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Owning a beautiful garden doesn’t just add an aesthetic appeal to your yard, it also enhances the value to your home. So, whether you’re an experienced gardener with a green thumb or a newbie, you’d appreciate some invaluable garden maintenance tips.
This article will help you know how to maintain your plants and flowers in the most efficient and easy ways. Just remember that you need to give your yard the TLC it deserves. Only then can it reach its full potential and give you the real joys of being a gardener.
From regular upkeep such as timely watering, weeding, and mulching to low maintenance garden improvements, we’ll guide you through the best garden maintenance tips. So, let’s begin.
Test the soil on a regular basis
The first step to owning a fertile and healthy garden is to ensure that you use the best possible soil. You can easily get a soil testing kit at your local gardening or home improvement stores.
A thorough soil test will help you determine its pH level (whether it’s acidic or alkaline) and nutrient levels. This will in turn tell you how easily your plants will be able to pull nutrients from the soil. Keep in mind that most plants prefer a neutral pH point of around 7.
Pro tip: Lime neutralizes overly-acidic soil while a sulfur-based conditioner is a good choice for an overly-alkaline soil.
Use the right fertilizer
Once you test your soil, you can decide on what nutrients you’re looking for in a fertilizer. You can either buy a manmade plant food or opt for organic fertilizer. You can even compost on your own. Always remember to wear gloves when working with fertilizers.
Fertilizers could be dry, liquid, slow-releasing, or manure form.
- Dry fertilizers: These improve the fertility of the soil by increasing the nutrients. Simply disperse it around trees and shrubs, or even to perennial beds.
- Liquid fertilizers: They are great for fruit and vegetable gardens, or for other plants that need a nutrient boost. Just dilute them and add to the soil or compost. You can even add the fertilizer to a spraying system.
- Slow-release fertilizers: These help feed plants over an extended period of time. Generally, they require a single application. Simply mix the fertilizer into the compost or add it to the soil directly.
- Manure: This simplest form of fertilizer has some amazing benefits. It’s rich in nutrients and also improves soil’s ability to retain water. You could use it as a kind of mulching to prepare your garden for planting or add to developed gardens.
Pro tip: Read the instructions on the product carefully regarding how much and how often to use it. Remember that less fertilizing can lead to weak plant growth, while too much can cause soft, weak, sappy shoot systems that attract bugs.
Read more: Very Small Garden Design Ideas You Can Do on a Budget
Stick to a watering schedule
A watering schedule will help your garden stay healthy and strong. Here are some watering tips for you:
- It’s best to water your plants and flower beds early in the morning when the ground is cool and the sun isn’t as bright.
- Water deeply at the base of the plant instead of focusing just on the leaves and upper foliage. Make sure that the roots get access to the water.
- Give direct watering to trees and shrubs every 7-10 days.
- Water potted plants once a day.
- Try an irrigation system for water control, especially if you’re away a lot. You can regulate the amount of moisture in the soil.
Pro tip: If you’re not sure whether you’re overwatering or under, try placing a finger into the soil up to your second knuckle. If it comes out dry all the way, your plant needs water.
Take a look at our guide on what to get for keeping your garden alive
Cultivate your flower beds
A raised bed garden or flower bed is not difficult to maintain if you know how to give your plant roots what they need.
- Start with a midweight soil that holds moisture well and has plenty of air pockets.
- Water the flower bed when the soil is dry. That’s about 1-2 times per week.
- Keep the flowering beds evenly moist.
- Add a mulch layer and feed your flowers with nutrients.
- Provide sufficient sunlight.
- Watch out for weeds and pests.
- Plant disease-resistant varieties.
Pro tips: Annual plants have a life cycle that lasts only one year during which they grow from seed, bloom, produce seeds, and die. However, these flowers bloom for a long time. Some popular annuals are petunias, marigolds, and zinnias. Perennial plants, on the other hand, live for more than two years and continue to grow until they reach maturity.
They tend to bloom for just a short time (1-3 weeks each year). Popular perennial flowers include tulips, asters, and lilies.
Read more: Bushes for front of house
Maintain your lawn
Lawn maintenance is as important as the maintenance of the rest of the garden. Here are some ways to keep your outdoor space beautifully landscaped:
- Remove the weed, thatch, and moss that prevent grass growth by blocking air and nutrients from getting to the roots.
- Improve your lawn drainage system lest it becomes waterlogged for hours.
- Aerate the area to allow better penetration of air and water to the grassroots. You can create small holes in the soil at equal intervals and depths using a garden fork or a special garden tool.
- Opt for over-seeding to rejuvenate a worn-out lawn. Cover the area with large quantities of seed mixed with fertilizer. This will fill in the damaged and thinning lawn.
- Try to protect your lawn from hot weather. Keep in mind that if the temperature rises, you must avoid cutting the grass too short. It will protect it from the sun and prevent the soil from drying out.
- The ideal time to water the grass is between 4am to 8am. An automated lawn sprinkler system works best.
- Keep your lawn well mowed with tidy borders and edges.
- Clean your garden regularly to rake out the leaves, especially during fall season.
- Prune damaged tree branches or remove tree stumps around your lawn.
Pro tip: Avoid mowing when your lawn is wet. It can cause damage and prevent healthy growth in the future. If you use a mower with a roller, keep alternating the direction of mowing every time.
Take a look at our sprinkler system installation guide for your garden
Keep the weeds out
Dealing with weeds in your garden involves certain strategies. If you follow these, you can have a garden with a well-groomed look.
- Plant beds densely to minimize the space available for weeds to develop.
- Use ample mulch to prevent weed seeds from sprouting.
- Kill the weeds by lopping off their heads but leave the soil largely undisturbed.
- Water just the plants you want, not the weeds.
- Get to the weed roots by using a weeding trowel.
Pro tip: Enriching your soil with organic matter helps control weed to a large extent. Experts believe that fewer weed seeds germinate in soil that’s infused with good compost or organic matter.
Read more: Drought-Proof Landscaping Ideas
Think about garden improvements
If you’re hoping to add curb appeal (maybe because you’ve grown bored with your garden’s look or are thinking of putting your house on the market), try adding a few garden accents.
You could hire a professional landscape designer or come up with your own landscape design. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for making improvements to your garden.
Pro tip: Improving your garden requires intelligent planning and a bit of creativity. You could add a lovely garden pathway, stepping stones, a water feature, garden lights, wooden seating, or a picket garden fence for the most gorgeous garden.
Read more: How to prevent soil erosion
These garden maintenance tips will help you keep your outdoor space looking fresh, beautiful, and healthy all year long. And, trust us, your flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees will thank you for the love!
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