Every homeowner wants a backyard he or she can be proud of and for most, that means having a beautiful vegetable or flower garden. Keeping a garden looking its best requires work, though.
Read on to find a basic garden maintenance checklist that will give homeowners an idea of what they need to do to ensure the health and beauty of their plants.
Ensure Adequate Sunlight
Most garden plants require full sun. That means homeowners whose yards have lots of trees need to go out of their way to keep them trimmed to avoid shading their garden plants. Hiring a Portland tree service can help.
Every garden plant has different needs when it comes to water, but all of them need moist soil. As a general rule, it’s best to feel the soil to evaluate how wet it is instead of just mindlessly following a watering schedule If the soil sticks together and can be formed into a ball, it’s wet enough. If it cracks, feels dry, or looks hard, it’s time to give the garden some extra love.
Feed the Plants
Gardeners should use compost and fertilizer to make sure their plants are getting the nutrients they need. Most garden plants need to be fed at least once a month. Landscape plants may need less frequent feeding, but it’s best to investigate the nutritional needs of each plant species.
Get Rid of Weeds
Weeding garden beds does more than just keep them looking their best. It also stops unwanted plants from competing for nutrients, water, and sun.
Lay Down Mulch
One great way to get around having to weed every day is to lay down mulch around garden plants. Mulching can also help to conserve water by keeping the soil cool and moist during the hottest months of the year.
Remove Dead Foliage
As annuals go to seed and perennials die back for the season, homeowners should remove the dead foliage from their gardens. Prune off dead leaves or remove the entire plant if it has already made it through a full season, then add the foliage to the compost to put the nutrients back in the soil.
Add New Soil as Needed
Gardeners that use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, fail to mulch their beds or experience severe flooding may need to add more soil to their gardens as it erodes. Those who use no-till methods and maintain healthy soil microbiomes don’t have to worry as much about erosion.
Keep Perennials Under Control
Some perennial plants spread prolifically, so it’s important for gardeners to keep them under control. Cut them back and divide the roots as needed. The roots can usually be replanted in pots or elsewhere in the garden and could make good gifts to other gardening enthusiasts.
Whether they use conventional gardening practices or choose to go all-organic, gardeners need to come up with strategies for controlling pests. Integrated pest management (IPM) is the best way to control pests since it encourages non-toxic and less-toxic methods but balances the desire to keep ecosystems healthy against the need to eradicate problem insects.
The Bottom Line
A healthy, beautiful garden is an asset to any home. Those who love to get their hands dirty find that gardening also provides a great way to relax and unwind. Just make sure to hire a professional for dangerous work like tree pruning.