Whether you are a first-time gardener, or you’ve had a garden for years, making sure your plants are well tended to is a must for keeping your garden looking beautiful! No matter if you have a green or black thumb (no judgement!), there are tons of ways to keep your garden looking its best without a degree in botany. We’ve pulled together some tips and tricks that you can use to keep your garden as healthy as possible.
1. Nourish your soil using things you have around the house.
After you make your morning breakfast, bring the remains out into the garden. Mix your wet or dry coffee grounds into the soil. Coffee grounds contain phosphorus and magnesium, which are great sources of vitamins making it a great cost efficient fertilizer. While you’re at it, grab those eggshells from your omelette and add them in, too. Eggshells contain calcium to ensure plant growth and keep your plants looking healthy and lively while keeping slugs away.
2. Time your water.
Of course you need to water your plants, but if you water them too much or even too early, you may be doing more harm than good. A lot of pathogens and viruses thrive off of water so it’s best to water them just so it soaks in but doesn’t sit on top of the leaves. Invest in a sprinkler or even a soaker hose. If you prefer watering by hand, push the leaves aside so you have direct access to the roots. Water them at a time when the leaves will dry quickly, such as when it’s warmest or when the sun first comes out.
3. Choose plants from areas with similar climates.
If plants are from the same climate, they will require similar water intake and management. This makes it easier for you to keep track of how much water your plants need, as it can be difficult to tend to each plant’s individual water needs. Read the labels on your plants before you take them home –seed packets describe in detail what type of sun they need, when they’ll bloom and more.
4. Stock up on mulch!
You don’t have to buy the entire stock from your home improvement store, but having a couple bags of mulch around in your shed or garage can come in handy. It’s important for keeping your plants moist and cool, and it helps control weeds. Pro tip: it typically goes on sale at the beginning of the gardening season! For a cheaper alternative, you could also supplement mulch with a layer of straw or grass clippings.
5. Buy plants with several visible buds instead of a plant in full bloom.
When you walk into a nursery or plant store, you should buy the plant that looks the most beautiful, right? Wrong! Buying plants or flowers that are already in full bloom are harder to take care of because it’s already used to its environment. Switching that up can shorten its lifespan. Instead, look for plants that have visible buds and avoid full blooms.
6. Use the rain to your advantage.
Not only does rain save you from having to water plants yourself, it can also make weeding easier. The rain softens the soil, making it easier to pull weeds, cutting your weeding time in half! Wait 15-20 minutes after a rain shower, put your rain boots on and get your weeding done.
We hope these tips help you feel more comfortable if you’re planting a garden, or your plants need a refresh. If all else fails, just remember: they’re only plants and you can replant new ones next year!