If the interior of your house is the heart and soul, then the garden and patio is the smile and laugh. Maintaining a home’s beauty and vitality takes a lot of work, but it can be very rewarding. If a few basic guidelines are followed periodically throughout the year, then the work won’t accumulate and become an insurmountable beast to tackle.
Here are a few rules you should follow if you want your outside to be as lovely as the inside.
1. Clean the Patio
Clear off all the furniture, flower pots, grill, toys, and other miscellaneous objects so you’re able to sweep and scrub every inch of the patio surface. Over time, mold, marks from the grill, and other things can cause the surface to get really dirty and turn into an eyesore. Find the appropriate cleaning agent to take care of all your patio cleaning needs.
Make sure that whatever you choose is the correct chemical for the surface type. You wouldn’t want to use the same chemicals for wood as you would stone!
You’d be surprised at how many pests can be hiding around your patio and damaging your garden, so cleaning the patio is a crucial step if it’s near your garden.
2. Clear Out Weeds
If you have weeds poking up through the cracks in your patio, then you can pour boiling water on them or use a spray bottle to spritz them in vinegar. Both of these options are effective, but be sure not to accidentally soak or spray any of your healthy plants or vegetables.
If it’s just a few weeds, then you might be better off just pulling them from the root and disposing of them. This step is very important if you want to have a healthy garden.
A way you can avoid weeds in the future is by limiting the possibility of growth by sealing those cracks in your patio. If there’s no space to grow, then chances are, they won’t. Find some patio sealing that matches the surface of your patio, and say goodbye to weeds!
3. Properly Water the Plants
Watering plants might seem like a basic step in maintaining your garden, but you’d be surprised at how many things can go wrong in this step if you’re not careful. Be sure to familiarize yourself with each type of plant in your garden and know how much water they typically require.
All plants are different, and depending on the plant, climate, and time of year, the watering routine will need to be adjusted to accordingly. If possible, try to water in such a way that saves water.
4. Secret in the Soil (and Compost)
That’s right—the secret to a beautiful garden is in the soil. Many go to extreme lengths, purchase expensive fertilizers and install high-tech irrigation systems, but still can’t quite get their dream garden. This is because far too often are plants put in bad soil. Make sure that you plant your garden in high-quality, nutrient-rich soil.
The next best thing you can do for your garden is to add compost. You’ll need to know the condition of the compost before adding it. If it’s too thoroughly composted, then it will generate a lot of heat and can kill pathogens. On the other hand, infected plant debris can introduce disease to your garden and wipe the whole thing out. So be sure of whatever the compost contains.
5. Mix in Some Mulch
Many think that mulch doesn’t serve any real purpose to the growth of a garden, but this is a common misconception. Mulch actually provides many benefits outside of just aesthetics. For one, your plants will pop like crazy. Secondly, anything that your soil lacks, wood chips can help make up for it.
A few other benefits include:
- Reducing fleas, ticks, and gnats;
- Minimizing the effects of winter;
- Retaining moisture;
- Controlling weeds.
Somewhere between 2-4 inches of mulch should do the trick. Avoid synthetic mulches, and they don’t do anything to improve the health or longevity of your garden.
6. Deadheading and Pruning
Deadheading is the process of removing dead flowers so new ones can blossom. If the dead flowers are not removed, then energy will be used to make seeds unnecessarily. Tending to your plants and making sure that the dead bulbs are taken out will allow your plants to use energy for better leaf and root growth.
Pruning the shrubs and trees surrounding the garden is important too. Try to keep an eye on dead or broken limbs year-round, as they may become infected and can spread the disease if not trimmed quick enough. Always use sharp tools for this job to ensure clean cuts that eliminate the diseased or dead tissue.
7. Ward Off Disease
There are only a few ways that a disease can happen. You might notice that all of the aforementioned maintenance rules are the guidelines for how to avoid disease. Here are the ways that disease can turn your garden oasis into chaos:
- A plant gets sick or infected;
- Environmental factors (like drought or humidity) allow a disease to develop;
- A pathogen, such as a virus, fungus, or bacteria attacks the plant.
Deadheading and pruning will minimize the chances of plants becoming infected. Watering properly and preparing for the various changes in the season will minimize the chances of disease and pathogens from evolving.
8. Stick to a Routine
Garden care is not for the faint of heart. You have to really love it to keep it alive and flouring. But if you can get a routine set up for each job, then the work will add up to maybe just a few hours a week. Have a set time you start each day and make a list of responsibilities that you see to throughout the week.
By setting up a garden care system where you keep track of the fine details of your garden and patio, you will find that keeping it up and running isn’t so difficult. Always remember to familiarize yourself with all of the unique needs your plants have, and see to it that their basic requirements for hydration and nutrients are being met, and you’ll certainly have an envied garden before you know it.
Keep being AllDayChic!