Gardening with Allen

4 Ways to Keep Your Garden Healthy

Having a garden is a blessing. It’s a place of peace and calm that allows you a chance to get close to Mother Nature. Getting outdoors and enjoying the benefits of a garden is the ideal antidote for stress. 

Of course, it’s another story if you’re in charge of maintaining a garden. As much as your garden is a place to enjoy, it takes a lot of upkeep if you want it to look attractive. 

Here are some secrets you need to know about keeping your garden healthy: 

  1. Put in the time

Sporadic bursts of activity in the garden are not as effective as regular maintenance. There’s no vacation when you’re responsible for a garden. It’s best to allocate time from your schedule to spend in the garden on at least a weekly basis. 

The jobs you need to do in the garden will vary according to the season. It will take you a year to create a full list of everything. After that, you’ll have a list to refer to each year. 

Use your time in the garden constructively by looking for symptoms of problems. These include dead, damaged, or dying plants, as well as signs of bug activity. The sooner you address such issues, the healthier your garden will be. 

  1. Go local

Indigenous plants tend to require far less maintenance than foreign species. They are well-suited to the climate. Alien species might need more water than what the area gets, meaning you’ll have to spend more time tending to them. 

Do research on which plants are indigenous to your area. You can visit your local garden center to get some advice. Your neighbors, who also love gardening will also be able to share some insights with you. 

Once you know what you want to plant, it’s time to go shopping. Many avid gardeners take out short-term loans to fund bulk purchases when they’re doing the initial garden layout. 

  1. Go green

Plants survive best when they are not exposed to harmful chemicals or synthesized matter. Steer clear of toxic pesticides where it’s possible. They are often hazardous to the environment. While you might be using them to deal with one kind of bug, they could kill others that are essential, such as bees. 

Research alternatives to pesticides. There are a lot of good natural ways to get rid of bugs. Look online to see what alternatives there are. 

Fertilizer is another contentious topic among gardeners. It’s terrific to use if you want to get your plants growing, but it’s important to know what it contains. Make sure you’re not doing more harm than good by using fertilizer. 

Find out about any organic options available at your garden center. Compost is an excellent organic fertilizer that feeds the soil and gives your plants the boost they need. If possible, make your own compost. 

  1. Shop wisely

When you’re shopping for plants, pay attention to the quality of what you buy. Check each plant to make sure it is healthy. Look at the roots, stems, leaves, and flowers before you load it into your cart. If there’s any sign of something wrong, select another one. 

It’s advisable to make your purchases at garden centers in your area that do their own growing. The soil they work with is similar to that which is in your garden. 

So, if it grows there, it will thrive in your garden. Follow the advice about how much sun exposure the plant should get when you buy plants. Too often, plants don’t grow the way we’d like them to because they’ve been put in the wrong place.

Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.