Gardening can be challenging, especially if you live in a smaller space. Luckily, there are several things you can do to make it easier.
Start by planning your garden based on what will grow best in your area. This will help you prioritize what to plant and avoid overcrowding your space.
Plan Your Garden
Whether you’re growing your own food or merely planting flowers, the process of planning your garden is essential to your success. It helps keep your tasks in order and gives you the ability to work on projects in phases – building up to bigger and better things as time goes on.
Step 1: Measure Your Space – A great way to begin is to make a map of your yard, laying out existing trees, shrubs, slopes and patios. The more accurate the layout, the easier it will be to plan your garden.
Once you have a clear picture of your garden area, start sketching out the permanent structures that won’t move as well as flower beds, vegetable gardens and lawns. Including these in your plan will help you find a balance between size, layout and structure.
Dig the Soil
Digging is a key gardening activity that can help you improve the physical properties of your soil. This can improve its aeration, drainage and texture so that it is more suitable for plant growth.
It also lets you incorporate organic fertilisers (compost or manure) and kill weeds effectively. It should be carried out twice a year, in spring and autumn.
A healthy soil has a diverse and intricate food web of micro-organisms including bacteria, earthworms, fungi and nematodes that work together to transport nutrients, water and carbohydrates from the air to plants roots.
The symbiotic relationship between these organisms and the plants they serve, is at the heart of healthy, productive garden soils. Tearing at this soil life disrupts these symbiotic relationships and the vital pathways for nutrients to reach plant roots. It can also increase the decay of carbon-based humus, which can be detrimental to plant health.
Plant the Seeds
When planting seeds, follow the instructions on the seed packet. Generally, seeds require water, warmth, air, and light to germinate.
Most seeds should be planted just below the soil surface. Planting them too deep can reduce germination or produce weak seedlings.
Many seed packets also indicate how deep to plant. Typically, seeds should be sown at a depth equal to three times their diameter.
Smaller seeds, such as carrots or nicotiana, often need to be pressed into the soil. If your soil is heavy in clay, cover the seeds with a layer of sand to prevent crusting and inhibit germination.
Most seeds will grow into large plants when planted at the proper depth and spacing. It is important to provide adequate space for each seed, otherwise overcrowding can be a problem.
Water is a critical element for plants to thrive. It also provides energy to help support the cellular machinery and transport nutrients from one place to another.
There are many ways to get the most out of your garden and landscape, and one of the simplest is by using proper irrigation techniques. Proper watering will reduce runoff and evaporation while ensuring that your plants receive the water they need to grow healthy and strong.
The best way to water your garden is to use a timed system that allows you to check the soil moisture level in the area where your plants’ root systems are located and then schedule your watering accordingly.
When it comes to water, there are no hard and fast rules; it all depends on the type of plant you have, your climate and local weather conditions. For the most part, however, a few tips are a good place to start. The most important of these is to water only when it’s needed – don’t waste water by overwatering!