Any gardener worth their salt will tell you that the trick to having a large, beautiful, and healthy garden isn’t being born with a green thumb, but rather a combination of patience, practice, and failure.
All plants have different needs, from water requirements, type of soil, exposure to the sun, and the kinds of minerals they prefer, so it can become fairly difficult to make sure that all your plants have everything they need.
If you’re a starter gardener and you’re looking to skip the big mistakes that many others make, read on before you begin planting.
The Problem Of Water
Plants need water, it forms the fundamental basis of all life, and without it, a garden would turn into a barren desert. But just because water is important, it doesn’t meant that you should hose down your plants every day. In fact, too much watering tends to be much more of a problem than under-watering, which can cause the roots to rot and for pests to proliferate. Rather water every few days, and make sure you understand the water requirements of your plants when you’re choosing which ones to grow. Another tip: never water your plants during the middle of the day – this is a terrible waste of water, as most of it will simply evaporate and never reach any roots.
Not All Soil Is Equal
All plant-life needs soil to thrive, but not all types of soils are adequate for every kind of plant. Succulents, for example, won’t do well in loam soil, preferring dry, sandy soils where they can happily sit for weeks without a drop of water. Most vegetables, however, will grow best in a rich, loamy soil, which can take some months to build up. Loam soil is considered black gold in the world of gardening, so it’s a good idea to make it your mission to ensure the soil that you use is as healthy as possible.
Not Using Mulch Layers
Tied in closely with water management is a mulch layer, which is a thick layer of biomatter that accumulates over topsoil, providing protecting from the elements, and allowing strong water retention. Exposed soil is never a good idea: it can’t retain any moisture, the sun bleaches it, and it doesn’t provide much needed food for the microbes that inhabit the soil below it. Just about any matter can be used to create a layer of mulch, including wood chips, leaves, small pieces of bark, and even pebbles.
Avoid The Chemicals
A lot of gardeners out there will try and convince you that using chemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, is the only way to help protect a plant from attack. Instead, a good strategy to help your plants is by using all-natural methods of protection from pests and weeds. The chemicals that we use often kill the insects that we need, including pollinators, so it’s best to find a way that’s helpful to both the plants and the life that relies on them.