Getting flowers, fruit, and vegetables to grow from the ground from seeds, plant food and water alone is incredibly rewarding. However, once the plants have sprouted, the challenges aren’t over.
It’s one thing to keep your indoor home clean and organized. It’s quite another to take on creating a space for yourself in the great outdoors where the elements. It’s all that much more challenging when vegetables and fruit enter the equation. Then, not only do you have to deal with the wind, rain, frost and hail, but you’ll have to keep animals away.
This isn’t to scare you away from gardening; it can be a very therapeutic and beneficial part of your life! In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways to keep your garden looking good and green. Dust off your gardening tools and let’s get started!
Sweep Away the Leaves
On windy days and during the most common harvest season, you’re going to end up with a fair amount of debris, branches, and leaves in your garden. While some biodegradable debris can be good for the garden like certain leaves, some of it simply isn’t helpful or needed. A quality leaf blower will save you the labor of using a broom or rake to clear away the debris. If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, a good lawn rake will do nicely, and a garden vacuum will save you from having to bag up the leaves. Garden vacuums might sound a bit expensive as most vacuums will run you a bit of money if they’re of good quality. Fortunately, most of them are fairly simple and therefore not very pricy.
The Importance of Pruning
Regular pruning will keep your plants healthy and productive and will help keep your garden clean.
Uncontrolled plants can grow all over the place and in addition to looking unsightly and out of control, they may otherwise not produce the results you’re looking for. After all, not only does pruning promote blooms in flowering plants but it also helps produce better fruits and vegetables from their applicable plants as well.
How to prune your plants can vary from species to species, so it’s best to do your research before taking your pruning shears to it. Pruning the plants incorrectly can lead to problems in the garden and may even kill your plant, so again, please do your research before you go at it. A little knowledge goes a long way in providing the best results.
Stay Hydrated…The Right Way
Yes, that’s a tip for you, but it’s also a tip for the garden. When it comes to watering, make sure you water everything evenly. Most flower beds don’t require watering more than once or twice a week. You should water the plants in the evening or early in the morning. The reason is once you hit the afternoon or early evening, the soil can be too warm, especially in the spring and summer. If the soil is too hot when you water it, you run the risk of losing water to evaporation.
In the morning and evening, the soil will be cool enough to retain as much water as possible.
When watering, aim for the bottom of the plants and water gently. Letting water fall haphazardly can be damaging to plants and getting the leaves and plant heads too moist can lead to mold.
If you find you can’t always be around to water the plants regularly, you might want to consider investing in an irrigation system. While setting the system up can be difficult and a bit of a time sink at first, there’s something to be said about the peace of mind you’ll get having that automated and controlled system to keep your plants healthy may well be worth the effort.
Keep the Weeds Away
Weeds can be the bane of any gardener’s existence, but as long as you’re vigilant about taking them out when they show up, you and your garden are going to be just fine.
The best way to combat weeds is through prevention. Prevention isn’t just a one-and-done deal, but when it comes to gardening, not many tasks are. You obviously can’t see weed seeds before they sprout and you know you have a problem. You could have seeds dormant in the soil. To avoid “waking” up dormant seeds, as it were, try not to over-till the soil.
You may also want to invest in a pre-emergent herbicide. This will head off any dormant weed seeds at the pass and kill the seeds while they’re still in the ground. Apply the pre-emergent chemicals sometime in the early spring or shortly after cultivating (if you have to do it in the first place).
Dress it Up!
When the debris is clear and the weeds are more or less under control, it’s time to dress up your garden a bit. Mulch not only provides a classic, natural look, but it helps suppress weeds and keep your soil from erosion due to the elements, among other things. Including a bench and table in your garden can add a nice touch for outdoor dining or just a good place to hang out and enjoy the outdoors. Adding pebbles strategically around the planted area adds a touch of class to a well-groomed garden.
If you’re really looking to invest in your garden’s look, you might want to consider constructing a bridge or a water fountain or even a full-on waterfall or pond. Keep in mind these extra bits of decoration will also need their own maintenance, so budget your time and money wisely. Gardening is supposed to be therapeutic, after all; don’t add more stress where you don’t need to.
To Wrap it All Up…
Part of owning a garden is keeping it clean and maintained, but if you put in a bit of time and extra care, you’ll be surprised with the results you can achieve both in yield and in beauty. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment and see what you like! The only way to figure out what you want is to try, after all!
Resources: Clean Home Guide,