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You have put a lot of time and effort into planning and creating the perfect garden for your home. Don’t let garden care go by the wayside and destroy your masterpiece! Here we will highlight 10 tips for garden care that will keep your garden in pristine condition:
Examine Plants Before You Buy
Photo: K-State Horticulture Newsletter
Keeping your garden healthy starts by not introducing sick plants into the mix in the first place! How do you know what the plants you want are supposed to look like? Consult a garden nursery professional or gardening books to see what healthy roots and shoots look like for the plants you wish to incorporate. Roots should be firm and your plant should not show signs of spots or insect infestation.
Battle the Weeds
The seemingly endless battle against weeds is less daunting when they are kept at bay. When pulling weeds, pull from the base to remove as much of the root system as possible. There are inexpensive tools available to help in your assault on the weeds, however, if pulling solely by hand, mature root systems are more likely to come up after a solid rain. If the problem persists, use any array of herbicides but protect your garden flowers during application.
Keeping a three-inch layer around flowering plants will help keep the weeds out and the water in. You may have put mulch down earlier in the year but organic mulches break down with heat and moisture. For annuals, use mulch that will decompose after a few months while for perennials, use long-lasting mulches. Be sure to check which of your plants thrive with mulch, however, as there are some (alpine plants, for example) which will succumb to root rot if mulch is placed too close to the base of the plant.
Choosing the correct fertilizer is essential for garden care. Too much of any fertilizer can cause root burn, inhibiting the plant from absorbing the water it needs to thrive. Check the soil nutrient level to determine how much fertilizer you need otherwise you may inadvertently be leaving your plants susceptible to cold, heat, or drought.
Bugs and Other Wildlife
Weeds are not the only assailants to your garden! Bugs and other wildlife (rabbits may be cute but they can decimate your garden) can pose a major risk to your plants. More than just cosmetic damage, bug infestations can leave your plants vulnerable to disease, which can be carried from one plant to the next using bugs as a carrier. There are insecticide methods using chemicals or natural, eco-friendly means. Upon determining what kind of insect problem you are having, research is easy to decide which product will work best for you.
Watering your plants may seem like the most obvious part of garden care, but how you water your plants is just as important as the act itself. Too much water can be detrimental to plant health and foster disease growth. To avoid giving plant disease an environment in which to thrive, try to avoid too much moisture on the foliage of your plants. Sprinkler systems are a great way to keep a consistent, regulated schedule for watering your garden. If doing it by hand, try to push leaves out of the way as you water the roots.
Even Flowers Need Their Space
There is a fine line between overcrowding and too much space between plants. Planting your garden densely can help prevent weed overgrowth but overcrowding plants can also bring about too much moisture and encourage powdery mildew or disease. Plants placed too closely together do not thrive due to competition for nutrients, water, and sunlight.
Cutting away dead leaves and branches will help prevent the spread of disease to new growth. Trimming trees and most shrubs in late winter is best. Some plants, however, need to be pruned in spring. Be sure to note which of your plants needs to be pruned when in order to prevent accidental damage to new blooms. When pruning your garden, always use sharp tools and prune back to healthy growth.
Transplant Problem Plants
Maintaining your garden also includes giving extra attention to any plants requiring it. Transplanting a plant to a new spot in your garden can help a weaker plant thrive in a new location. This, in turn, keeps the plant from having died and bringing rot to your garden. It also brings out the best in your garden aesthetics!
Garden care is not just a spring activity. As previously mentioned, late winter is a great time for pruning back trees and shrubs. Fall is a great time to clear garden debris, remove plants that have seen their last days, remove lingering weeds, and bring in any finicky bulbs or plants that need to be kept from the harshness of winter.
Garden care is a year-round activity that will keep your creation in peak shape. Work done now will pay off in the coming season and keep your garden the envy of everyone!
NVS Landscapes offers Trimming and Pruning Services . Contact us using the form below if you’re interested in a quote, or give us a call!