How to Maintain a Garden: Top 7 Tips
With spring in the air, life is returning to gardens left and right. Flowers are blooming and veggies are growing.
Or at least, that's what you see at your friend's house or on the internet.
These people seem to have some sort of magical ability when it comes to how to maintain a garden. Maybe they have some pixie dust.
Well, it's true. There is some magic going on.
And by magic, we mean techniques that gardeners have learned over the years.
If you're looking for some of that magic, you've come to the right place!
We've put together some top tips on how to maintain a garden so that you, too, can have vibrant, thriving plants.
1. Keep Your Soil Loose and Light
The first step in how to maintain a garden is to start with the soil. The soil is the foundation of a garden - it's where your plants live.
To help your plants thrive, you'll need to get your hands dirty at least once a month and turn your soil. You do this to keep your soil loose and light like a delightful cake sponge.
Compact, hard, and cracked soil means that water will run off rather than seeping into the soil like it's meant to.
Read our article on how to aerate your soil for details.
2. Time Your Water
Another key element of how to maintain a garden is water.
As you know, plants need water. This goes without saying.
But perhaps what you may not know is that there are better times to water your plants than others.
Plan on watering your plants during the cooler times of the day, such as in the morning and in the evening.
This is especially true if you live in a warmer area.
And the reason for this is simple: it's to prevent as much water as possible from being lost through evaporation.
3. Look After Root-Bound Plants
Looking after root-bound plants is a must know for how to maintain a garden.
A root-bound plant is a plant that has been in a container so long that the roots outgrow it.
Roots like to spread out, so you may find roots trying to escape the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot. Or worse, through the top of your pot.
These roots end up going around in circles in your pot. This is bad because it can lead to root death. With the roots going around and around, there's no room left for soil.
How's a plant meant to stay nourished without soil?
If you're bringing home a plant for the first time from a nursery or if you're using decorative potting, you may notice this happening.
What you'll have to do is help pull the roots apart. You'll end up cutting them if you have to.
While it may seem awful, you're helping the plant live by giving more room to work with soil.
If you're planning on keeping your plant in a decorative pot, just note that your plant will need to be re-potted from time-to-time.
4. Plant Your Garden in Odd Numbers
If you don't like odd numbers, this can be a tricky one to get over.
But if you're looking for a garden to look more natural, planting in odd numbers is key.
One theory suggests planting in odd numbers, even in groups of five or seven, feels more balanced to the eye. There is more unity among your plants.
Find your garden unity and consider planting in odd numbers. Who knows - maybe you'll develop a new love of odd numbers!
5. Watch Out for Insects
Some insects, like butterflies and bees, are good for a garden. They help pollinate your flowers, so they should be a welcomed insect.
But, not all insects are created equal. There are some insects that are out there to eat your garden and create a disaster.
Insects can spread disease to your plants by creating an opening into your plant from the chomp they take.
Some insects can actually transport the disease to your plants!
So be careful and keep an eye on your plants.
6. Give Your Plants Room
When maintaining a garden and adding new plants, make sure that you give them plenty of space.
Placing plants too close together can create problems like mold and rust.
Many plants placed together creates their own humidity, which powdery mildew, likes.
So give your plants room to breathe - literally. By improving airflow around your plants, you're decreasing that humidity multiple plants can make and mildew can thrive on.
7. Prune Properly
Take care of pruning any trees or shrubs in late winter rather than waiting for spring to arrive.
Winter is a time of dormancy where spring is the time to thrive.
Wouldn't it make sense to prepare your plants before it's time to shine?
These wounded limbs can become infected by sickness during winter when the plant is dormant. Not only infected but firmly established, too.
Late winter pruning then helps keep the spread at bay, disallowing the disease to strike new growth.
When pruning, make sure your tools are sharp, allowing you to make a clean cut all the way to healthy, living tissue. This clean cut will encourage rapid healing, too.
Final Thoughts on How to Maintain a Garden
There are many things to be aware of when it comes to maintaining a garden and this is not an exhaustive list.
This list is to merely help you get started and aid you in helping your garden thrive.
We're confident that if you start putting these tips into your gardening routine, you'll begin to see a real difference.
Though as you can see, there is no real magic involved. Just a bit of patience, a keen eye, and getting your hands dirty.
Is any of this information you already knew? What results have you had from trying these tips?
Is there a tip that isn't on this list, but should be?
Let us know in the comments! We'd love to hear from you and share best gardening practice!