Tricks for a Great Garden

To new gardeners, the task of maintaining a garden can seem overwhelming.  Between watering, weeding, pruning and feeding, there is a lot to keep up with.  What veteran gardeners aren’t telling you, however, is that there are some simple tricks to help make gardening a little bit easier on you and your back.

The first trick that everyone should use, is mulch.  It seems really simple, but a lot of people do not take advantage of using mulch to help prevent weeds and keep the soil from drying out.  By spreading a layer of mulch around your perennial garden, vegetable garden and around trees, you are helping block the sun from reaching any weeds that may be growing, as well as keeping the the sun from drying out the soil quickly.  This will help you in the long run from having to constantly pull weeds and water plants in the heat of the summer.

Another trick to use is fertilizer.  It seems like a no brainer, but regularly feeding your plants can make a world of difference.  When it comes to what to use in your garden, there are a wide variety of fertilizers to choose from and depend on your type of garden.  From organic fertilizers, manure and mushroom compost in edible gardens to high-phosphorous fertilizers to help with blooms to high-nitrogen fertilizers for your lawn, you will most likely need more than one type of fertilizer in your toolbox. Every fertilizer has three numbers listed on it, for example 10-10-10.  These numbers are nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium, and the numbers represent the percentage of each of these elements in the fertilizer. Different plants need more or less of these elements, but the labels on the fertilizers should say which plants benefit most from its combination of elements.  Having a regular “feeding” schedule will keep your plants happy, healthy and thriving all season long.

When it comes to plants in your garden, a great trick for selecting your plants is to choose low maintenance annuals.  Planting drought tolerant plants or flowers that do not need to be deadheaded throughout the season take a load of work off your plate when it comes to your garden.  We’re not saying to avoid plants that need to be staked or clipped back, but mix them in with other low maintenance plants rather than planting a whole bed of higher maintenance flowers.

A great way to add interest to your garden is with vertical interest.  Using taller grasses or flowers in your perennial gardens is one way to do so, but there is another way to get pops of color sitting higher in the garden.  Placing taller pots throughout your garden and planting them up with colorful annuals will help add the colorful interest throughout the garden.

When starting a new garden, the task can seem daunting. But keeping in mind some of these tricks, getting those beautiful blooms  can be a lot easier than it appears.

Christian Goers