We love vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees, but we may not love the time it takes to maintain them. To truly enjoy your garden this year, take a little time to think about your expectations for your yard and what you want to get out of it.
If you’re doing a vegetable patch, grow the crops your family likes best. This way you’re not spending precious time and resources on food that goes uneaten. Decide what to start from seed and what to purchase as plants. If your family loves salads, plan on starting new crops of quick-growing lettuces from seed every couple of weeks for a fresh supply. For crops that take longer to ripen, like tomatoes, sometimes it’s worth it to begin with plants so you get fruit sooner. Love herbs for cooking? Herbs are undemanding in the garden and many do well in containers. Place them right outside your kitchen door or near the grill for easy harvesting. Most herbs are rabbit resistant, so they can be excellent groundcover options or planted throughout your beds.
Where is your hose? Where are your most water-needy plants? We’ve got plenty of moisture now, but come July, rains tend to peter out. Placing containers in easy reach of hoses or watering cans makes far less work for you. Think about placing a bird bath in the midst of plants with high water needs. Between birds splashing about and you refilling the bird bath, those water craving plants get extra moisture with little effort. Mulching trees and shrubs keeps weeds away and moisture available. Try winding soaker hoses through your beds under mulch for a simple solution to getting water to plant roots easily.
Get to know yourself and how much you enjoy working in your garden. Sometimes a mass planting of a few kinds of perennials makes more sense than a bed filled with thirty kinds of flowers, each with a different maintenance need. Shrubs add wonderful structure to your yard with minimum fuss. Tree shade is more cooling than a patio umbrella because the leaves release moisture into the air. A well-sited tree can lower your heating and air conditioning bills.
Get to know your yard. By planting plants in the conditions they prefer, they will require less water, fertilization, and overall maintenance. Figure out which areas are wet, well-draining, sunny or shady. Sometimes planting under trees is particularly challenging because the tree will always win the water battle. Ask us about choices that thrive in dry shade. The section between driveways can be a hot, dry place where plants struggle. Look for drought-tolerant plants or ask our Sales Associates. We can suggest many plants that prefer lean, rocky soils and stay looking great for a long time.
Spring is a great time to add amendments to your soil before you plant to give your plants a great start. Top dress with an inch or two of compost and BioTone Biostarter or The Growing Place Garden Mix and if possible, dig it in for a nice rich soil that’s ready to plant. This will slowly work its way into your soil, loosening it and giving beneficial microbes plenty to work with. With a little effort now, your plants will be lush and healthy, cutting down on maintenance needs.
Posted on 4/9/2014 at 8:30:00 PM