Spring is upon us, and on the heels of an exceptionally difficult year, everyone is eager to jump right in and take on more outdoorsy projects. What can be better than indulging your green thumb after more than a year of sequestering indoors, and having to deal with a tough winter to top it off? Gardening is a deeply meditative and enjoyable practice, one which connects the gardener with nature while doing the practical work of keeping your home looking beautiful. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or new to the game, there are a few do’s and don’ts you need to stick to ensure that your garden is well tended to. The following are a few tips the experts swear by.
Fertilise the lawn
While you may have a landscaper come in to help you trim the hedges and cut the lawn, there are other things you can take on yourself. Especially since gardening is known to be therapeutic and great for your mental health. Besides, the hedge trimming is maybe a bit boring, but other seemingly mundane tasks are more fun. One of these is perhaps the most important ‘do’ of all: you need to fertilise the lawn in late summer or early fall. This will help the grass store carbohydrates throughout the winter, which it will produce in large part due to the fertiliser. So, by the time spring comes along, the lawn will look green and plush.
When selecting a lawn fertilizer, it’s important to choose a product that suits your lawn’s specific needs. If you have a lot of weeds, for example, pick one that contains herbicides as well. Once you’ve chosen the right fertiliser, apply it according to the instructions on the package for optimal results.
Keep the plants thin
This doesn’t mean killing off your plant by over-pruning a few leaves. The process of thinning plants entails that you make sure that nothing is crowding the other plants nearby as you insert new seedlings into the soil. According to the experts at www.urbanorganicyield.com, ensuring that you leave plenty of space between seeds when you plant them is necessary for proper plant health. When you thin the seedlings, you’re also helping to improve the air circulation around them, which is known to keep plants healthy and sustainable for a longer time.
Be mindful of time
Gardening is the art of patience and becoming at peace with time. In that sense, you will need to research a few things when it comes to your garden so that you’re up to speed. For starters, you should learn how long your growing season is. This is the time between the last frost in spring and the first frost which hits as early as the fall. Small details like that will allow you to start a few plants indoors instead, or avoid growing others altogether since they might not have enough time to flourish. Other details to look into include researching the different kinds of plants you’d like to grow, about how much time you have before fall and winter hit.
The kind of fertiliser matters
Experts swear by the usage of only composted, rotted manure which has been around for at least six months to your soil. Anything too fresh runs the risk of containing high levels of nitrogen, which can almost burn the plants. They also contain pathogens and parasites, so manure from pigs, dogs, and cats shouldn’t be used in gardens since they will contain bacteria harmful to humans.
Protect the garden beds
This is a common mistake, but unfortunately, some gardeners allow people to walk in the garden beds, only to find out that this will ruin the fruits of their labour. This action results in the compacting of the soil, which in turn inhibits plant growth. If there’s absolutely no way around it for you or anyone else, and you need to walk around the plants, then experts advise putting down a board to walk on to distribute your weight evenly.
Don’t overwork the soil
Overworking the soil is a vast mistake, and you need to pay attention to its consistency. If it starts to look powdery, then you may be in trouble. Healthy soil comes in a wide range of particle sizes and has a pretty coarse feel. Too wet and it may be mouldy; too dry and it simply won’t have the capacity to host plants and offer them the required nourishment to grow.
Gardening can be hard work, but it’s so satisfying to see all your efforts pay off. It is a true labour of love, and over time, you will learn to be ok with your jagged nails and rough knuckles: it will have been worth it. Spending some time in the sun with your plants is a great stress reliever. And following the tips above will help ensure that your garden is as healthy as ever.