How To Keep Your Garden Healthy

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Looking out of your window to see a garden full of life that looks healthy and lush is a joy, and it’s something that, if you have any outside space, you should be able to do whenever you want to. Of course, that does mean you have to put some work into ensuring your garden is as healthy as possible, but even if you’re not a gardener, this is something you can do with some patience and knowledge. We can’t help you with the former, but when it comes to the latter, we’ve got plenty to spare – read on to find out more.

Soil Health

When you think about it, the health of your garden is really going to be down to the soil in it because if you don’t have good soil, it’s going to be hard to make anything grow (or at least grow well). That’s why it’s a good idea to test your soil before you start planting things to find out how healthy it is and to work out what type of soil it is – remember that different plant and crops need certain types of soil to grow, so it’s wise to know what soil you have before you start planting the wrong things and then wonder why nothing’s happening.

If you want to test your soil, you can buy a soil testing kit online to make things easier, and these kits should allow you to test the pH levels, nutrient content, and even what organic matter is in your soil, giving you a complete picture of its health. Once you know, you can work out what to plant, as we’ve mentioned above, and also what to add to your soil to make it healthier (and give you more options when it comes to plants and vegetables). It might come as a surprise, but it’s entirely possible to make your garden’s soil healthier with some extra nutrients, so don’t give up if the test seems to be negative – you can put things right.

Try Mulching

Mulching is a great way to make your soil healthier, so it’s definitely worth trying. When you mulch your garden, you’re basically adding a proactive barrier over the soil, which helps it retain more moisture (it reduces evaporation). This is important wherever you live, but it’s particularly useful if you’re in a hot, dry climate or when there’s a drought or hosepipe ban, for example.

As well as this, mulching means you’ll get fewer weeds, saving you time and effort. The mulch layer means the weeds don’t get the sunlight they need to grow, so in the end, your garden will look healthier and more attractive just from this one measure (and there are many others to try to make it even better too).

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation might sound like something a farmer needs to do (and, in fact, it is), but it’s also something you can do in your own back garden to ensure it stays as healthy as possible. Crop rotation just means changing the types of plants you grow in various places in your garden so that over the course of a few years (or seasons), every area of soil has grown every type of plant you want to include in your garden. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea, apart from the fact that it will mean your garden always looks different and interesting.

For one thing, crop rotation is a great way to deal with pests and disease. The reality is that some plants are more susceptible to these things than others, and by changing where the plants are in your garden, you’ll essentially confuse the pests and interrupt their breeding and feeding habits. By the time they realize their usual food source is elsewhere, they’ll usually have died off, and your plants will stay safe.

Plus, as mentioned above, different plants need different nutrients to grow healthily, and when you rotate the ‘crops’, you can help keep the soil fertile – there won’t ever be a time when all of one nutrient is used up by the plants if you make sure you rotate them. Your soil and plants will be healthier for longer as a result.

No-Till Gardening

Or what about no-till gardening? If you’re looking for an option that will keep your garden healthy but also means you don’t have to put in too much effort, this could be the ideal solution because no-till gardening basically means you don’t disturb the soil too much (if at all). So instead of raking things through and turning the the earth, which is often what people do, you focus on making the top layer of soil as health and nutrient-dense as possible. In other words, you’re constantly adding better soil on top of the old soil so that in the end, that’s what your plants are always growing in.

To do this properly, you might need to look at creating some raised beds in your garden because this will keep the extra soil contained and it means there’s room to keep adding more and more to ensure your plants have the most help possible when it comes to growing. If that’s the case, you can incorporate them into your garden design so they don’t look out of place – using railway sleepers to create a boundary is a great idea, as these always look attractive and they’re easy to get hold of.

Take Care Of Your Trees

Not all gardens have trees, but if you do, you’ll need to take extra care of them – don’t just let them grow as they want to, as you might run into problems if you do that. One thing you’ll definitely need to do is keep them trimmed and pruned, and there are a number of reasons why this is so important.

One reason to keep your trees trimmed is, quite simply, so they look good – overgrown and patchy trees will make your garden look bad even if everything else is nice and neat because the trees are so large and dominate everything else. If trimming the trees yourself is too difficult because it’s dangerous or you don’t have the necessary tools, you can use a specialist tree service to do it for you, saving you the hassle and ensuring the end result is what you’re looking for.

As well as keeping your garden looking good, trimming your trees will keep it healthy, and that’s vital. When you prune trees, you’ll remove any branches that are diseased or have pests, so the problem won’t spread to other parts of the tree or even other trees in the garden. On top of this, pruning trees opens up the canopy, meaning more sunlight can get to the branches lower down that would normally be in shade – they’ll be able to grow better and there’s less chance of them being attacked by fungus because the area won’t be so damp.

Water Properly

You might not think there’s much of a knack to watering your garden – you just leave a sprinkler running or take a hosepipe or watering can and make the ground wet. However, there is more to it than that, and doing it wrong can mean your garden is unhealthy.

One of the most important aspects of watering your garden is to make sure you get the water right to the roots of your plants, meaning you need to water much more deeply than you might have otherwise. If you water shallowly, the roots of your plants will become shallow, and they’ll be more likely to break, be eaten, or freeze. It’s also wise to water in the morning so that the soil and plants absorb the moisture before the heat of the sun comes out, which would make the water evaporate.