Post 64 – Tips on how to look after your garden

spring 4

So I was recently emailed by one of my blog followers asking whether I would share my gardening tips with them. Don’t worry this isn’t some commercial / advertising post, it is simply a feature about gardening. Now I am no garden expert, but since purchasing my first property with Jimmy in July, I have become a tad obsessed with it. Most weekends, I can be found hunting around for gardening bargains and in the early evening Jimmy struggles to remove me from my green-fingered duties. So if you are looking to spruce up your garden, don’t understand why your flowers keep dying or simply want to have a nosey at what I am up to then read on.

Long grass

green grass

Now when I first moved into my new home with Jimmy, I was horrified how badly kept the garden was. So on my first day at the property, I whipped out the lawn mower and went over it until the grass was short. Now that was a bad move on my part as the grass went brown! It wasn’t until Jimmy came home from work and told me about a conversation he had with one of his customers about gardening that I was able to start making the grass greener. I found out that if grass hasn’t been cut for a while then you should adjust the lawn mower’s settings, so that it’s on the highest cut. Since then my little patch of brown has turned into a mini haven of greenery!

Watering your plants

watering flowers

Are you one of these people that will just pour the water out of the watering can onto your plants? If so, then this section is for you! Did you know that you only need to water the roots of the plant – watering them regularly in warm weather (maybe every 2 days) and then in cold temperatures less frequently. I would recommend purchasing a watering can with extended spout, which can be purchased quite cheaply from any local gardening or DIY centre.

Dead leaves

brown leaf

If you come across any of your plants with dead leaves or flowers, then trim the dead areas away to keep your plants looking fresh and to encourage new growth.

New plants

dripping water

You’ve just returned from a trip at the garden / DIY centre and now have a new set of plants, now what? Before you plant your new additions make sure they have an area where they flourish, ensuring that all existing debris is removed and if the soil hasn’t been touch for a while then add in some manure to give the ground some extra nutrients. Before popping in your new plants, water them thoroughly (I usually water them until water comes out the bottom of the pot (see the picture below) as well as the hole where your plant is going to be positioned. This gives your plant a good fighting chance at surviving and becoming a beautiful gem in your garden.

What’s what

flower 1

Now I’m incredibly forgetful and can’t remember what one plant is from the other, so to help me I always leave the little instruction labels next to my plant in the ground. It may not be the most attractive way to display the garden, but by having them next to the plant, it allows me to remember how much nurture to give them and how to look after them correctly. I hear you say: “but you could put the instructions together in a folder”, but believe me, I have the mind of a fish and easily forget where I put things.

Plant food

Water is always good for your plants, but by giving them a bit of plant food every couple of weeks it can really help them grow into a big strong plant. Plant food is inexpensive and can be purchased again from any gardening or DIY shop.

My plant is dying

dying flower

If you find any of your plants are dying then of course check the internet and don’t be afraid to dig them up and move them around. It might just be that they aren’t in the right soil for them or they might even just prefer to be in a plant pot in full sun or shade.

I have one plant in my garden that won’t grow – the Snow Lady – and believe the soil where she was doesn’t drain easily. So I have dug her up, popped her in a plant pot in full sun and have moved her over into the front garden to see if that helps her grow. Fingers crossed she will start to flourish, but if not then I have hit a dead end, if you have any pointers then I would love to hear them.

Hardy and half hardy

Now I see this a lot on plants and had no idea what it meant, that’s until I went garden shopping with Jimmy’s Dad’s partner who is a gardening fanatic.

Hardy = This plant will require full sun

Half = This plant will flourish in either full sun or shady areas

If your garden has a constant stream of sun then go for hardy plants, but if the garden only gets the sun at certain times of the day or none at all then I recommend going for half hardy plants. Most of the plants in my garden are half hardy, as I only tend to get a bit of sun in the garden each day. The front garden tends to get a lot of sun so all hardy plants can be found there. Please remember though as winter approaches make sure you protect your plants from the frost by applying a layer of bark compost, this will stop moisture collecting and rotting the stem. For an added security take cuttings of your plants just in case your plants don’t survive.

Hopefully, the latter won’t happen and by the time spring comes around you will have a garden full of flourishing delights!



Ellen x

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