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Gardening is an art, you know? Just like almost every other thing you engage in, gardening works like ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ That is, to get the best out of your garden, you have to put in some work.
Everyone wants that natural spick-and-span look when they glance at their backyard, but it’s easier to wish, right? Below listed are 12 ways to make a great piece of natural vegetation out of your garden.
Why Garden Maintenance?
Wait a minute – just before we get to the real stuff, you have to have realized how important it is to care for and maintain gardens.
Except you are just looking out to see your vegetation culture turn into a wild patch of bush in the backyard, you should engage in garden maintenance practices.
Apart from the beautiful outcome we desire, health is endangered with unkempt gardens. You’d rather not have a garden at all than have one that’s just a breeding site for pathogens.
So, let’s get to the gardening maintenance manual, shall we?
Weeds are perhaps the biggest and naughtiest enemies of gardeners. They not only appear where you don’t want them but try to compete with your crops for almost everything – space, sunlight, nutrients, water. Some even turn out to be parasites feeding directly off your crops!
Generally, you are the determiner of what a weed is. A tomato plant growing where you do not want it, maybe in the chrysanthemum patch, is automatically termed a weed. Regular weeding is essential then to avoid this unhealthy competition.
Preferably, weeding should be done in the morning and about once a week.
You can employ weeding tools and equipment or indulge in hand uprooting (which is more effective long term). Weeding is best carried out when the soil is moist.
2. Pruning, Shearing, and Trimming
To encourage flowering and keep flower beds and shrubs in shapes, we got to continually put the shears and pruners to work for the healthier growth of plants. Pruning is vital in gardening maintenance.
One has to be careful when pruning though, wrongly pruning can adversely affect the plants, and pruning too much, especially in still-growing young plants, turns out worse than not pruning at all in the first place.
Before starting to cut away, you should know what you are looking to clip out. Pruning is done to remove diseased or wilting plant parts. It’s also a great way to make sunlight and air get to other regions in a crowded growing plant.
3. Ensuring Adequate Spacing and Grouping
It will always look a lot better when you design your vegetation patches according to their kind instead of random planting.
Some plants may not attain peak growth if growing alongside a competitive plant as it would be deprived of essentials, and some other plants would prove beneficial to another plant, so it’s wise to know how to arrange your planting.
You should also consider the environment and soil type in choosing where to plant certain crops. Some may require more space; others more shelter, just as flower beds are better grown in hedges and trees in open space.
The overall siting of the garden should also be situated far away enough from toxicity sources.
Thinning is also a necessary practice in growing young plants, avoiding competition and congestion, and making breeding of pathogens difficult. Thinning is an easy practice of uprooting and replanting in a better position.
4. Using Pest Control Measures
Have I mentioned that weeds are a big problem for gardeners? Well, I dare say pests pose may be an even bigger problem! The last thing we’d want in our gardens is a pest infestation.
It’s quite tricky to keep all nature outside the garden – it is essentially a typical bug ecosystem! More so, not all bugs should be kept out because some turn out useful (like bees, butterflies). But there are many pests out there to feed off and transmit diseases to our plants.
Fortunately, there are several handy methods to control pests effectively; use of pesticides, handpicking, crop rotation practice, even use of other insects or animals that are natural enemies to most pests.
Make sure to be extremely careful when using pesticides to avoid affecting surrounding plants!
5. Adding Disease Resistant Plant Varieties
Another significant way to maintain your garden is to try as much as possible to prevent gardening during a disease outbreak. An excellent method of avoiding such is by adding disease-resistant plant seeds to grow in your garden.
They may cost a little more than regular crop seeds but are worth it and will prove inexpensive in the long run.
The term “disease-resistant” does not necessarily mean total immunity but has high capability to some degree to overcome the disease pathogens. No variety is tolerant or immune to all diseases.
Resistant plant varieties are not present for all plants. Gardeners should also plant-resistant varieties that can adapt to the soil’s properties like pH, temperature, and drainage.
6. Regularly Inspecting and Examining Your Plants and Soil
Making sure to examine and inspect your plants or crops regularly. Conducting soil tests from time to time, say weekly, can go a long way to prevent some significant gardening problems from escalating.
Inspections may be carried out personally or better still by employing the services of some inspection company.
Before and during the planting of crops, you have to make sure everything is in order. New, unusual changes in foliage colour, strange prevalent bug, and changes even as little as a change in vegetation scent or plant geo-orientation may signify a possible threat.
7. Using the Right Fertilizers
Fertilizers more or less play the role of food supplements for plants. Plants majorly get their nutrients from the soil from which they grow, but fertilizers come in handy to make up for lost or insufficient nutrients – both macro and micronutrients.
You can tell what nutrients the plants may be lacking by symptoms like change in leaf, stem color, low growth, weak parts, etc.
Not every soil will need fertilizers; however, many garden soils do need them, especially after depleting nutrients due to continued use over the years.
It is better to fertilize the soil before planting to allow the nutrients to permeate deep into the ground quickly. This is important if you are fertilizing to supplement the earth based on a recent soil test.
Fertilizers may be either organic or inorganic, coming in liquid or granular forms. Therefore, they have different guidelines to be strictly adhered to in application to prevent damage uncalled for.
8. Carrying Out Proper Sanitation
Simple sanitary practices carried out in the garden may turn out to have the most significant results in preventing challenges in gardening. Sanitation is a necessary practice to control pests and disease and keep the garden neat and a beautiful sight.
Just doing things as simple as; picking up litter around the garden, cleaning gardening tools after use, proper disposal of uprooted weeds or pruned waste, and rotten plant disposal goes a long way to ensure your garden remains desirable.
Put that rake to fair use, and see how your garden lights up!
9. Using Well-Composted Yard Manure
Another great way to add nutrients to the soil is by using compost manure from yard manure. Though, if not well composted, this can pose a potential problem!
However, instead of having to always dispose of your waste, it turns up beneficial in manuring. While making your waste into compost, you should note that not all materials decompose at the same rate.
So, adequate time should be given for decomposition processes. It’s somewhat better not to include any material you are not sure of its decomposition capability.
Ideal materials for compost making include dry leaves, grasses, fruit and vegetable material, newspaper pieces, wood scraps, and so on.
Sure, you’ve heard of what mulching is all about, or maybe not. Mulching helps reduce water loss from soil through biodegradable or non-biodegradable material placed around plants on the soil surface to cover the bare ground.
It’s an excellent method that is surprisingly so inexpensive compared to its numerous potential benefits. All you have to do is to cover the bare soil of your garden with a porous material.
This would help to save soil water content and allow for easy permeation of rainwater that would give additional nutrients to the soil. Your plant roots become protected when you mulch your garden, and it suppresses the growth of weeds to an extent, providing your garden with a better look.
Materials useful for creating mulches include wood pieces, landscape fabrics, grass clippings, straw or hay, compost, and so on. When mulching, it is crucial to keep the mulch a little away from the plant stems and roots not to pose possible threats of rot to the plant.
11. Use the Right Gardening Tools
Technology that makes life easier is not only limited to AI technology, mobile devices and gadgets but comprises tools as simple as, rake, cutlass, pruners, shears, garden kneelers, tractors and so on.
Think back to how agriculture looked like in the stone age and you would agree with me.
You can make your work easier and make the most out of your gardening with the right tools. You might need to repair or change that faulty lawnmower or get a new pair of electric pruners or garden scissors.
Some work on your garden can be carried out with bare hands comfortably (like uprooting), but some gardening jobs just need you to employ the right tools.
Gardening tools range from as small as the simple hand trowel to machines like portable tractors and so on. You might want to buy some from a nearby store or hire instead. Remember, opt for the tools with the highest value output to price ratio.
12. Watering Your Garden Adequately
Maybe I reserved this one for last to stress the importance. When it comes to acceptable gardening practices, adequate watering is of paramount importance.
Too little watering and your plants will thirst while roots become shallow. Too much watering, and we’re looking at fungal growth, hypo concentration of soil nutrients, leaching, or erosion.
A simple watering can be done using a watering can system or advanced irrigation like a pipe sprinkler system. It is best to water plants early in the morning when sunlight is low, and the soil is cool, so foliage will have enough time to dry off. Avoid watering in the evening as this breeds insects, fungus, and disease.
Frequently Asked Gardening Maintenance Questions
So, there you have it—the golden keys to achieving your perfect garden. The ball is now in your court! Try all of these and be amazed at how full and rich your garden will be.
If you think you might need help with your garden maintenance, it is okay to hire someone. However, these garden care tips are relatively easy to carry out, and fun too.
Was this of help to you? If yes, Let me hear your thoughts in the comment section.