If you have envisaged your garden as a safe haven from all the stress the daily grind brings, it goes without saying that you must keep it healthy in order to enjoy the serenity it provides. Maintenance is required all year round, but even if it seems like a daunting task at first, there are ways to make this experience much more enjoyable, and your garden radiant and blooming. These five helpful tips will help you on your way towards the garden of your dreams.
Choose the Right Soil
Healthy and productive plants come from fertile, absorbent, loamy soil with the right pH. It is the first crucial step towards successful gardening. Choosing organic soil will help your plants resist pests and diseases without artificial pesticides and chemicals. Composed of nutrients and mineral-rich elements, it provides your plants with stronger cell wells and more layers of protection. However, this does not mean that the soil will do most of the work for you – it is still necessary to turn it at least once a month so it remains loose and light. Clay soils will benefit from organic compost topping which will keep it at its peak for a longer period of time.
Pick Your Plants
Not all the plants you like or want will thrive in your garden. While making your choice you have to consider which ones will match the planting conditions you have. Choose ones that will adequately adjust to available light, moisture, soil type and quality as well as dimensions. Furthermore, the resistance to pests and diseases also vary in plants, so you might want to opt for the stronger ones. One more thing you ought to consider is whether or not you or your family members have allergy issues. If a gorgeous flower will make you sniff and sneeze, you’ll hardly be able to enjoy it. That’s why it is a good idea to consider some hypoallergenic varieties, such as daffodils, hydrangeas and roses which will make your garden irresistible without triggering your allergies.
As much as watering is beneficial to your garden, it might prove to be just as deadly. Pathogens in the soil and air that are detrimental to your garden need water to move, grow and multiply, so it is of utmost importance to choose methods that limit moisture on the plants’ foliage. This can be managed by using soaker hoses or drip irrigation. If you must water by hand, keep the leaves from getting too wet while you’re watering the roots. Remember not to water excessively, since roots can suffocate in waterlogged soil, while root-rotting fungi thrive and finish the job.
Spacing is key for keeping your plants healthy. Not only do you have to plant them at a sufficient distance, but you should also monitor their growth so they do not spread too much, leaving too small a space between them. When crowded, plants create their own humidity which allows diseases like mildew to thrive. This can be avoided by leaving enough airflow between them in order to reduce the high level of humidity and enable faster drying of foliage. Otherwise, your plants will compete for the essentials – sunlight, water and necessary nutrients; they will become weak and more susceptible to diseases, some of which will spread by contact as well, so there are really no benefits to having plants too close to one another. Trim and rearrange your plants if necessary, in order to keep them happy and healthy.
Use the Right Tools
Although some gardening tools do not require much thought (such as a sturdy pair of gloves or a shovel), there are tools without which you definitely won’t be at the top of your gardening game. A quality rake is a must, but be sure to get a mini one. Hand rakes are perfect for turning topsoil, especially when it comes to smaller garden spaces. It breaks up the soil and makes a soft bed suitable for planting while removing small stones and weeds that hog the much-needed nutrients your plants so sorely need. If this doesn’t rid you of pesky weeds, you might think that just yanking them out by hand will do the trick. However, by doing this you risk leaving the roots behind in your soil. In this case, using a tool like a hand weeder is the best option. Just insert the pronged head at the base of the plant and push down the handle to pop the roots from the ground. If you should wish to plant bulbs, nailing the right depth is essential. With the bulb planter, you’ll always get it right since all you need to do is push it into the soil to get a perfect little hole so you can plant your bulb-based blooms.
Having a beautiful garden has many benefits – it provides a place for rest and relaxation, it can give you healthy produce as well as a stunning display of shapes and colors. It relieves stress and anxiety, provides an opportunity for exercise and a good excuse to spend some time in sunlight and fresh air. But in order for it to be able to give all this in return, you must take great care of it and pay much attention to its maintenance. With just a little tender loving care, your garden will always be your pride and joy.