Tips on Maintaining Your Home Garden

Home gardening can be a great past time activity or merely a way to grow your produce. Either way, even the smallest and humblest home garden out there requires tending to. There are a few useful tips that will guarantee your home garden remains in tip-top shape.

Kill Those Pesky Weeds

Your plants are busy minding their own business, soaking in some sweet sunshine. Then, out of nowhere, some not-so-friendly intruders show up. Their sole intent is to choke the life out of your precious plants by taking over water and nutrients. Who are those intruders? Weeds, that’s who.

Not to worry, though. Weed killers were made to deal with precisely this kind of problem. Today’s weed killers eliminate the time-consuming work of trying to uproot weeds manually. With weed killers, rest assured that even the most stubborn weeds will be dealt with. Your plants will grow and thrive without having to entertain any intruders.

Use the Right Kind and Amount of Fertilizer

Everybody needs a proper diet with the right kinds of good stuff to keep the body going. Plants are no different in that sense, and that’s where fertilizer comes in. If you notice that your plants are small and get affected by spots more often than other plants, then chances are they could use fertilizer. Be careful not to overdo it though since an overabundance of a particular nutrient could put a lot of stress on your plants.

Do Some Research on Varieties

With the advent of modern science and tech, there has been the development of plants with disease resistance. So, before you go shopping for a particular type of seed, get to know the best varieties. Make use of the magazines or catalogs to get versed with which varieties to buy. Also, take a trip down to your local farmer’s market and ask around for information on the best plants to grow.

Water is Life

Basic science dictates that plants need water to grow and survive. But it’s not just a matter of picking up your watering can going full Aqua Man mode. How you water your plants has a significant impact on their survival.

There are several pathogens found in soil that need water to thrive. So choose a watering method that mainly avoids the plants’ leaves. Wet leaves create the perfect breeding ground for a variety of fungal diseases. Drip irrigation is touted as the best watering method since it reduces the chances of disease inoculum getting splashed onto leaves and fruits.

Time Your Pruning

Plant limbs can get injured as a result of too mechanical stress applied to them. Over the colder months, it becomes much easier for such limbs to become infected. Prune in the latter winter period to keep diseases from spreading. Also, use sharp tools to make a clean cut whenever you’re pruning since this ensures quick healing.

Watch Out For Bugs

Bugs can be the ideal opportunists. They lay in wait just until your plants start to thrive then they march in. If left unopposed, pests can inflict a lot of damage. Bugs not only deplete your plants of much-needed nutrients, but they also create wounds that provide the perfect entry point for bacteria and viruses. The result is poor plant health or lower yields.

The best solution lies in keeping a watchful eye out for these little critters. The sooner you identify a bug problem, the easier it will be to deal with the issue. Neem oil, soapy water, and yellow sticky tape are just a few home remedies for a bug infestation. But if the problem goes beyond conventional home remedies, consider professional help.

Make Sure Your Compost Is Up To Standard

When it comes to compost, it’s essential to recognize that the individual components within the pile decompose at different rates. So if you use compost, be sure that it’s mature in the sense that all material within the compost has adequately degraded to put in your garden.

Another reason to use fully degraded compost comes down to the sterility of the compost. During the composting process, a lot of heat is generated, killing any pathogens that may be present in the compost. Using immature compost could potentially introduce diseases into your home garden since thermal sterility hasn’t fully occurred.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

 The surest way to keep disease at bay is to avoid introducing it in the first place. So if you want to add some new plants into your garden, get acquainted with what a healthy or diseased plant should look like. Peruse some agricultural magazines or plant catalogs to build a knowledge base. There are some tell-tale signs of sick plants though; darkened leaves, dead spots, or faded leaves could indicate disease.

Get the Right Tools for the Job

A surgeon has a ten blade, a chef has an exceptional knife collection, and a gardener has a spade and a hand rake and pruning shears. You get the drift. It’s hard to tend to your home garden without the right kind of equipment.

What you’ve planted will also dictate what equipment you’ll need. Some gardens are bigger than others and therefore have a wider variety of plants. So if you have a garden or are planning on starting one, find out what kind of tools you’ll need.

Get a Soil Test

Maybe you’ve noticed that your plants aren’t doing so well. You’ve done everything right; pruning, watering, fertilizer but something’s still amiss. Perhaps the issue isn’t your plants at all but what they’re growing in. That’s right; the soil could be the issue.

A soil test will steer you towards answers about your soil and its composition. What is your soil’s pH? Or what kind of plants can grow optimally in your soil? Get all these answers and more from a soil test.

Having a home garden can be quite challenging, but with the right steps, you can keep it in top shape. And it doesn’t have to be complicated or crazy expensive. With these tips, having a home garden should be a bit simpler and much more enjoyable.

Resources – Fine Gardening, Urban Gardens Web, Get Busy Gardening,

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Author
Founder of Tork Media; a combination of sites I own, a publishing company, and my rather large obsession with fitness (aka: Nanohydr8).