There really are no shortcuts when it comes to gardening. If you want a healthy garden, then you will have to do plenty of regular maintenance all through the growing seasons. Plants need enough water, sun, and nutrients in order to be productive. However, garden care doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. As long as you dedicate yourself to doing some general garden chores every week, then you should have a flourishing garden in no time.
That said, what is the best starting point for good garden care? As simple as it sounds, you simply have to pay enough attention to it. Stroll through your garden every so often and look around. That way, you will be able to notice if your plants are parched or if your flowers are getting overrun with pests. The key here is to discover problems early enough to do something about them. Otherwise, small issues can quickly get out of control and turn into major catastrophes that take lots of time to resolve. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you take care of your garden effectively:
- Examine Plants before Buying
The easiest way to stop diseases from spreading in your garden is to avoid bringing them there in the first place. However, it’s quite hard to learn what a healthy plant should look like – especially for rookie gardeners. So start off by increasing your knowledge base. Consult the relevant gardening books and magazines to see what healthy plant specimens look like. With that understanding, it will then be easier to identify sickly or insect-ridden plants.
A general rule of thumb is to avoid plants that have rotted stems, dead spots, and insects. Also, check the root quality before making any purchases. You want to ensure that the roots are firm, while, and spaced out well all over the root ball. Avoid roots that are dark and mushy.
- Manage Waste Right
Nothing provides a better breeding ground for plant diseases and pests than unattended garden waste. The best way to go is to clean out your garden during the fall, even if you’re living in a moderate climate. Diseases usually breed on dead leaves and debris in the winter months, only to attack the new leaves as they bud during the spring.
However, proper waste management in the fall can help you get rid of most of the common diseases that decimate gardens. You can clean up and have a licensed rubbish removal service to get rid of the waste – especially inorganic – completely. Composting organic garden waste is a great option for the more eco-conscious.
- Look Out for Bugs
Insect damage to plants isn’t just cosmetic. It makes your garden more susceptible to bacteria and viruses that can cause irreparable damage. For example, aphids are carriers of organisms that spread a disease known as impatiens necrotic spot virus. Leafhoppers carry the disease Aster yellow. Constant insect attacks will put your plants under stress, making them more susceptible to diseases.
- Water Correctly
Watering your garden regularly is a great thing. However, doing it correctly is even more important That’s because most diseases need that water as much as your garden does. Constant watering can allow these pathogens to move, grow, and reproduce. Keep this from happening by using watering methods that reduce moisture on foliage. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are just a few great options.
- Prune Properly
The best time to trim your trees and shrubs is in the late winter, not spring. That’s because wounded branches will get infected over the cold, wet winter months. This ensures that the disease becomes established while the plant is dormant. Doing your pruning later in winter will prevent any diseases from spreading to your new plant growth.