The northern hemisphere has recently welcomed yet another spring. The time of the year when nature is at its best. This is also famously the crucial time for preparing a garden. Let this be a year of green success. Create a garden you can enjoy by following a few basic steps.
Inspect the soil
First things first. Before you start working on the garden, test the soil in it. This is best done in fall. The first thing the test will indicate is the pH, that is, the acidity of your garden. You can use lime to raise the value, or sulfur if you need to lower it. Plants have a preferred range of the pH value and it will help you determine which ones you should grow.
Also, you will have a clear picture of the level of essential nutrients present. Some of the nutrients are nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sodium etc. With this knowledge, you can find the most suitable fertilizers. Late spring and fall are the best time to fertilize your garden.
A green lawn
The lawn usually covers the largest area around each house. In order to keep this large surface lush, you need to start early. Once the soil is tested, the ground should be aerated before it is fertilized. This will allow air and other essential elements to penetrate deeper into the ground. Now you can fertilize it.
Select the most suitable seeds for the climate you live in. Look for bare patches and distribute the seeds evenly across them.
Deeply water the freshly seeded patches once or twice a day. When you cut the grass, leave the clippings on as they will provide mulch. This only applies if you mow it regularly and the clippings are not too thick. Keep your mower blades at 3.5inches and change direction each time you mow your lawn. Never cut grass when it’s wet.
Make raised garden beds
Raised flower beds give you better control of the conditions your plants are growing in. They are easily made DIY and are definitely worth the little extra time invested. The weed barrier will keep the weeds away. You can create the type of soil you want. Use a mixture of your garden soil and mix it with an equal amount of compost for best nutrition.
Do not forget to mulch. The best natural mulch is dead leaves. Fill a few bags in fall and keep them stored away for summer. Once you get to the point of planting seeds and seedlings, you will need to pull back the mulch. If you do not like the look of it, you can add a thin layer of more decorative mulch.
Go simple and native
If you keep your garden fairly simple, you have better chances of keeping it green throughout the season. The best choice you can make is the native plants. They are accustomed to the type of soil you have in your garden, and they are used to the climate. Such plants are more likely to thrive with very little attention. If you are keen on getting exotic species, make sure you are aware of the conditions they require. Use the advantages the raised beds offer and provide the best soil for your alien plants.
Tune up the sprinklers
Experts from Hoselink remind gardeners to check their sprinkler system every spring. The sprinkler heads should be adjusted in such way so as no water gets wasted. Everything should be directed at plants and only the inevitable, minimal surface of pavement should be reached. If you have an in-ground system, check that there are no holes in the hoses. The system should only be used on dry days. Integrate a sensor which will let the system know it is raining, so it does not double up.
Choose the right time for watering
You should water your garden very early in the day. Hopefully, you are an early bird and you will be ready for it at sunrise. The ground is still fairly cool at this time, and the temperatures are low so less water will evaporate before it gets to the plants. Winds are usually also calm at this time so the water will go directly where you want it to go. If you need to water your plants twice a day, let the second time be later in the evening. The temperatures will not be as high and there will be less direct sunlight.
In the era of environmental awareness and biophilic design, having a garden is much sought-after. Following these basic steps will ensure you have a spot to relax and enjoy the nice weather with your friends and family.
Victoria Lim, the author of this post, is a designer and an aesthetic blogger. Her fields of expertise include home decor, interior and exterior design, landscaping and walking a dog for miles and miles.