Every smart homeowner knows that a healthy garden is a happy garden. But if you’re not a professional, how do you make this happen?

It’s not as simple as giving it a good night’s sleep and a homemade smoothie like it is with humans! In fact, maintaining all aspects and elements of a garden and keeping them healthy can be tricky!
Luckily, there are a number of tried-and-tested techniques that can help you out. Read on to find out more.
Smart Gardener
Image Courtesy: Oregonstate
Use water crystals in your hanging baskets
Hanging baskets are a gorgeous addition to any garden. They’re also fantastic if you don’t have a garden, but want to bring some color and life into a patio area or driveway. Here is the catch. Hanging basket soil dries out far faster that soil in the ground.

This means that unless you can water them every single time, they will dry out, and plants will die. A fantastic alternative is to mix water crystals in with the soil. They will keep the soil or compost moist, meaning less responsibility on your part to look after them.

Put your plants in trays when you go away from home
There will be times when you go away from home, and thereby can’t look after your plants and garden as a whole. This might be for a holiday, or a work trip, for example. Aside from having a friend come and water your plants, there is an alternative.

Before you go away, collect your potted plants from their various locations in your garden. Get a long tray, relatively deep, and fill it with pebbles and water. Then, place your plants inside. This will allow them access to fresh water throughout your time away from home.

Use Oasis for your plants
Even if you haven’t heard of Oasis before, you’ve probably seen it. Oasis is that thick, dense green sponge that flower arrangers use. The reason they use it is because it holds an immense amount of water, thereby keeping the plant or flower fresh. Take inspiration from the professionals and use it for your indoor plants or greenhouse plants. It will cover your back if you forget to water them occasionally.

Invest in a PH soil kit
Not every garden is the same because each one is in a different place. This means that the soil in one part of a city might be different to the soil a few miles away. Therefore, it’s always smart to invest in a PH soil kit. It will give you an idea of your soil, and once you know that, you are far more informed.

This means that you are able to buy the right plants for your garden. Certain types of soil will make certain types of plants almost impossible to grow. Don’t waste your time with these, and plant things that will flourish instead.
Healthy Garden
Image Courtney: bigfatpurse
Invest in a professional irrigation system
Just as humans and animals need water to survive, so do gardens and plants! Install a professional irrigation system. Relying on yourself, and even worse relying on the unpredictable weather is far too risky! Seek professional advice to find out what kind of system will work the you best.

It might that you need rotating sprinklers, fixed-spray sprinklers or something else. You can see more from Pro Irrigation, who supply these products, for the facts and benefits.

Figure out where the sun falls
It’s important to be familiar with where the sun falls in your garden. You’ll want to put the majority of your plants in areas that the sun hits. Conversely, you’ll want to put your shade-loving plants in the areas where there is the most shade! Getting this mixed up could smell disaster! Shade-loving plants are things like ferns and other woodland type plants.

Plant sensibly
If you aren’t a super-dedicated garden, plant according to this. You will only be disappointed if you get over-ambitious and never get anything to grow. Go for plants that don’t need watering all the time, like succulents.

Cacti are another good option; obviously, if they grow in the desert, they’ll grow in your garden! Herbs are also relatively straightforward to grow successfully. Plant things that you can regularly use in your cooking, like basil and rosemary.

Use targeted insecticides
It used to be the case that gardeners covered their entire garden or outdoor space with insecticides. However, while these worked to kill bugs and weeds, they also have the ability to kills everything else! They can harm bees and butterflies, and if you have a pet cat that comes into contact with them, they can be lethal.

Instead, use targeted bug killers. Your local garden center will advise you on the best products.
Alternatively, make insecticides at home with your own household ingredients. The pesky green fly will eat your leaves, but you can kill them with a mixture of water and washing up liquid. Or, if slugs are your biggest pest, beer will kill them.
garden or outdoor space
Image Courtesy: Irishnews
Don’t waste your money on an expensive brand! The simplest one on the liquor store shelf will do the jobs just as well. Eggshells and coffee grounds are two other things you probably have at home that will keep away pesky insects and bugs.

Have a water feature
Obviously, water features look great in gardens and outside spaces. But aside from aesthetics, they have another benefit. They encourage water wildlife, like frogs and newts, to live in your garden. After all, you’re giving them a place to breed and live! Just be aware of the potential dangers if you have young children. One option is to cover the pond or water feature with a net.

Know where to invest and where to save
For some things in your garden, investing more is worth every penny. Take garden tools, for example. The best spades, strimmers, and rakes will make all the difference.

However, there are other items that you can save money on, and it won’t make any difference. The Internet holds all sorts of new and innovative gardening hacks. For example, use plastic forks to label your plants, and turn a large, plastic milk bottle into a watering can!

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Rizwan Ahmad

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