Monday, January 30, 2006

Gardening Maintenance

If you are pressed for time and are trying to plan your garden, then you should consider these time-saving tips. Many of them are maintenance and planning tips. Remember that as with many other parts of your life, the old adage is true. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take care of your garden from the get-go so that you will not spend as much time on it later.

First be sure that you check your borders everyday. If you walk your garden regularly (which you should do), then you can incorporate checking the borders into this daily or every other day walk. You should be able to check out the border and clean them up often. You should not allow any weeds or rotting foliage to gather at your borders. Also take care of leaves that may gather at the border to your garden. While you may think of these leaves as part of the natural flow, they are an open invitation to slugs, snails, and other creepy crawlies that you want to avoid in your garden. If you have a compost pile (and why would you not?), then you should move the leaves to the compost where they can decay and become useful.

If you are trying to plant a nice garden but do not have massive amounts of time to devote to it, then you should think about that before you purchase the plants for the garden. Ask at your nursery. You should be able to find plants that require little or no maintenance. Do not opt for plants that will need to be cut or pruned, no matter how nice they are. If you do not have the time to care for them, they will not add to the joy of your gardening time.

Also ask about the appropriate plants for your area. Most of the plants that you will find in your nursery can grow pretty easily in your temperature zone (otherwise, why would they carry many of them?), but you may find that some of them are not suitable for your garden. You need to know if the area gets much sunlight, if rainwater will soak into it, and how hard the soil is. Be sure to ask about the hardiness of the plants before you buy.

When you actually have the plants, it is vital that you take the time to plant them well. You will need to use a proper planting technique, being sure to research your plant first to find out how far apart to space plants and how large their root systems grow. Also take the time to be sure that the soil is appropriate for planting. Take the time when you are planting so that you do not spend time adjusting later.

Regular weeding is essential for your garden. First, know that smaller weeds are much easier to pull up than the big ones they will become. You do not have to contend with a tough root system, and you will find that you can pull them up in only a few minutes a day if you do it everyday rather than waiting for a week or more between weeding times. If you make weeding a regular part of your garden maintenance routine, then you will help guarantee that you are getting the weeds before they become a major problem.

Be sure that you take care of your plants. Check them out often. Get rid of dead or dying leaves or stems. Be sure that you check the soil frequently and make sure the plants are getting enough water and nutrients from the soil or your watering. Plants that are not healthy are more likely to have problems, including bringing in diseases that will harm the rest of your plants.

These quick maintenance tips can help you to be sure that you take care of your garden. The problem with some gardens is that the people who have them may not spend them time on them that they should. Gardening is not an infrequent hobby. It something that you should commit to carrying through, or it will become a hassle. Take care of your garden, and you will reap great rewards.

By Julia Mercer

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