The garden can be your sanctuary and a place to lose yourself in wonder and enjoyment. It has the capacity to rejuvenate and at the same time exhaust.
We have found after countless hours in the garden there are a few key thoughts and actions to consider when starting out.
One – Have a think
First things first, plan ahead. Or at least have an idea in mind as to what you want your garden to look like. Do not be afraid to take out plants that do not fit the goal that you have in mind for your garden. The reality is that your garden will be unlikely to reach its full potential in the first or even second year and it will come to the fore in the third year, after a lot of hard work.
Two – Kill the weeds
Weeds are a gardener’s worst enemy. Weed regularly and make sure you remove all their roots. If there are seeds clinging to the weeds, do not put them in the compost heap, they are a nightmare when they pop up again.
Three – Worship the sun
Work out where the light shines at each point of the day and plant accordingly. The direction and the strength of your light is really crucial. If you are not sure, you can use the compass app in your phone to find out what direction the light is coming from. Once you know if your growing area is north facing, south facing, shady or bathed in sunshine you are in a much better position to know what will work best in your chosen location.’
Four - Space, it is the final frontier
Make sure that you have enough space in your beds and pots. If you place young plants too close together, not all will survive or, if they do, they will need more frequent watering and fertiliser. Crowded plants are also more susceptible to disease. Plant labels tell you how much room they need.
Five – Water, but not too much
From growing from seed to nurturing an established plant, watering is one of the most important things to get right. Over-watering is common. Houseplants only need watering once a week. As for outdoor plants, only when the weather gets really warm in proper summer that you will need to do a daily water. Check the soil before you water as you only really want to be watering into dry soil. If it feels moist, it probably does not need watering.
Six – Get Planting
Get planting as quickly as you can, ideally you want to get your shrubs and roses (bare-rooted plants) out by mid March. April is really the time to get vegetables planted.
Seven - Have fun
Enjoy your garden, otherwise there is little point to having one....