Gardening is a great way to spend your time. It offers many benefits and can be enjoyed by virtually anyone, anywhere.
Getting your garden off the ground doesn’t have to be difficult.
Incorporating simple strategies to help you find the right plants and give them what they need will have your plants sprouting in no time at all, and with minimal effort on your part.
1. Grow Plants That Will Thrive in Your Climate
You may love the lush look of tropical palm trees, but if you live in a cool-weather planting climate they might not be the best choice. One of the very first things you should do when you decide to establish a garden is to learn what your UK hardiness zone is.
This will dictate what will grow best based on winter temperatures. That means you can find plants that will overwinter outside so you won’t have to dig up bulbs or move delicate trees into the house when Autumn comes around.
In addition to giving a guideline for what can overwinter in your area, hardiness zones will also help you decide when to plant flowers and vegetables in the spring. Just because you grew up with a garden, don’t assume you know what can and can’t be grown where you live.
The hardiness zones were updated in 2012 and there were some fairly substantial shifts.
2. Have Your Soil Tested
Take a few minutes to get a feel for what is in your garden beds. There are three basic types of soil:
Your garden soil is made up of one or more of these. Organic matter like compost and peat can change the texture, so be sure to check the soil before adding anything to it. The main components of your soil will determine what amendments are best suited to it. The nutrients that are already present will also inform fertilizer decisions.
Call your local cooperative extension office and ask about their soil testing policies. Many will supply you with a kit for collecting a sample.
This is mailed away to a lab for comprehensive testing. Once you have the results, you can choose appropriate soil conditioners and fertilizers to maximize your yields. Soil testing can also be a good way to diagnose diseases and pest problems with plants that are not performing as expected.
3. Eliminate Nuisance Pests
There are good bugs and then there are those that only create problems. From beetles that can eat the leaves off your tomatoes in a single day to wasps that cause pain and swelling when they sting, you want to get the bad ones out of your space.
Before you go out and try to eliminate all the bugs and creepy crawlies from your garden keep in mind that you need them to pollinate your flowers and vegetables. Bees aren’t the only pollinators in the yard.
Ants are incredibly effective at carrying pollen between plants. As long as they are not dangerous or destructive, you might consider letting a few beneficial insects remain among the plants.
4. Try Your Hand at Raised Beds
Raised beds and containers are excellent ways to make gardening easier and more accessible. If you don’t want to spend hours hunched over the ground weeding, bringing the ground up to your level can help. It also means you have complete control over the soil in your garden. You can add exactly what you want to maximize the health of your plants.
On a related note, making sure your lawn is looking luscious is a great way to add excellent visual pleasure to your garden. Use a scarifier and aerator to help with that, along with a top quality lawn mower, such as the GTech cordless electric mower.
5. Bring Your Garden Indoors in the Winter
Gardening isn’t just for the warm weather. Look for ways to extend the season. From plant stands to hobby greenhouses, there are resources that allow you to garden all year round even in cold climates.
Try growing a kitchen herb garden in pots on a windowsill, grow a tray of micro-green sunder lights or build a small cold frame to keep cool-season crops protected.
There are numerous benefits to gardening. Getting your garden off to a good start will help you maximize those benefits while minimizing your workload.