City Dweller? You Can Still Grow A Garden!

rooftop-garden-new-york-greenroofIf you knew the one sure-fire way to create a beautiful garden, you would probably be at the garden store right now. But alas, planning a garden that integrates all the elements that make it aesthetically pleasing is easier said than done. Start your planning by considering which plants will grow with little maintenance. Then, focus on contrasting foliage colors and plant shapes. Choose large-leafed bushes and set them off with an agave with spear-shaped leaves, for example. Write out your plans on paper ahead so you can change things until they feel right. This is just some of the helpful information contained in this in-depth guide to successful gardening. Want more tips? Read on!

Use both well-matured compost and mulch in your garden. Compost will naturally help plants grow faster, taller, and healthier, and increase the yield of your vegetables. Mulch helps prevent the growth of weeds. Mulch also shades the ground around the roots of your plants, protecting them from heat and conserving water.

Choose certain plants for shady areas. All plants need light to survive, but not all of them require bright sunshine. Woodland natives, for example, are happiest when given a little protection from the sun’s rays. Be generous when enriching the soil if the plants are under a canopy of trees, as they are competing for the food supply with the big guys! Ajuga, anemone, foxglove, cyclamen, hosta, viola and allium all enjoy a shady area.

Hold off having a pond in your garden until your children are older. A pond, no matter how shallow, can be very dangerous for small children. If you start off with a sunken sandpit for your toddlers to play in, you can easily convert it into a garden pond when they are older. Simply line the area with a rubber pond liner or use a preformed pond.

Make sure the hole you plant for a tree or shrub is at least three times wider than the root ball of the seedling. Most of the root system of a tree or shrub is found in the top foot of the soil. Planting a seedling in a small hole will result in slower growth and failure to thrive.

Do not kill the spiders in your garden. Spiders prey on other insects and can keep unwanted bugs under control. They are a natural source of control for common garden pests. When you see a spider, you should leave him alone to do its job. This will reduce your need for insecticides in your garden.

Disbud your plants. Disbudding is the method of ‘pinching out’ new growth buds to encourage bushier growth and showier flowers. New buds are produced at the leaf axil (where the stem and leaf stalk are attached). By pinching out the top buds, you will encourage the lower buds to grow more freely. This also ensures that the plant has a much longer growing season. Plants that benefit from disbudding include sweet pea, carnation, fuchsia, aster and marigold.

As you can see, garden planning and design takes a little bit of upfront work. When you understand more about features such as your area’s climate and the type of soil in your yard, plant selection and placement becomes much easier. Sketch your plans on paper, then bring them to life and crate a garden you will cherish all year around.

This entry was posted on March 28, 2013. Bookmark the permalink.