From a small patio or terrace to sprawling lawns, whatever type of garden you’re faced with, you want to make it beautiful all year round. But as most gardeners will know first-hand, gardens can be faced with numerous problems, from plant diseases and a lack of nutrients in the soil to the weather causing havoc with plants and trees.
To keep your outdoor space looking picture-perfect from the start to the end of the year, keep these tips in mind over the course of the seasons.
Be mindful of the changing weather
One of the biggest challenges with a garden, regardless of its size, is the weather. Our gardens can face a variety of issues as a result of the surrounding climate and weather, from shade and wind battering delicate plants in cold wintry temperatures or summer droughts drying out the soil.
When you’re designing your garden, consider the needs of the plants when you’re planting them as they’ll have specific requirements to thrive. For example, olive trees can suffer from wind shearing so they’re not well-suited to exposed spots. Create a garden that combats these issues to help each plant or tree grow healthy and strong. For instance, avoid taller plants if you live in an area prone to high winds as they can snap or get damaged easily.
Instead, you may want to plant shrubs or hardy perennial plants that sit lower to the ground, or creeping plants. Likewise, if your garden doesn’t receive a lot of light, consider the plants you can put in that will tolerate a lot of shade during periods of low sunlight.
Research your local environment
When it comes to large expanses of space, such as your lawn, there are numerous diseases that can cause patchiness and thinning, dryness and even mould spores to grow. Understanding the risk of localised plant diseases can help you in treating the problem fully, as you’ll be able to spot the symptoms directly.
For example, homeowners may be faced with the likes of Red Thread, which is a viral fungus that attacks lawns in the Oxford area, or Leatherjackets which are grubs that feast on grassroots and leave thin or bare patches in grass and areas of heavy grasslands. Similarly, the Oak Processionary Moth can be found in oak trees in London and the surrounding counties and can even pose health concerns to humans and animals alike.
Having that knowledge of where you live can help you to build a garden that’s capable of tolerating the conditions in your local area, and also means you’re more mindful of the diseases or insects that could derail your progress so you’re more vigilant of the signs.
Maintain a consistent watering routine
Plants like consistency, particularly when it comes to watering. You might be surprised just how much of an impact maintaining hydration in your garden can transform it from lifeless and dull to a vibrant space. Your lawn, for example, requires consistent moisture for the grass seeds to germinate and establish roots, so keeping it lush and healthy comes down to sticking to your watering schedule.
Assess the soil type in your garden to establish how much and how often you should be watering your plants. Sandy soil, for example, will hold less water than rich clay soil, so it will dry out faster and need watering more often compared to clay soils which retain moisture for longer.
Healthier soils that have been mixed with compost or beds which have been mulched also hold on to moisture so you may not need to water them as much. Container plants, on the other hand, will typically need watering daily in warmer seasons. Staying on top of your watering schedule for beds, potted plants and your lawn will help to develop stronger plants and a better root system.
Keep weeds to a minimum
Weeds are those invasive, unwanted plants that don’t necessarily cause harm to your garden but can ruin the clean, tidy appearance you might be striving for. But what’s more, too many weeds in your garden can mean that the plants that have been intentionally placed there end up fighting for space and nutrients to grow.
Prevention is the best method when it comes to weeds, which means that regular maintenance is the key. By keeping your beds and lawn free from weeds, you’ll keep the soil aerated and provide more space for the plants that matter to you. Coupled with regular feedings, your garden will look healthier and be more resilient throughout the seasons.
Weeds will always make an appearance, no matter how vigilant you are, so there are some methods you can use to keep them at bay. For example, weed killers can be helpful in spring and summer when weeds are at their most rampant, but don’t apply it within the first six months of sowing seeds or laying turf as it can hinder growth. Mulching beds can also prevent weeds from getting through and provides a non-chemical approach.
Make your garden beautiful and everlasting
From water features and colourful foliage to towering trees and potted plants, there are various ways to create a beautiful garden. But maintenance is the way to ensure it always looks aesthetically pleasing for you and your visitors.
Keep your garden weed-free, make sure you’re watering your plants and lawn regularly and plan your garden layout based on the climate you’re based in. It’s also important to do your research, both in terms of the plants you’re growing and their specific needs but also the threats they face based on where you’re located, so you can keep them as healthy as possible.