Tips for Gardeners..

Gardening can be a fantastic leisure activity which has great rewards you’re your health and wellbeing.

Gardening can be a fantastic leisure activity which has great rewards you’re your health and wellbeing.

New gardeners are often put off by the technical aspect and long botanical names. The basics of gardening are the first important steps, once you have these mastered, then gardening becomes second nature. Learn from other gardeners, they are always happy to share their experiences. Here are a few pointers:-

1. Soil type

There are three basic soil types; these are sand, silt and clay. If you are not sure about your soil type, ask another local gardener or local garden center. Once you know what you have, then you can add the correct ingredients to help you garden thrive.

2. Organic fertiliser and compost

Organic fertilisers, compost and mulching materials improve the nutrient level and encourage soil microbes and worms which are important to the soil and plants. Man-made fertilisers have their place, but nothing beats organic so make your own compost. Don’t throw away your kitchen scraps, recycle them and start a worm farm, worm juice is magic for gardens or a compost heap. Your compost can be dug into your garden bed at any time of the year.

3. Mulching your garden

Mulch is fantastic for many reasons. It keeps the soil moist in dry weather, so ensure the lay of mulch is thick enough so it helps reduce evaporation. Mulch also prevents weed growth as weeds compete for moisture. Mulch also improves the soil as it decomposes. Any type of mulch is better than none but sugarcane mulch, lucerne mulch, straw, tea-tree or bark mulch are all available.

4. Plant choice

Plant the right plant in the right place – if you are not sure, then ask for help. Planting plants together with similar water and light requirements will help you succeed and grow a great garden.

5. Pruning

Sometimes is difficult to know when to prune plants. Traditionally perennials are pruned at the end of winter/beginning of spring when new shoots are starting to grow. If you have larger trees or shrubs, then don’t let them get over grown until they get too large to trim back. When pruning, cut these into small pieces and place in the compost bin where these can decompose over time. Flowering plants can be pruned during the season to encourage re-blooming. By removing spent flowers from flowering plants this will prolong the flowering season of perennials. You will have another flush of flowers as a result.

6. Watering

Long deep watering is the key for plants. By applying water for a long period slowly, you encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil. Short shallow watering results in roots being close to the surface resulting the plant drying out in dry times or windy weather.

7. Pests and diseases

Healthy plants mean less chance of pest and diseases but if you do have a problem, learn to identify them. Spraying with chemical’s is not always to first action to take as there are softer option available such as removing by hand or use some fantastic organic sprays which are much better for the environment and you. You must always read the manufacturer’s directions when applying chemical and fertilisers and where the correct protective clothing.