Always in Season - 7 Tips For Keeping Your Garden Healthy Throughout the Year
The rigors of summer and winter can have a profoundly negative effect on the life of your garden, and many people suffer these ill effects year in and year out without any hope of achieving any long-term garden health. This tragedy is brought on by a distinct lack of knowledge on the behalf of many amateur gardeners and burgeoning horticulturalists.
Unfortunately, due to the plants’ tendency to bounce back to health after some considerable time has passed, they don’t correct the behaviours, or lack thereof, that could be causing their leafy friends undue strain. There are many ways to keep your plants healthy and thriving, and in an effort to stave off this annual mass dying, we have put together a short list of tips for keeping your garden healthy throughout the year.
There is very little as beneficial to a plant as water. An incorrectly watered plant can be killed by over-watering just as easily as an irrigation system can save the life of an otherwise floundering plant. Make sure you research the plants you’re putting in your garden so that you can accurately work out how much water they need. Some will only need a little, while some will need a lot, and mixing these two up will kill both.
The Australian sun is famously harsh on any living creature, and this means that plants are especially vulnerable to it’s intense rays based on their inability to pick themselves up and move themselves elsewhere. It’s important to ensure that your plants get a bit of sunshine in the morning and around sunset, but are shaded during the middle of the day.
This is when the sun is at its strongest and can seriously burn the leaves and flowers of your plant. For sun-loving plants this is less of an issue, but for regular garden plants this midday shade is the difference between life and death in summer.
Pruning your plants keeps their leaves and stems healthy, and it helps to encourage specific growth patterns in your plants as well, so if you’re trying to encourage an outdoor installation to grow outwards instead of upwards, try trimming the sides more than you trim the height. This encourages more horizontal growth while maintaining a similar height.
Fertilizer is essential when it comes to helping your garden flourish. This goes doubly for any plants that aren’t used to the climate or soil type that makes up the foundation of the rest of your yard. Fertilizer can be bought from any outdoor or gardening store, and enriches the soil with nutrients that are much needed by all plants.
Pests happen to have a rather nasty effect on the flora of your yard, especially when those pests are insects. Snails are the number one culprit for garden destruction in Australia, but you have to be careful with how you deal with them. This is because some poisons can be hazardous for small animals and children too.
If you live far enough out of the city, consider leaving some wet dog or cat food out to attract a blue tongue lizard. When these take up residence in your yard, your snail population will quickly drop, as they naturally consume these pests en masse.
The seasons have to be carefully monitored throughout the year, and weather apps with real-time updates are a must-have if you’re trying to raise sensitive plants in a standard, open backyard environment. During summer, check every day if there will be a spike in heat, and if there will be make sure to get the watering done early in the morning and after the sun starts setting at the end of the day. This way you avoid accidentally cooking the plants with hot water from a hot hose.
Finally, the weeds in your yard should be watched in a hawk-like fashion to ensure that you don’t begin to feed and nurture any weeds that will strangle your carefully cultivated garden beds. Grass is the main culprit for this, but it’s abundance means you will constantly be fighting against the progressive force of nature upon the battlefield of your carefully tended earth.
With these tips, your garden is once again ready to flourish year-round, without the threat of a hot day or a cold snap to knock back all of your progress.