Typically, as an interior design firm, we focus on the interior, as that is our wheelhouse. However the shape of your outdoor living space shouldn’t be overlooked. A well-maintained backyard garden that looks healthy and perfect throughout the year is a dream that a lot of garden enthusiasts have. Only a few can achieve. However, the reason why most of us can’t achieve this dream is because of a very practical reason. The fact that year-round backyard garden maintenance just isn’t easy, at all!
Most of us have a hard time maintaining our gardens for even one season. We are talking about keeping those delicate plants healthy through rain, heat, cold and snow, it will take some special effort. Here are the key areas you need to focus on for a backyard garden that is healthy all year.
Turn the Soil in Your Backyard Garden Regularly
This applies to all kinds of soil. Particularly clay or any other type of hard soil that tends to clam up and crumble more easily and frequently.
If the soil is hard, turn it with a spade once a week or once every two weeks. In the case of softer soils, turning them just once a month is usually enough. Use your own judgment.
Clay is a particularly difficult soil, but it yields great results, nonetheless. To keep clay loose and fertile for a long time to come, always top it up with plain, organic compost.
In spite of clay being rich in nutrients, root veggies like potatoes, beets, carrots, etc., are not suited for clay at all due to the hard nature of the soil.
Always Water Your Plants in the Morning
Watering your plants early in the morning reduces the chances of the water evaporating due to the afternoon heat. This is because the soil and the roots get sufficient time to absorb the water before the sun becomes too hot. This is also why experienced gardeners will tell you not to water the plants on a sunny afternoon.
Just in case watering regularly in the morning is a problem for you, try growing plants that actually thrive without regular watering. Examples include chrysanthemum, jasmine, bougainvillea, lithops, gaillardia, wallflower, agraves and, of course, any cactus out there.
Do Not Overwater Your Plants In A Backyard Garden
It may not seem likely to a beginner, but your plant will actually drown if you over water it. Have you ever wondered why mangrove forests have those spiky roots jutting out of the soil? It is because it is an evolutionary mechanism to gain access to atmospheric oxygen. The plants have this to keep themselves from drowning in stagnant water.
Unless you are growing a mangrove forest in your backyard garden, most plants won’t have the roots necessary to combat water blockage. Therefore, as a result of oxygen deprivation, they will drown from the effects of over watering. As an additional problem, stagnant or excess moisture below the ground may cause the roots to rot away as well.
Know About Each Plant in Your Backyard Garden Before Buying Seeds
Whether you are buying seeds or a young sapling, it is of the utmost importance to know everything about them first. Just stick to growing and maintaining a few species at a time, before moving onto others. Depending on the species and even sub-species, the care routine will differ slightly or greatly.
Different plants have different requirements for moisture, temperature, water, sunlight, soil, etc. Sometimes, the needs are so diverse. You may unknowingly end up killing a plant by keeping it in a sunny corner of the plot!
For example, cacti will thrive in dry, sandy soil and a lot of sunlight with minimal water requirements. But put an orchid in those conditions and it’s a quick and cruel death sentence for the rare bloom. If you want to keep any of the more fragile species in your backyard garden, do some extra reading on them. Make sure that you have the time or the resources to take proper care of them.
Control Your Weeds Carefully
Not all weeds are bad, although gardeners hate them. They are just feral plants after all and some are quite beneficial even. Namely the bashful mimosa, crow garlic, wild mustard, and even nettle. Some of them attract predatory insects that are good for your backyard gardens. They eat the pests without harming the plants, while others repel destructive pests like slugs, aphids and carrot flies. Don’t let them grow out of control, but don’t kill off everything you have not planted either.
If you see foxgloves, devil’s weed, poison oak, poison hemlock or even the gorgeous pink oleander, keep your distance. It is best to call in a professional to get rid of these toxic plants from your backyard garden.
Identify and Eradicate Harmful Pests
The use of chemicals for killing insects, slugs and the like is not recommended initially. Pests such as spider mites, leafminers, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, etc., can destroy your garden in a matter of weeks or even days. Depending on the scale of the infestation. Always tackle the pests early on. Before they get a chance to call in reinforcements and munch away your precious plants.
Is That All?
Of course, these backyard garden tips will help you in your goal especially if you are a beginner or an intermediate gardener. There is still a lot more you will need to learn and implement depending on where you are located. It also depends on the fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees, and shrubs that you are trying to grow. Check out this site to learn more about advanced backyard gardening tips. They have information regarding everything related to gardening. The website is also a great resource to find high-quality mulch and fertilizers. These will significantly improve the health of your plants.
Adaptability, hard work, experience, and knowledge are the most important aspects here. It is okay to make mistakes in gardening because everyone has made them, including veteran gardeners themselves. It’s what you learn from those mistakes that count. Take small steps and you will make small mistakes. Learn to avoid the big ones, which will ultimately help you save the season even after losing a few plants.
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