While in the past, gardening was reserved only to a certain type of people, but nowadays, with countless of TV shows about this hobby, more people are rushing to the stores for gloves and shovels to create their rose gardens.
However, regardless of how simple TV shows might make gardening seem, it can be a daunting task without some prior knowledge because of the time and dedication it takes to maintain a garden. Nevertheless, gardening can get a lot easier if you know a few basic concepts. Here are four things to include in a beginner gardener’s maintenance checklist.
Set Up a Simple, Yet Efficient Irrigation System
One of the best ways to ensure that your garden stays at its peak is installing an irrigation system. Do not get intimidated by the task – it is easier than it looks.
But before we proceed, here is one word of advice: make sure to link the irrigation system, no matter how simple it may be, to a sump pump to avoid flooding accidents. Also add a functional sump pump switch to your system to prevent the water in the drainage system from overflowing. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of the three main types of switches and how you can install one yourself, read this related article about the sump pump pressure switch.
One of the most basic irrigation systems is the PVC pipe irrigation system. You can use this simple, yet effective setup to keep your garden (or even lawn) evenly watered during summer. It is based on a system of sprinklers that delivers water exactly where it is needed the most. It is very cheap to build too, so if you have a few pipes lying around, that is even better. There is nothing wrong with saving a few bucks.
Besides neglect, one of the top factors that will destroy your garden is pests. Even though bugs and insects are good at pollinating plants, recycling nutrients, and eating other insects, an uncontrolled insect population can lead to a broken ecosystem that can kill your garden. If you want to keep your garden alive, here are a few tips that will help you out:
- Leave enough room between the plants to allow proper airflow. This will protect the plants against fungal diseases.
- Place small fences between the plants in the garden’s early stages to keep pests away.
- Do not let dead or diseased plants alone. Remove them as soon as you spot them.
- Grow plants that attract insects which are not pests by nature, such as corn, fennel, cornflower, borage, mountain mints, or golden marguerites.
- Plant disease-resistant varieties.
If nothing else works and pests are still an issue, you have two options left: either remove all the plants and change the orientation, arrangement, and design of the garden, or use homemade pest control remedies that are free of chemicals.
Use Healthy Fertilizers
While fertilizing your garden on a regular basis is a good idea, too much fertilizer can have the opposite effect, burning the roots and destroying the plants’ water absorbing abilities. This can trigger a nasty vicious circle, making the plants more vulnerable to drought, cold, and excess heat.
To know how much fertilizer your garden needs, you should check with your local agricultural extension agency for more information. They will test the soil and give you precise info on its nutrient levels.
Prune Damaged Stems, Branches, and Plants When Necessary
Finally, another activity that you should include in your daily gardening routine is pruning damaged plants. Make sure to do this as early as winter, because waiting to do the job until spring can cause the wounded stems and tree limbs to become infected. This, in turn, will enable the disease to kick off in full force once spring arrives when the plants are no longer dormant.
Another advantage of scheduling your pruning sessions in winter is that you can prevent the diseases from spreading to new growth. A good rule of thumb is to use sharp tools – this will allow you to make swift, clean cuts that heal rapidly, as opposed to using blunt tools, which will do more harm than good to the plants.
Gardening is one of the most relaxing and wholesome activities, but like all hobbies, you need to invest a lot of time and dedication to get the most out of it. Gardening is not solely about planting things; it is a continuous process that if executed right, can render some beautiful stuff. If you are a beginner gardener and are looking for some tips, use our tips when maintaining your garden.
Written by Vincent West