With Spring just around the corner it is time to start planning your next Garden Makeover!
If your maintenance routine is a bit haphazard and as a result your garden is looking tired and in need of a garden makeover then this article is for you.
We’ve all seen those beautiful healthy gardens that meander around and compliment a home. The plants look strong and healthy and the garden has a magical quality about it. Did you know these types of gardens usually only require a minimal but consistent amount of garden maintenance to look and feel the way they do. Its just knowing what to do when, that is the key.
Garden Makeover – 7 Easy Steps to Transform your Garden
If your plants are looking yellowish or discoloured in some way, pest infested or just generally unhealthy, your garden is probably in need of a makeover, consider incorporating the following suggestions into your garden maintenance routine:
- Soil Improvers – Purchase quality bagged compost or liquid concentrate that you can apply all over your gardens. Although you can apply this mix to the surface of the mulch, it is far more effective if you can get some soil contact especially around your plants. The compost will introduce micro-organisms and improve the soil structure, water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil. Consider incorporating this step into your Spring and Autumn garden maintenance routine every year.
- Fertilize – A good quality, slow release fertilizer applied at least 3 times a year is best. Avoid the high nitrogen chemical fertilizers as they can cause all sorts of issues long term to your plants, lawn and soil. A liquid foliar fertilizer (applied to leaves) is also a very helpful instant boost for plants and can be used in addition to granular fertilizers.
- Water Retention – Most sandy soils and mulches experience a water repellency issue which means that water doesn’t penetrate evenly or deeply through the soil and around plant roots. Purchase a quality long lasting granular or liquid product and apply this as recommended. You’ll need to incorporate this step into your garden maintenance routine at least twice a year preferably early Spring & Autumn
- Pest Control – If you are trying to encourage micro-organisms in your soil, then it is a good idea to stay away from harmful chemicals. There are many good eco brands available now which are very effective and will maintain a safe environment for family and pets to circulate in.
- Weeds – Get on top of this now and try and stay on top by dealing with weeds regularly in your garden maintenance routine. Consider natural weed control measures first. Newspaper 5-6 sheets thick applied over weeds and then mulched over to weight down will also help keep weeds under control. Try undiluted white vinegar or sulphate of ammonia. If you have to use Zero or Round-Up use a paint brush and directly apply the product to weeds, keep it away from the soil and valued plants as it can kill them too.
- Mulch – One of the biggest mistakes people make is to pile the mulch onto the garden too thick and directly up to the stems. Scrape the mulch back from plant stems and create a bowl so that water can penetrate and the plant can breathe. The courser mulches are better than the fines as they do not compact down and create water and air absorption problems. Approx 75mm thick layer is best!! A good quality mulch will help to keep soil temperatures cooler in Summer and warmer in Winter, reduce weed infestations and retain moisture for longer periods.
- New Plants – This is the perfect final step to your garden makeover. If your garden is looking tired and in need of a makeover consider removing plants that are not correctly placed or past their use by date. If you are just replacing a few plants here and there, have a look around your local nursery and ask staff for advice and recommendations.