Keeping a garden green and healthy is hard work. But it’s also immensely satisfying especially when you see the flowers starting to bloom or when your vegetables are ready to be harvested. To ensure that you have a productive garden year-round, here are nine tips you can follow:
Pick the right soil
A healthy garden starts with the right kind of soil. If you want your plants to grow and flourish, make sure that your soil is fertile and has good pH levels. Organic soil is always preferred but if you’re working with harder varieties like clay, which may become crumbly over time, turn the soil at least twice a month.
Use garden compost
Adding garden compost is a simple way of putting nutrients into your soil. Many gardeners even consider it as “black gold” because of the various benefits it brings. Improving plant health and growth is just one. In fact, when used on sandy soils, compost can significantly increase their water-absorbing capability.
Choose plants carefully
Choosing the right varieties of plants that fit your location and climate is key to maintaining a healthy garden. For example, if you live in Southern California where it’s seasonally hot, select plants that don’t require too much water, like sunflowers or zinnias. It would also do you well to look for disease-resistant varieties.
Inspect for bugs
One of the possible major cause of viral or bacterial infection in plants is insect damage. Bugs provide an opening for viruses to infect the plant. And because insects are virus carriers themselves, they could help spread the infection from one plant to another.
Apply the right amount of fertilizer
Too much fertilizer can cause a plant’s roots to get burned, reducing their effectiveness when absorbing water, while too little can cause undue stress on plants because of lack of nutrients entering their system. One pro tip is to have your soil tested by a professional first to determine the soil’s nutrient levels properly.
Just like humans, plants also need space. While each plant has different spacing needs, a few things to consider include making sure there is adequate air circulation and choosing the right pot size if you prefer a container garden. Knowing which plants to group together will also reduce the need for too much watering and weeding.
Most plants are 90% water, so they need to be hydrated regularly to thrive. The best time to water plants is early in the morning when they won’t lose too much moisture with the minimum heat from the sun. If you have a big area to cover, installing a sprinkler system using Hunter sprinklers will greatly save you time and energy.
Another great addition, for the geeks amongst you, would be to invest into a smart irrigation controller like the Rachio 3. These nifty little devices offer remote control allowing you to schedule irrigation based on specific parameters that you set from an app on your phone. For instance, you can set it up to void watering when it is raining or skip it when it’s freezing outside. This can actively save you money time and most importantly water.
Position plants strategically
The location of your garden is also of vital importance. It is always recommended to find a spot with ample sunlight, which is a key component in photosynthesis. However, don’t forget that some plants thrive better in the shade, so be strategic in how you plot your garden.
Get rid of weeds
Weeds cause more than just aesthetic problems. Yes, they look unattractive, but they also compete with your plants over water and soil nutrients. If you don’t stay on top of the situation and remove weeds regularly, they will soon take over your garden, considering they grow much faster.
A garden is an investment for any proud homeowner, whether or not you believe it as such. It can be your personal source of organic produce or a special place you can go to rest anytime and relax. Like any investment, it’s something that you should closely monitor to reap its rewards regularly.