Gardening is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can have. Not only are you giving life to flowers and vegetables in your garden, but you’re creating a sustainable source of food only steps away from your back door.
Potted plants improve indoor air quality and add a pop of colour and life to any garden bed or room.
But there’s one problem—keeping plants alive and looking well does not come easily for everyone. Green thumbs have a few secrets to keep their plants healthy and well. Here are 9 of them.
1. Make Use of Pots
Not every plant is best when you put it in the garden with the others. Sure, it will flourish, but it could also grow beyond your control and threaten some of the other plants in proximity.
Be aware of how much a plant will spread after putting it in the ground, and keep these in pots. Potted plants are often easier to maintain anyway.
2. Bring on the Bees
Most people don’t want bees buzzing around them all of the time, but green thumbs know differently. Bees are one of our greatest allies in the garden.
They are one of the leading cross-pollinators we encounter, and a garden can’t reach its full potential without them.
For that reason, it’s important to attract a regular bee population to your garden. We don’t suggest setting up a place for them to call home, but you can integrate some flowers and herbs that will attract them.
Try to plant some of the following herbs and flowers to your garden to increase the bee population:
- Bee Balm
3. Follow the Instructions
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you know everything. You should always take a look at the instructions on any plants or seeds you buy from the store. They will advise on the proper spacing, lighting, and watering requirements for each plant.
4. Space Your Plants Evenly
You want your flowers and plants to grow evenly and have enough room to thrive. Spacing your plants evenly is the first step towards a beautiful garden.
Not only will properly spacing your plants give them enough room to reach their full potential, but it’s aesthetically pleasing as well. Creating enough room for your plants is essential whether you’re planting a flower garden or a vegetable garden.
5. Know Your Plants
Different plants have different needs, and you’ll have to build a garden around some of them. The same is true for potted plants. You need to know the watering, spacing and sun requirements for each plant if you want to see success.
Those who are creating a garden should make these growing considerations before they even pick a spot in their yard.
Ask yourself: will plants that crave sunlight get enough? Is there a bit of shade for some of the other plants? Is this space located at the bottom of a hill that might get flooded by heavy rain?
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
The staff at your local retailer – whether they’re independent or part of a chain – will likely have some helpful tips and information for keeping your plants healthy all year.
Don’t be afraid to ask them about the plants you purchase. They might be able to offer some information you weren’t aware of.
7. Reading the Signs
Even experienced gardeners run into unhealthy plants. Unlike inexperienced gardeners, however, they know how to read the signs, determine the problem, and fix it.
Dry leaves are the easiest to diagnose. This sign means the plant isn’t getting enough water. On the other hand, yellow, wilted leaves could mean the plant is getting too much water. You should take steps to improve the draining capabilities of the soil.
Drooping, fading leaves means your plant needs more sun, so you should move it to an area that is more exposed. Knowing the signs of an unhealthy plant is often the difference between a thriving garden and a lacklustre one.
8. Utilise the Space You Have
Not everyone has an ample amount of space to work with in their garden. Try to make the most out of the space you have by planting vegetables and flowers that will grow tall instead of wide.
This tip is particularly useful if you’re working on a vegetable garden. Buy or make some trellises for your plants to grow into, and plant veggies that like to grow tall rather than wide.
These vegetables include pole beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, and many more.
9. Keep the Pests at Bay
Certain plants act as defence mechanisms against pests that can destroy your garden or annoy you when you’re relaxing on a summer night.
You should plant a patch of marigold in your garden to keep away pests that want to munch on your vegetables.
There is also a long list of potted plants that will keep airborne pests away from your backyard. Lemon balm, catnip, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, and many other plants smell great and naturally keep mosquitoes from bothering you.