Nothing beats the joy and satisfaction of being able to grow your own plants and harvest crops in your own backyard. No wonder a lot of homeowners and gardeners find gardening a truly fulfilling activity.
If you would like to have your own garden to surround yourself with greens and blooms and experience their timeless beauty or, perhaps, be able to harvest your own food, there are best practices you need to keep in mind and apply into action. Every self-respecting gardener know these things and, as a result, they are able to successfully grow a lush, healthy garden that is free of pests. So to get you started, below are some of those basic tenets.
Prep up the spot
Gardening is more than just digging, putting plants on beds or pots and watering. One of the main foundations of a successful garden is the right preparation to ensure that the plants will grow and thrive well. This includes finding the right spot that has the most ideal conditions (receives enough sunlight, access to water, proper drainage, etc) for the plants you want to grow; having the soil tested annually; and cleaning the area thoroughly.
Doing these things before you plant will allow you to improve the soil if it has a bad structure; ensure that you have a clutter-free garden; and will also allow you to determine the conditions that exist in that location, which, in turn, will determine the type of plants appropriate for your garden.
Learn about your plants
Aside from picking plants that suit the conditions in the spot you have chosen, it is equally important that you understand their nature. Are they invasive? How do they look like? Do they attract bugs? Are they hard to care for? Knowing these things will allow you to group plants that have similar needs together and will enable you to properly attend to their upkeep requirements. Likewise, familiarizing yourself with the way your plants look will ensure that you will be able to track them and won’t mistake them for weeds or other invasive varieties which you would otherwise eliminate.
Give plants a space
If you cram your plants in a pot or bed, they’ll either grow in odd shapes or develop diseases. So to avoid that from happening, follow the planting instructions on seed packets and seedlings. At the most, you need to place plants at a right distance from each other to allow for proper air circulation and prevent the spread of diseases. If you choose to plant aggressively, learn how to layer plants accordingly.
Feed the soil
Remember that the overall health of a plant depends on how how healthy its roots are; and healthy roots depend on healthy soil. That said, make sure that you feed your garden soil properly. It should be rich in organic matter – compost – so that it will be able to deliver sufficient amount of air, water and nutrients that your plants need. The richer your garden soil is, the lesser the fertilizer your plants require and the better they are protected against diseases.
Aside from feeding the soil, you also need to water your plants properly. Keep in mind that you have to follow some guidelines when watering your greens or blooms. Avoid frequent shallow watering as this could cause the plants’ roots to grow near the surface of the soil, drying them out quickly. Instead, give your plants deep soaking to penetrate the subsoil and maintain moisture level.
Also, avoid watering in the evening because the moist can form on leaf surfaces, inviting fungal diseases to develop. Try to water between 5am to 10am so that less water is wasted and to allow leaf surfaces to dry out during the rest of the day.
Mind your garden’s hygiene
Garden hygiene is crucial for your plants to grow well. Hence, pick up rotting leaves as they can be nesting spots for pests and diseases. Equally important is to remove weeds that compete with the nutrients of your plants. Also, cover the soil with mulch. This will serve as a protective barrier that helps conserve water, suppresses weeds, moderates temperatures and keeps soil-borne diseases at bay. There are a number of organic mulches you can use like wood chips, pine needles and cocoa hulls among others. Try experimenting until you find the suitable mulch for your garden.
This gardening advice was written by Ericka on behalf of http://www.steelbuildingsdesign.co.uk/. Ericka loves to learn and share information about gardening and she also writes articles about home improvement.