7 Steps For A Garden That’s Easy To Manage
One of the most pleasant and relaxing pastimes is spending time in your garden. Whether it’s strolling among beautiful flowers and foliage, or watering potted plants in your balcony garden, being among nature is one of the best ways to relax and unwind. However, when it comes to maintaining your private oasis of greenery, even gardening can become a chore if too much maintenance is required. Here are 7 ways that will give you a low-maintenance and easy to manage garden.
1. Be Realistic
Take a look at how much space you have in your garden and then see how much time you have on your hands to invest in this space. Planting, pruning and other forms of maintenance can easily take up a few hours every week so it’s necessary to think this through before deciding on the types of plants that you want. Think about aspects such as lawn area, watering solutions and drainage. Do you want a garden that focuses more on vegetables or do you want to plant fruit bearing trees? How much sunlight enters your garden? This will have a direct impact on the type of plants that will flourish here. These are some of the major points to take into account when planning what to plant and where.
2. Replace Perennials with Shrubs
Unlike perennials, shrubs only require pruning once every year. By replacing perennials with shrubs, you will instantly lower the maintenance required in your garden. Flower beds with plants that require regular, meticulous care will always increase your workload. Each perennial plant has it’s unique requirements whereas with a shrub, you simply water and keep any weeds under control. In the long run, shrubs require far less maintenance.
3. Let the Lawn Grow
Mowing your lawn every fortnight may give you a perfectly manicured green space, but in reality it can be an unnecessary activity. Try letting your lawn grow out into a wild meadow and simply mow a walking path through the lawn. You could even try planting some wild flowers to add a touch of colour to the space. Placing bricks at the edge of the lawn will save time in pruning the edges as well. If your lawn suffers from several patchy areas, sprinkle plenty of lawn fertilizer around the end of summer time. This will help with root growth and will make the grass more resistant to drier periods.
4. Use Mulch for Better Soil
Place a layer of gravel, chippings of fresh bark or even compost over the surface of any soil to prevent any weeds from germinating. The soil will retain moisture if mulch is placed on it’s surface because it lowers the amount of water that evaporates. Using organic mulch can even improve the nutrient levels found in soil. Aim to apply around 2 inches of mulch on the surface of the soil. If you plan on using organic mulch, make sure it doesn’t touch the stem of plants as it may make them rot. Placing a layer of gravel on the top of pots will help save on water as moisture will be retained. It should be noted that bark chippings should only be used on paths and areas with no plants. When freshly cut bark chippings rot, they use a lot of nitrogen, thereby depleting the soil quality.
Getting rid of pesky weeds is a time consuming part of maintaining any garden. There are a few steps you can take to minimize the time spent on removing weeds. The best time to get rid of weeds is in early spring. By removing them now, you won’t let them lay down their seeds which will sprout later on. Perennial weeds can be removed with a specialized weedkiller which is applied directly to leaves , killing only the unwanted plant. To avoid weeds from showing in bare soil, apply a thick layer of gravel or mulch on top.
6. Know when to Prune Hedges
Hedges can be a time consuming part of your garden, requiring constant pruning to keep them looking neat and tidy. If you let your hedges grow out too much, they can cast an ominous shade over your entire garden, making it look dark and depressing. A great way to avoid having to constantly prune hedges is to plan slow growing hedges which don’t require frequent pruning. Cut deciduous hedges in winter and evergreen hedges in spring. Invest in a good sharp pair of shears for hedging to avoid having to go over the same area several times.
7. Watering Solutions
Watering a multitude of plants regularly can be one of the most tiring parts of maintaining a beautiful garden and it’s a price that all garden lovers readily pay. However, a few small changes can help reduce the amount of energy you exert watering plants endlessly. Reducing the number of pots that you own, or keeping your pots in a more shaded area, especially during the summer months will help decrease your watering load. Another great tip is to add watering crystals and slices into the ground when planting. These crystals absorb water in the ground and if soil ever becomes too dry, then the crystals release water into the soil.
Yet another time saving tip is to place several pots in a tray together with a few inches of water and top up the water in the tray instead of watering each individual pot. When buying pots, opt for the largest option as these are able to hold the most soil and water, and are therefore a lot easier to maintain. When watering, it’s important to remember that during the day, a lot of the water will evaporate so avoid watering when the sun is out, instead try to water in the evening hours.
While most keen gardeners enjoy the time they spend in the garden, whether it’s relaxing or taking care of their plants, there should never be so much work involved that it becomes a chore. Hopefully these seven tips will make taking care of your garden a lot easier, saving you time and energy.
Rose Martin is an editor at HomeBuild who manufactures scissors and shears based in China. Rose Martin loves blogging on fashion, women, parenting, travel and lifestyle. Rose is also interested in music, fitness and art. In spare time, she loves to spend time with family and friends.