, I’ve found the CamJam XT Aluminum to be perfect for securing lightweight items and when there are eyelets to clip onto. To make setup easy, I keep a loop tied in the end of the paracord I use with the XT so that I can loop it over, around, or girth hitched to whatever I’m securing. Then to tighten the line, all I need to do is pull the cord through the CamJam XT and the camming lever on the buckle does the rest. This little tie down has come in handy when securing camping gear on my roof rack, a tarp over dirt in the bed of a truck, and when picking up a Christmas tree during the holidays.

CamJam XT Aluminum

 

The “All-Arounder” Tie Down

There have been more than a few times when the object I want to tie down isn’t quite compatible with a cam strap or paracord, and for these miscellaneous “How am I going to tie this down?” moments, I’ve come to love the versatility of Gear Ties.

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

These reusable rubber twist ties have a soft, grippy rubber coating that won’t damage whatever they are tied to, nor will they slip or move about when tied to a roof rack or in your car. I’ve used the 32in. and 64in. lengths to bundle and secure pieces of trim molding in my car and have also used the thicker Mega Gear Ties to hold a ladder on my roof rack.

Gear Tie Mega

One of my favorite out-of-the-box uses was when I secured a milk crate to the roof of my SUV to transport firewood during a camping trip to Wyoming and Utah. I’ll be honest, I had my doubts but after driving several hours through Wyoming at 85mph without the milk crate moving, I was sold. With a few twists, those Gear Ties were rock solid!

 

How I Tie Down My Gear (And Keep It There)

Whether you use a cam strap, ratchet, Gear Tie or tie a trucker’s hitch when securing your loads is a matter of personal preference. No matter what method you choose, what is most important is ensuring that your load is secure and won’t come undone on a fast-moving highway, possibly putting other drivers at risk. For this reason alone, I always make sure I have a few tie-downs in my SUV. That way, I never have to worry about being stuck without one and can always lend a hand (or strap) to other drivers stranded on the road after their last-minute tie-down solution failed.

Topics: Gear Ties, Adventure, DIY, Tie Downs

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

Posted by Brian Lambert on Jul 1, 2020 11:13:57 AM

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

If you consider yourself a Do-It-Yourselfer, have home projects, or are thinking of adding a new feature to your personal sanctuary, the Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster is going to be your new favorite accessory. This is the story of how it became mine….

We purchased our dream home in the mountains a couple of years ago, and with it came the customary honey-do list of things to update. This included replacing some electrical outlets, installing blinds and replacing light fixtures. 

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

I broke out the Clip Pock-its XL Utility Holster to begin the job. In mine I keep a Phillips and standard screwdriver, my DoohicKey Key Chain Knife, crescent wrench, pliers, and wire cutters, so I'm always ready to tackle basic tasks. I added a contact voltage tester for the work around the house and the holster carried everything I needed to complete the list (and maintain a healthy marriage).

NiteDog and NiteHowl in the snowIt was still dark when my dog Dexter came running into my room at 5:30am and woke me to let him out. It had snowed almost 3 feet the night before and it was still snowing. The moon was almost full, and it lit the falling snow like glitter gently falling to the ground. I could have used an extra hour of sleep, but the winter scene made it worth getting up early, plus I was going to have to plow the road in order to get to work. 

It was about 15 below zero, so I layered up, brewed a cup of coffee, climbed into my Polaris ATV, and started plowing down the mountain. I was about halfway down the road when I heard a loud pop. I didn’t think anything of it since the occasional rock would bounce into the plow, but when I attempted to brake as I started down a steep descent, the pedal went to the floor. I quickly dropped the plow to stop the rig and climbed out into the cold morning to see what happened. My tire chain had popped, snagged the brake line, and ripped it off. There was no way to move it safely, so I put a couple of rocks under the tires and hiked back up the hill. I was pondering trying to blast through the last half mile with my truck so I could get to work and to the store to get a new brake line, but the wind was picking up and covered what I had just plowed. Plan B…. It was MacGyver time. 

I grabbed my Clip Pock-Its Holster (already loaded with the tools I needed), as well as some silicone tape and sealant and skied back down the hill to fix the brake line. I dug under my rig through the snow, untangled the chain, re-routed the line, wrapped the holes in silicone tape, and spread the sealant to try to stop the leak. Even though I was crawling back and forth in the snow, the holster stayed snuggly on my belt, giving me easy access to my tools without having to take off my gloves. I started the engine to try to warm it under the Polaris enough for the silicone to dry. It worked! The brakes were soft, but I was able to run two lanes to clear enough snow enough to get out. (Warning: It was a temporary fix in an emergency sort of situation. I do not recommend this.  Broken brake lines should always be replaced.)  

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

Living in the mountains has many advantages, but anyone with a house in a remote area that is forested is concerned about fires.  Wildfire mitigation to create a defensible space around the home is essential and, in many states, a mitigation plan is required by law. In my case, the area I live unfortunately already burned down. The fire mitigation plan is oriented towards clearing the dozens of downed trees and when possible, harvesting the tree for firewood. This was the perfect excuse to buy a new chainsaw.  Anyone that has used a chainsaw will tell you that it is essential to keep it sharp. I might have to sharpen the saw a couple of times a day, depending on the number of trees.  A good sharpening kit will include a couple of round files, a flat file, and a round file guide and depth gauge. I like to include my DoohicKey Knife and a tweezers, which all fit perfectly in the holster. I wear it around the property so I don't have to walk back to the house when my chainsaw needs to be sharpened. I ended up using it so often that I bought a second holster so I can keep my chainsaw kit at the ready when I need it.

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

To sum it up, whether I'm accomplishing a simple task, or in a critical situation, the Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster makes the job easier. I don't have to constantly hunt for my tools or worry about how to get them where I need them. If you want an incredibly convenient way to carry essential tools, this holster is the accessory you need…plus, it works much better than a tool belt if you want to wear shorts. 

Topics: Emergency Preparedness, DIY, Home

Four Ways To Have a Phenomenal Father’s Day

Posted by Katie S on Jun 9, 2020 10:35:58 AM

Four Ways To Have A Fun Father's Day

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year to honor those big loveable lugs in our lives who we call Dad, Daddio, Papa, Poppi, or Pops. The point being, let’s make sure that this Father’s Day brings out “fun-dad,” because everyone loves when dad is being “fun-dad” – especially dad! As a starting point, let’s assume that dad might be in the current mindset of “bored-dad." So, let’s get him out of the house. There’s a very good chance the dad in your life doesn’t need too much “stuff”– what he’d probably most like is to get out and do something memorable with his kids. If the dad in your life also now goes by “granddad,” pick an activity that can include all the generations. Grandpas really love to teach their grandkids new skills. And even better, a lot of dads really like activities that don’t involve big crowds. Without further ado, here are our suggestions for showing dad a great time on his day:

Hit The Links

Ways To Have A Fun Father's Day

Sure, it’s stereotypical, but a lot of dads really do love golf. If the sport has never tickled your fancy, maybe give it a shot and let him teach you the ins and outs. Or you can look up some of your local courses and book a tee time for him, then meet up for a picnic or BBQ when he wraps up.

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

 

*Step Up His Game With Nite Ize Gear*

Amp up his day with a couple S-Biners for his golf bag – they are great for clipping a towel, cleaning brush, or variety of other useful items for quick access on the course. If he likes to enjoy a cold drink on the course, give him a SlapLit Drink Wrap to light up his beverage and keep it cool.

 

 

 

Feel Groovy On A Night Ride

Best Father's Day Ideas

Who doesn’t love a bike ride? Make it extra memorable by lighting up his bike with SpokeLit Wheel Lights, and a Radiant Head and Tail Light, then you could all cruise out for an evening ride to pick up ice cream and dine al fresco at your favorite creamery.

 

Get Out And Catch The Big One

Father's Day Fishing Day

If the dad in your life loves to fish, then that’s probably exactly what he’d love to be doing this Father’s Day weekend. Temps are warming up and the fish are hungry. This is definitely one where bringing all the generations will make it an extra special day, a perfect time to learn about dad/grandpa’s favorite sport.

SlideLock 360˚ Magnetic Locking Carabiner

 

*Help Him Net The Big One With Nite Ize Gear*

If you want to give dad a little something extra for his fishing day, our SlideLock 360° makes a versatile locking net release, and our RunOff Waterproof Bags mean no one soaks a phone, wallet, or car keys – keeping it a truly happy Father’s Day for all.

 

 

 

Knock Out A Project Together

Father's Day Ideas

Have you been watching all these overly-productive people cranking out project after project in their homes, but you just haven’t quite found your motivation? Let dad help you do it. Pick a project and work on it together. If your dad is handy, great! But even if he isn’t it can be a fun experience figuring out a problem together, and hopefully at the end of the day or weekend, you’ll have finished project to celebrate.

FathersDay-ClipPockIts

 

*Some Nite Ize Gear To Help Projects Run Smoothly*

If your dad is a handy guy, he’ll love the Clip Pock-Its XL utility holster to keep tools readily at hand, and you can’t go wrong with a mixed pack of Gear Ties to organize, maneuver, and MacGuyver any problems that come up as you work together.

 

 

Have other great ideas for unforgettable Father’s Day activities that Nite Ize can help with? Share your suggestions in the comments section below. Have a happy and safe Father’s Day everyone!

Topics: Gear Ties, Fun & Games, Bike, DIY, Fitness, fishing, runoff, waterproof bags, slaplit, golf

Gear Ties Vs. Zip Ties Vs. Everything Else

Posted by Katie S on Mar 24, 2020 1:08:53 PM

GearTies vs. Zip Ties

They may say, “you can’t have it all”, but every now and again there’s someone or something that we can all agree truly does. When it comes to utility tools, Nite Ize Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties are exactly that – the “Belle of the Ball” and undoubtedly, the envy of all other utility ties.

If you’ve never used a Gear Tie, it may be difficult to understand just what a game changer they can be in your everyday life. If you have used them, then you, my lucky friend, are among the enlightened.

Why Gear Ties are better than Zip TiesMany people are used to grabbing a rubber band, tape, or a zip tie when you have a problem that needs wrapping or securing. Once you’ve learned the ways of the Gear Tie, you’ll never make that mistake again. Sure, rubber bands are cheap and convenient, they come free with your bundle of asparagus and might be ok for that job. But let’s be honest, other than making a rubber band ball to impress your friends, they lack in any other impressive abilities.

I will admit that duct tape has some pretty fun uses (and gets some notable press), and it is especially great for taping ducts… but let’s be honest, it’s not reusable and it leaves that sticky film on everything else. And okay, zip ties may have a certain sexy-Hollywood appeal associated with Liam Neeson films where he adeptly incapacitates bad guys with them. But a quick internet search will show you how even mere mortals can defeat zip-tie handcuffs like a boss (see here, just in case you’re ever taken captive via zip tie).  But most likely, your most memorable experiences with zip ties are of them popping, and then something that you worked very hard to put together breaking, or if you’ve ever worked trade shows, your memories may be filled with cutting hundreds of them apart at the end of a show and tossing them in the trash.

Enter, the Gear Tie. A truly better, more versatile, more eco-friendly option which will give you magical MacGyver-like problem solving skills in any situation.

GearTie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

Gear Ties are made with a grippy, durable rubber exterior which makes them waterproof for indoor and outdoor use. That tough exterior is molecularly bonded to the bendable wire interior, so it won’t pull apart or let you down. With sizes ranging from 3” and 6” cord-wrapping Gear Ties all the way to 64” Mega-sized, doubly-strong Gear Ties, the possibilities of what you can do with them are endless. And the Gear Ties themselves are endlessly reusable – no guilt of adding anything else to our landfills. That is love. And that my friends, is why the Gear Tie really does have it all. We should all be so lucky.

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties

What is your favorite Gear Tie use or problem-solved story? Please share with us in the comments section below.

Topics: Gear Ties, DIY, Home, Organization, Tech and Gadget

5 Ways to Make The Most Out of Your Leap Day

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Feb 20, 2020 3:13:22 PM

4 Ways to Make The Most Out of Your Leap Day

Once every four years, we get an extra day in February as part of our Leap Year, called Leap Day. As a result, we have a 366-day calendar year in 2020. What will you do with your extra 24 hours?

 

1. Hit the road with an adventure in mind.

Steelie Windshield Mount

An extra day means an extra chance to check something off the bucket list, whether it’s an adventure to a small nearby town, a hike to a hidden lake, or a sledding trip with the kids. If you’re planning to be around water or snow, bring a RunOff Waterproof Pocket to keep your phone, ID, and cards dry and accessible. Don't forget your Steelie to help navigate your way to adventure!

 

2. Clear out that cluttered basement or garage.

How to Organize Your Garage

Leap Day is your opportunity to take on that cluttered part of your home without losing time. Grab 3 boxes and label them “keep”, “donate”, and “trash”, placing items into their respective boxes as you make your way through the space. Once you’ve cleared out the mess, use Gear Ties to organize tangled cords and bundles, and large S-Biners to hang up old backpacks, tools, and supplies. 

Tip: If you struggle letting go of things, use Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method. Hold each item in your hand and see if it “sparks joy” or makes you feel happy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, donate or toss it.

 

3. Get Moving.

SpokeLit LED Wheel Light

While it may already be the last day of February, there’s no time like the present to start working towards your health goals. Pull the bike out of the garage or take off on an evening run to get some fresh air and be active at the same time. You can even bring the whole family along to spend quality time together while working up a sweat. Clip a TagLit Rechargeable Magnetic LED Marker to your clothing or a SpokeLit Rechargeable Wheel Light to your bike so you remain visible to drivers when you're out after sundown.

 

4. Give Back.

LeapDay-GiveBack

One surefire way to make yourself feel proud is to volunteer for a cause you're passionate about. Volunteering opportunities are endless, but some ideas to get you started are helping out at a local food bank, animal shelter, or senior center, participating in a public spaces cleanup, or you can even opt to donate blood. Websites like VolunteerMatch and JustServe are helpful resources for finding projects and organizations in your area. You'll be amazed at how good you'll feel after giving back to your community.

 

5. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your extra day off.  

S-Biner Ahhh... Aluminum Bottle Opener

In the same way that Leap Day adds balance to our calendar year, this extra day can add balance to your life, too. If you’re always sticking to a schedule and on-the-go, this is your chance to recharge, guilt-free. Crack open a cold one (with an Ahhh... Aluminum Bottle Opener of course), recline that chair, and enjoy a free day of relaxation, binge watching, and maybe even a nap. And if you took our advice on #4, you definitely deserve it!

 

What are you planning to do with your Leap Day? Let us know in the comments and we wish you an adventurous, productive, or relaxing free day!

Topics: leap year, Garage Organization, Gear Ties, Leap Day, Adventure, Bike, DIY, Home, Organization, Fitness, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, Steelie

10 Beginner Tips for a Successful Vegetable Garden

Posted by Katie S on May 16, 2019 11:11:55 AM

10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden

If you’ve never grown a vegetable garden before or if you’ve only dabbled with the occasional potted veggie plants, fully committing can be an intimidating prospect. So, let me put your mind at ease. Everything will be OK. If you plan a little and set aside a bit of time for regular maintenance, you will succeed in your garden. You’ll probably hit a few speed bumps the first year, but you’ll learn a lot, and you will have the satisfaction of eating your own vegetables.

The three essential factors for a successful vegetable garden are sun, water, and protection, but here are a few other helpful tips for getting started:

1. Like all good things, it starts with a healthy foundation. 

Nutrient-rich soil is key for growing healthy vegetables. If you’re filling empty raised beds, it’s worth buying good planting soil from your local garden shop so you have a weed-free starting point. (Plus, it’s great to make friends and support your local shop – they will have expert tips for growing in your area.) If you are turning an existing bed into a vegetable garden, you may want to work-in a bag or two of soil conditioner. Or, to save money a great way to renew nutrients is by burying your leaves. In the fall, mow over your fallen leaves, then bury them 6-8” down in your bed, or layer them over the top then work them down by doing multiple passes with a tiller before the ground freezes. 

 

2. In the battle against pests, take the high ground and fortify your borders. 

Do you think bunnies are adorable fuzzy neighbors? When you see a deer in the yard do Disney-esque memories start playing in your head to a cheerful tune? Just wait till you start your vegetable garden, you may develop a new perspective on these agile, hungry nemeses. Raised beds/boxes are a great option for beginner and seasoned gardeners – fewer opportunities for weeds, natural protective border (though I still recommend chicken wire above this if you have bunnies or deer), less back pain, and control over possible soil contaminants.

 

3. Know your bugs.

When it comes to vegetables, there are good bugs, and there are bad bugs. For some of the best bugs see tip #7 – because we need BEES. For the bad bugs, enter aphids, AKA “gardeners arch nemesis #1” and slugs, or “Ugs” as my toddler calls them. Unfortunately, both these bugs are common just about everywhere in the U.S. Let’s begin with slugs. The way my mom taught me to deal with these pests is to put a small saucer or tuna can in the garden and fill it with beer. The slugs climb in and drown themselves in a drunken stupor. It might sound crazy, but I swear it works – and it doesn’t need to be the good stuff, you can use your cheap beer. Also see tip #4 for another way to deal with slugs – *hint* it’s snakes. Getting rid of aphids can be fun too. When I moved to Colorado, I learned it’s common practice to buy ladybugs and release them into your garden in late spring and they will take care of the aphids for you. You can order small buckets of these beneficial beetles online or pick them up at your local garden shop, then store them in your fridge until you’re ready to release them (try not to think too hard about a couple thousand bugs escaping in your fridge…they basically don’t move in the cold). Then just before nightfall, water your garden well and sprinkle the ladybugs throughout. With a nice damp environment and local aphids to feast on, the ladybugs will settle in and make your garden their home.

10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden 

4. Embrace the slithery.

Unless snakes are truly the things your nightmares are made of, there is no downside to good ole garters in your garden. Yes, the beady eyes and slithering startle me every time, but these effective little hunters will decimate many of those problematic bugs listed above. And despite encouraging my husband to pick the little guy in this photo up to show our son, I don’t recommend picking them up in general – they emit a horrendous odor on your hands, and frankly you want them to continue living unbothered in your garden.

 10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden

5. Mother knows best.

For the Middle and Northern U.S., Mother’s Day marks the time when you are generally safe from snow and frost to plant your garden.

 

6. Set yourself up for success with hardy growers.

For your first go, I highly recommend choosing vegetables that are easier to grow and maybe throw in one of the more difficult ones to play around with while you get your feet wet. These are the ones I suggest before you move on to the more finicky species: tomatoes, zucchini and squash, cucumbers, peas, and potatoes.

 

7. There’s no shame in starting with starts. 

Sure, growing plants from seed is a great feeling of accomplishment, but it also requires more advanced planning and patience than picking up healthy starts from a local shop. If patience and pre-planning aren’t your thing, or if you feel more confident in picking up starts, go for it! This is often the most popular route anyways, especially for tomatoes.

 

8. Expect big things. 

Remember that your little seedlings or starts have months more growing to do. Place your stakes and tomato cages at the same time you plant so as not to damage roots or branches later when the plants are larger. Support heavy branches with Gear Tie Reusable Foam Twist Ties and prune off over abundant growth if needed. Zucchini plants will be enormous and cucumbers and other vine vegetables will take up most of your garden space if you let them, so I recommend placing a trellis for them to grow up rather than out – this also helps keep the slugs off them.

10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden 

9. Don’t forget the flowers.

A common problem in vegetable gardens is poor pollination – if your plant doesn’t have cross pollination, it won’t fruit. Bees are the answer (wind can help too). One of the best ways to attract them throughout the growing season is by having flowers near your vegetable garden to bring them round. Most flowers will attract bees, but if you want specific suggestions for the best, check out this article by the Honeybee Conservancy: “21 Flowers That Attract Bees”.

 10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden

10. Herbs for the win. 

I love having a kitchen garden on our back deck where I can easily pick fresh herbs for our meals. Mine is separate from the vegetables, but there are many benefits to planting herbs in with your veggies, a practice called companion planting. For detailed info on companion planting with herbs, check out this article by the Gardening Channel: “Herbs that Pair Perfectly as Growing Partners”. Many herbs help to repel unwanted insects and even rodents, while the flowering ones tend to be great bee-attractors. You don’t want the ones you cook with to flower though (pick off they buds when they start) as it negatively affects the taste. So, if you have the space, plant twice as many as needed and let half go to seed for the bees while keeping the others pruned for eating. If you are looking forward to fresh mint for your mojitos, plant it in a pot – it’s invasive and while it smells delightful, it will take over everything if planted in the garden! And, if you’re not much of a cook, you can plant a cocktail garden instead, because of course that’s a thing now: “Grow a Cocktail Garden”.

Those are my tips for getting your vegetable garden started. I hope you’ve learned something new and are feeling excited and confident about planting. Please feel free to leave your own tips in the comments below for the community.

Topics: outdoors, DIY, Home, gardening

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