Taking pride in your garden and keeping it looking at its best can bring many benefits to you. Not only does gardening provide you with physical exercise out in the fresh air, it also provides you with a place where you can relax, clear your stress levels and free yourself from your everyday worries. A healthy beautiful garden needs a lot of care. By following these 6 tips you can take care of your garden and achieve a lovely garden that will give you pleasure for many years.
The three elements that are the most important to the growth of any garden whether you are planting flowers and shrubs or planting up a vegetable garden are enough water, sunlight or light and the correct nutrients. Weeding and plant care are necessary to keep your garden looking at its best. A beautiful lawn completes a garden.
Most plants are composed of 75% to 95% water so the success of your garden will be directly related to accessing enough water. Plants will need more water when they are becoming established so after planting out seedlings or transplanting bigger plants you will need to water more. Rather water deeply less often than a bit of water more often as you wish to encourage a strong root system and not shallow surface roots.
Once your plants have established the amount of water they need will depend on the weather and what the rainfall in your area is. Obviously, plants will need more frequent watering in hot weather than in winter when they are resting. Water your plants early in the morning or later in the afternoon and not in the heat of the day.
An irrigation system is a boon to busy gardeners. A drip irrigation system that drips water onto the roots of the plant uses a lot less water than an overhead spray system which ends up watering the leaves which can lead to fungal diseases and mold on your plants.
Sunlight has an important effect on plants as they get their food and energy from it. Take note of the amount of sun in your garden by paying attention to where the sun falls during the summer, to determine which the sunny parts are, and which the shady parts are. It is important to plan your planting so that plants requiring more sun are planted together and shade plants are planted in an area of your garden that is more shaded. As a rule, if you are planting up a vegetable garden, they require more sun to give you a good harvest.
When preparing your garden, soil preparation is very important before you even start planting, so that you give your plants a head start with the best quality soil possible. Plants are expensive to buy, so it doesn’t make sense to skimp on compost and other nutrients because by cutting corners on preparation you will not have that green lush garden you are hoping for. Buy a good organic compost from your local garden center to be assured it is weed free. Many gardeners are making their own, but make sure it is well rotted otherwise you run the risk of spreading weeds and diseases onto your beds. For micro-nutrients, water-soluble or liquid fertilizers are easy to apply to your plants as some of the chemical fertilizers can burn your plants.
Weeds compete with your plants for precious nutrients and water. They can also harbor pests and diseases, so it is important to keep on top of this problem by pulling them out by their roots. Another way of keeping weeds under control is to place a thick layer of mulch over the soil. You can use any organic material such as leaf mold or wood chips as a mulch to discourage weeds from growing. Mulch has another advantage as it inhibits evaporation of water thus making your garden more water-wise.
Chemical weed killers are not recommended in a garden as they can poison your soil and with the move away from toxic chemicals in our environment, it is better to choose a natural remedy.
Caring for your garden means giving your plants a lot of attention. Keep an eye out for any pests or diseases and deal with them before they become a problem. It is preferable to try organic products first before resorting to toxic chemicals to take care of these problems. Not all insects are harmful, and the use of chemicals, unfortunately, kill the ‘good’ insects like bees as well as the ones you wish to get rid of. Bees and butterflies are natural pollinators that we should be encouraging by using pollen and nectar-producing plants in our gardens, specifically to attract them. Without these pollinating insects, fruit and vegetable production, as well as flowering plants, would be severely compromised and our entire eco-system would be worse off for all of us, including humans. So, it is vital that everyone does what they can to preserve these life-giving insects.
Plants need care during their growing season to encourage healthy growth and the best possible formation of fruit or flowers. Pinch back the stem tips and prune your plants if they become overgrown to shape them and encourage more healthy growth. Deadheading your flowering plants and shrubs encourages new blooms and should be carried out regularly. It is important to clean your garden tools with a good disinfectant like bleach so as not to spread mold or mildew to healthy plants.
As with the rest of your garden, your lawn needs to be watered regularly, fertilized and weeded to keep it looking its best. When mowing it is better not to mow the grass when it is wet. Also, not to set your mower on the shortest setting, as the grass can die off if cut too short. Sow seed in bare patches during the summer. It is a good idea to aerate your lawn to allow water to penetrate easily. It is important to keep the edges trimmed and neat.
As autumn approaches and the growing season ends, place a thick layer of mulch around your plants to protect their roots from the cold weather during their resting season. You have taken care of your garden during the summer, and now you can sit back and relax before planning to start all over again in the Spring!
Gardening is one of the most rewarding hobbies. Not only does it enable you to grow your own food and flowers, but you can also contribute to the greening of your environment by encouraging the return of bees and butterflies. These six ways to take care of your garden require hard work and perseverance but will deliver wonderful rewards. Just remember to kick back, put your hands behind your head, take a deep breath and smell the roses!