Gardening can be both rewarding and beautiful. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the seeds you planted blossom into a breathtaking cascade of colours.
There’s also nothing more frustrating than having spent days and weeks on your hands and knees, planting, watering, tending and nurturing the garden only to get wilted, ugly- looking flowers or plants and a sparse lawn.
Truth is you shouldn’t have to go through all that if you know the right and proven things to do to give you the gorgeous looking garden that’ll be the envy of your neighbours and the desire of passersby.
The following are some proven excellent gardening tips guaranteed to help you cultivate the garden of your dreams:
Start With a Smaller Space
This is important when you’re a beginner. In the excitement of cultivating your own garden, there’s always the possibility that you would want to start with a large space. Don’t fall for this temptation.
Even if the amount of space available is large, think of it working on the landscape in batches. This is particularly important when you’re planning a residential landscape design and want to make sure that your landscaping efforts pay off.
What is important isn’t in trying to do everything at once, it’s in starting with just one part of the space and expanding as you see fit. This is particularly important for beginners who often try to take on too much at a time. Gardening is an art and as with any painting, you should start from a small part and gradually cover the canvas.
Prepare Your Soil Really Well
If there is one mistake many budding gardeners make, it is to jump right into the planting without preparing the soil adequately. At the heart of every great-looking garden is good soil – which should be fluffy, light and properly drained.
In fact, over 70% of all problems encountered by beginner gardeners – whether it’s poor plant growth, lack of plant vigour, plant disease, pests and lacklustre flavour – can be largely traced to the quality and health of the soil used in gardening.
This is why soil preparation is not a joke. To prepare your garden soil, clear the soil first by getting rid of debris, stones, and tough weeds and then mixing the soil with the properly decomposed organic matter.
Consider Composting for Soil Enrichment Instead of Inorganic Fertilizers
For your garden plants to grow properly, your garden needs a consistent source of nutrients. One of the first things you will need to add to your garden is manure or fertilizers. While inorganic fertilizers are good, compost or nutrients from decomposing organic matter like dead leaves and plants, and animal wastes are better.
They are excellent soil conditioners and can make a whole lot of difference in your garden’s crops. There are, however, arguments that composts don’t do as much for plants as suggested. Well, the reality is it depends on what nutrients the waste materials have.
For instance, compost made from animals wastes tend to be rich in phosphorus, which is excellent for leafy and flower growths. Not just that, compost acts as a bonding or freeing agent for your soils.
Sandy soil will largely benefit from compost because they give the soil more body and bounce while clay soils can be easily broken up when compost is added to it.
If you want to make your soil more resistant to pests and diseases, try adding ash from a fireplace to your compost before applying them to your soil. As a rule, try mixing the compost well with the soil to enrich the soil properly.
Soaking Deeply and Infrequently is Better than the More Frequent Sprinkler
Watering your gardens don’t have to be such a chore. There are proponents of frequent but shallow watering, and there are those who support infrequent, but longer period watering. In our experience, the latter is best because the water gets to penetrate deeply into the soil and gets to the roots of the plants.
In the case of the former, the water is often, quickly absorbed by the topsoil, thus depriving the plant roots of the necessary moisture needed for them to grow. If you want to embark on a landscaping project and have no idea how much water the lawn needs, consult with other landscapers or schedule a landscape design consultation with expert landscaping companies to look at the water requirements for your lawn.
Test Your Soil’s pH Levels
Soil testing is an important part of your landscaping and gardening process. This is important because soils that are acidic or alkaline are usually unproductive and damaging to the plants. The perfect soil for your plants to grown in is neutral soil.
If you can’t get neutral soil, you can opt for a mildly acidic one. The good news is you can ask neighbours around. And if your landscaper is a resident in the vicinity, ask them during your residential landscaping sessions or meetings.
Pay Extra Attention to Your Plants and Lawns during the Summer
During the summer, plants are more likely to wilt and die from the heat. This is why you mustn’t neglect your gardens and lawns at this time. Carry out routine lawn maintenance and mow the lawn within reason.
Do not cut the grass too low as that can result in uneven patches in the grass. Water more frequently and longer during the summer. Watch the potted plants to make sure the pots aren’t overheating. This is even more important if the pots are made from terracotta.
You may also want to have the pots mulched and keep them out of direct sunshine. Some people make the mistake of placing the pots in saucers. Don’t do this as this practice breeds insects, pests, and mosquitoes, not to mention that it enhances root rot caused by excess moisture. Instead, put the pots in moist sand and your plants will do just fine.
Finally, do everything to protect your flower gardens from weeds, rodents, and pests. If you want to get the best results, try checking your gardens for weeds in the evenings. This wouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes. This way, you can quickly uproot the weeds and repel/prevent any pests. You should also mulch your gardens because that does a great job of minimising weed growth.