There are few things in life as satisfying as keeping and maintaining a beautiful garden, and the pursuit of which can become an incredibly addicting pastime. Whether you’ve just started your gardening career or if you’re an expert gardener, everybody can use a tip now and again. Read on for 5 of them; if you’re a novice take notes and if you’re a green-fingered whizz try to see if there’s anything that takes you by surprise.
1. Know What Your Hardiness Zone is: Hardiness zones vary from area to area and are based on the minimum ten-year average winter temperatures to act as a guide to help you gauge which plants will be able to survive the frostier months. Always cross-check any new purchases with your hardiness zone to see if they’re a long term investment or would just last until winter.
2. Pick Manures Wisely: Manure should be composted and rotted for 4 weeks at least prior to soil application. Fresh manure can burn plants due to a high nitrogen content and can contain pathogens or parasites. You can get very creative if you’re composting yourself – you can invite all sorts of good microorganisms into your soil via fermentation, and these particularly benefit flowering plants. You can even add earthworms to your compost, which can create a higher-value vermicompost.
3. Know When to Grow Inside or Outside: Depending on your region, you’ll have a growing season of a certain length. This is typically the time between the last frost in spring and the first frost in fall and marks the safe period for your flowers and plants to grow and thrive. If you have a good idea of how long your growing season in, you can plan your garden around it by knowing which plants to grow inside in preparation for your growing season.
4. Make Sure you Deadhead: Deadheading is the practice of removing old blooms and spent flowers (dead heads of flowers, hence the name), which encourages plants to focus their nutrients on strengthening roots and leaves instead of seeds. It’s great for both perennials and annuals, and deadheading will encourage annuals to produce more flowers. However, you should never deadhead plants that are grown for fruits.
5. Research Requisite Temperatures: If you have a vegetable garden you should know the optimal growing temperatures for each vegetable at each stage of its growth. An example of how detailed this can be can be seen in the case of tomatoes. If your tomatoes are ripening, they should be kept between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. If the temperature strays out of this goldilocks zone they may not produce lycopene and carotene, which are the pigments that the fruit needs to turn red. As a result, you may want to bring tomatoes inside if the temperature isn’t right so they can finish ripening in a nice environment.
6. Support Your Flowers: If you’re growing your flowers on a fence, you should use a post base to secure the fence and protect the post timbers in the ground from rotting. This is important as flowers that climb over fences and look beautiful (e.g. jasmine) can add a bit of weight to the fence, and this weight can change depending on the season. To avoid fences collapsing and damaging your garden you can buy post supports online and give them the stability to last all year round.
One of the most amazing things about gardening is that you never stop learning. Hopefully these tips have proved valuable, and if you’ve got a rush from learning something new about how to treat your precious plants you should let somebody in your family know that a detailed gardening guide won’t go amiss this Christmas!