While the summer may seem like a little while off yet (and the cold weather doesn’t particularly help), it’s important to start planning for your DIY renovations now. Nisha Kaushal from Loft Centre takes us through some DIY renovation ideas for the summer months.

A perfect home improvement project for the summer is the renovation of a back yard with a garden of tomato plants and gerbera daisies. The warm months provide rain that is rich in nutrients that encourage rapid growth. An investment in plants that produce food or flowers provides dividends throughout the summer.

The thought of doing the hard work that is required to prepare the soil deters many potential gardeners. However, the combination of container gardening and a vertical support system removes the objectionable aspects of the activity, and it is easy to get started. Green plants that sit in containers on a bed of white rocks create an attractive feature that adds life to a back yard.

Preparing the Garden Location

A corner of the yard that gets full sun for at least six hours a day is the best location for a small garden. Preparation of the space should include the following steps.

1. Outline an area that is about 8 feet square.
2. Cover it with black garbage bags.
3. From a home improvement store, get four landscape timbers and four bags of white rocks.
4. Place the timbers around the edge of the plastic to hold it in place.
5. Pour the rocks onto the plastic and evenly distribute them.

Starting a Container Garden

Home improvement stores have a variety of tomato plants that already have blooms, and many even have small tomatoes on the vine. Large plants that are well established with healthy leaves give a gardener a head start. The soil in the pots from a reliable garden shop contains the nutrition that the plant needs for the first two weeks of growth. A tomato plant can thrive on the rich nutrients and develop a vine that may reach 10 feet or more. A support system is essential to support the weight of the fruit.

The basic steps to set up a container garden and a support system are as follows;

1. Gather the required materials, including two of the largest and healthiest tomato plants at a garden or home improvement store.

2. Include three large pots of gerbera daisies and two lengths of pvc pipe that are one inch in diameter.

2. On a work table, turn each tomato container on its side while supporting the plant.

3. With a knife, make cuts in the bottom of each container large enough for the pvc pipe to pass through.

4. Set the tomato and gerbera pots on the white rocks in a pleasing configuration that puts the shorter plants in front.

5. Cut a slit through the plastic below the location of each tomato pot.

6. Insert a pvc pipe into each tomato container; extend it through the plastic.

7. While standing on a ladder, drive the pipe through the opening in the plastic for a distance of about 18 inches.

8. As the tomato vine grows, tie it to the pvc pipe with strips of cloth.

For a small investment in plants and materials, a home owner can renovate a back yard with blooming flowers and luscious tomatoes. Plants that produce flowers or fruit require a regular maintenance program of water and fertilizer every ten days. The beauty of the garden attracts the attention of family and friends who gather in the back yard for a cookout or a picnic.