Simply growing a garden is not enough. It has to be healthy and should look beautiful. Why take all the pain when it is not attractive enough to décor the home? Gardening itself is not an easy task to do; it takes more efforts than ever expected. Constant care and attention is needed for a well developed beautiful garden. Many a times we feel envious of an eye catcher designer garden at a friend’s place and wish we too had one such. Well, keep on dreaming and with some efforts everyone can have a gorgeous flourishing garden at our homes before long.
Do you wonder, in order to have such an attractive garden what you need to do or should know about the maintenance and care tips? You have come to the right place. Here you will see some simple and easy ways to have a good looking and healthy looking garden that oozes attraction and also adds to the aesthetic look of not just the garden but also to the home and fitness to the people living there. What else do the residents need than waking up or coming back home looking at a colorful healthy garden outside? That itself makes the day pleasant enough to survive till the next.
1. Plants: While choosing plants, care must be taken to select the disease resistant types and having clean and healthy roots. Disease resistant varieties grow better and also requires lesser care when compared to others. Most resistant varieties can fight more than one disease causing micro organism. If the roots are not healthy, the plant cannot survive long. To see if it is healthy, just have a look at the bottom to see if it is flourishing and in pale white color. Healthy roots can show better resistance to soil borne diseases. Even healthy plants with green foliage and colorful flowers can be dead within no time if the roots cannot survive long. Look for leaf spots or discoloration in the foliage etc.
2. Soil or Compost: Soil preparation is the best thing you can do to your plants, especially the flowering ones. Till and loosen the soil for a few inches and nourish it with some compost and other natural nutrients like peat moss. Preparing soil for flowering plants is the same as setting up a nursery for the expected baby. Everything has to be proper, safe, healthy, and easy for the newcomer. Even after planting, the soil blanket over it should not be thick, but just in the right height. If seeds are being sowed it should be barely covered by the soil.
As for the compost, it should be used with caution for sensitive plants. The compost may have both decomposed and not-yet-decomposed particles in it. Some are decomposed faster and the temperature is raised to a level that often kills the pathogens present. But the non decomposed parts may still have some of the pathogens in them that can cause disease. The sensitive plants become the target of these microbes and can cause damage to both themselves and to other plants. So the compost should be dry, as much as possible. If there is a threat of non-decomposed parts for long, avoid or cut down using yard waste as the mulch.
3. Bugs and Weeds: Bugs are a nuisance on flowering plants. They are attracted by the colorful petals and may cause damage as well as diseases. The bugs may create some damage on the leaves or flowers and the viruses or bacteria that they carry can easily penetrate through the minute openings. Common bugs that can cause diseases are Aphids that is responsible for bringing necrotic spot virus and leaf-hopper that bring about the aster yellow disease where the leaves turn yellow prematurely. So keep an eye on them and ward off such bugs immediately when spotted.
Weeds are another problem that can affect the beautiful garden. These unwanted plants take up the nutrients and affect the flowering process. Weeds are the most common cause for any damage done to the flowering plants. To avoid the weeds, you may need to spend some more time in the garden to take them out. Raised gardens are a better option where there are more weeds around. Raised beds are less prone to weeds and if at all there are any; it is easier to pluck them out and no need to bend too much to do the work also.
4. Diseases are a problem at the onset of spring. During winter the dead and fallen leaves makes a good source for the bacteria to flourish and causes diseases when the spring comes. Clearing the garden of the dead leaves during fall is a good maintenance option for a beautiful garden. Many leaf spot diseases can be avoided by this, especially the black spot of roses. Even crowding the plants can also causes diseases. Crowded plants store more moisture and help the pathogens grow. Powdery mildew is one such disease that is a result of crowded plants with more moisture between them. Prune those extra branches from the plants to give some space between them and have more aeration to allow the moisture to evaporate and keep the leaves dry. Crowded plants are slow to grow as they have more competition for the light and nutrients, not to mention the constant threat of infections.
5. Pruning is a must do process in any type of gardening. The timing is most important in this process. Do not hesitate to cut out the damaged foliage or stem from the plants. Sustaining these parts can damage the other parts as well. During winter such parts are a breeding ground for bacteria and other disease causing organisms to grow. A broken limb also should be cut away. Use only sharp tools for pruning so that no damage is done to healthy parts. Always cut a little down to the healthy part to make sure that the damaged part is completely removed.
6. Site of each plant also plays a major role in its health and beauty. Not all plants need constant sunlight, some prefer the shade also. Know your plant well before placing it in the garden. Shade loving plants should never be kept in direct sunlight. Orchids are such plants that do not need direct sunlight. Keeping the shade loving plants in sunlight can damage the leaves and show brown spots where the tissues are burnt. To add creativity to the garden position the flowering plants and foliage plants alternately or according to the color of the flowers or leaves. Placing the hedge plants in the middle may look odd so plan your garden and plant the plants in the right position. Get professional assistance, if possible, to get a better result from the efforts.
7. Watering and fertilizers: Plants cannot survive without water but watering can help grow not just the plants but also the dangerous microbes also. Most of these pathogens, if present, are located in the plant parts. So try to keep the leaves and other aerial parts away while watering. Plants need water at the root level, so water the root part. Drip watering and moisture hoses come in handy at this stage of gardening. These are beneficial where the climatic moisture is more and the chances of diseases are more. Timing of watering is also important. Water the plants when the leaves and aerial parts can dry off the drops easily, but the roots get enough time to absorb the water before it gets dried. Please note that plants need water and not water logged soil to grow. Provide enough water but not in excess as over watering can cause more damage than benefits.
8. Flowering plants are the star attraction of any garden. As much as we love the greenery, the colored blooms have its own beauty. They are soothing to the eyes. Having a colorful garden is the key to beautifying a garden. Try to have mixed colors in a large pot if you have a small garden. A larger garden can have colored flowering plants alternately or in a particular pattern. Having the uniform colored flowers in a row also looks splendid. Try to have all types of flowering plants that blooms at different seasons so that the garden will always have some flowers throughout the year.
9. Diversity helps the environment as well as gardens. A garden with all varieties of plants is attractive, at the same time an addition to the environment. Try to have flowers of all sizes and shapes. Instead of going for color code, choosing the plants according to the flower size is also a way to beautify the garden. This helps to have diversity both in the color as well as in vision. The smaller flowers make way to see the larger ones and can form a pattern like feel in between the larger ones.
10. Furniture: Garden furniture is a means of convenience as well as a décor. Placing a small swing, a set of chair and table, or even a small fountain in the centre of the garden is an attraction. It also makes the garden look a bit bigger and spacious. Any colored garden furniture are available these days. Choose the color, type, and size of the furniture according to your taste and need and keeping the garden size in mind.
The Bottom Line
Care must be given to the trees in the garden as well. Though the trees can grow on their own, they need attention at the younger stage to become a healthy and flourishing tree after a few years. Allowing self sown seedlings to grow is a method to maintain the greenery of the garden and also to have newer plants ready when the older ones no longer look healthy or attractive. Try to be updated with all the newer trends in gardening to have the most modern ways to keep the garden attractive and healthy in the long run.