Released On 20th Sep 2023
10 Top Tips For Keeping Your Garden Healthy And Happy
If you have a garden space, you’ll want to keep it looking good all through the year. Even if you don’t have a green thumb yourself, the most basic outdoor spaces can have huge benefits for your mental and physical health. The best way to keep your garden happy and healthy is to do a few basic maintenance tasks that will prevent disease and keep your flowers growing. Follow these simple yet impactful ways to keep your garden in top shape and for it to add value to your property.
Your garden needs water to grow and thrive. It’s an essential part of the cycle. But there is such a thing as too much water. Regularly soaking your garden may actually be doing more harm than good, as it gives plant pathogens the thing they need to reproduce and spread. That’s why we recommend controlled watering techniques like irrigation to give your garden just the right amount of water, without drowning it.
Watch Out For Creepy Crawlies
Insects are the bane of any gardener, and they can cause all sorts of problems for you and your plants. On top of eating holes in leaves, they’re opening up wounds in your plants and allowing bacteria and diseases an easy access point. Some of these insects can be almost impossible to see – like aphids – so it’s important that you have a good pest control routine in place even if you don’t have an infestation. It will keep your garden healthy and save you a lot of money fighting pests later on.
While plants draw nutrients from the soil, that supply doesn’t last forever. You need to add more nutrients to the soil over time to keep your plants growing properly. You can get different types of fertiliser for most types of plants, allowing you to tailor the care you give them and really ramp up their growth. You can also get ‘soil conditioners’, which improve the condition of your soil if you’re in a particularly bad area for it. A few signs that your plants need fertilisation include:
- Light green or yellow leaves
- Smaller leaves than normal
- Fewer leaves or flowers than normal
- Leaves with dead spots
- Wilting foliage
- Short annual twig growth
- Branches dying back at the tips
But be careful, because you can over-fertilise your plants. If you do this it can cause root burn, which limits the plant's ability to absorb water or survive extreme temperatures. So don’t go overboard!
Choose Disease Resistant Plants
The best way to avoid disease outbreaks in your garden is to choose disease-resistant plants. These plants have an in-built defence mechanism against insects and diseases, allowing them to survive pest problems. Some will even produce chemicals that deter insects! There are certain species of plants that are resistant to ‘VFN’, which means they can fight off the damage done by fungi and nematodes. If you’re not sure what to look for when shopping, ask a gardening expert for advice.
Plant In The Right Places
Where you grow your plants is almost as important as what plants you choose to grow. Different plants have different growth requirements, and so they will thrive in different parts of your garden. For example, azaleas grow well in shaded areas, but will wither and burn in bright sunlight. Also, did you know plants have an immune system? If you put your plants in unfavourable positions in your garden, their immune system goes into permanent overdrive and they become stressed, unable to fight off infections as effectively.
Keep A Distance
You don’t have to keep your plants 6 feet apart (plants can’t catch Covid), but spacing is an important thing to think about when planting. Crowded plants tend to compete for light, water and nutrients, as well as making it easier for diseases to spread through your garden. Make sure you plan for each plant to have enough room to spread, allow proper airflow through each plant and give them the space to flourish.
Do Autumn Clean Up
Around now you’ll start to see leaves falling and general garden debris start to build up, made worse by the rain and the slightly colder temperatures. Autumn months are when you need to be gardening little and often, tidying up all of that leaf litter and keeping flowerbeds in order. Dead leaves can very quickly become a haven for disease, and are often responsible for outbreaks of black spots, leaf spots and leaf strike at this time of year. Keeping your garden clean and tidy will minimise the risk of disease and rot and get your garden ready for winter.
Let Your Compost Marinade
Making your own compost is a great way to recycle, reduce your own waste and create some high-quality fertiliser for your plants. But the mistake many people make is trying to use their compost too quickly. Different types of compost materials decompose at different rates, so while it might look like it’s ready on the surface, there would be plenty in there that’s still ‘cooking’, as it were. Make sure you let your compost degrade completely so that it can produce those high temperatures that kill off pathogens and bacteria, making it safe for your plants.
Thoroughly Check Plants Before Buying
The best way to avoid introducing disease into your garden is to check over any plants before you buy them. New plants are the biggest cause of disease in healthy gardens, and it can be difficult for a beginner gardening enthusiast (or even an advanced one) to tell a healthy plant from a sick one. A good place to start is to look up pictures of the plant online so that you know what it’s supposed to look like. When you have it in front of you, make sure you examine the tip of the plant and make sure there are no rotten stems or dead spots. Then take a look at the root. Gently take the plant out of the pot (yes, you are allowed to do this in the shops!), and check to see if the roots are firm, white and spaced through the root ball. This means they’re nice and healthy. If you see mushy, dark-coloured roots, then give the plant a miss.
Check your Pruning Calendar
Shrubs and trees can get quite large if you just leave them to grow, and it’s all too easy for their sprawling limbs to get damaged by high winds. They’re also more susceptible to disease, which can spread to the entire plant. To prevent this and keep your larger plants healthy, you will need to trim any damaged or diseased limbs. The best time to do this is in late winter, as this will stop them from affecting new growth in the spring. When you’re pruning your shrubs and trees, make sure you’re using sharp tools. This helps you make cleaner cuts, which will help the plant heal them quicker and prevent unnecessary damage.
Just like us, your garden requires a lot of attention and care to remain healthy and vibrant. No matter what the time of year, there are always little jobs you can do to improve the wellbeing of your garden and make sure you’re getting the most out of it. If you struggle to keep up with your garden maintenance, why not give us a call? We specialise in regular garden maintenance tasks, taking all of those little jobs on board and leaving you to sit back and enjoy your garden at its best. For more information, just get in touch with us today.