Best Practices For A Successful Home Garden

Whether you’re a new gardener or a seasoned expert, there are many best practices you can follow to keep your garden flourishing this spring and summer. It’s essential to work smarter, not harder to attract both success and satisfaction in growing! Here are some tips to keep in mind as we open the gardening season.

Planning in advance
It’s essential not to dig right into gardening! Start small. It’s okay to ease into gardening for the season, especially if you’re new to this area. Try focusing on one section of your garden at a time to give your plants the care they deserve.

It’s also okay to experiment. Have fun with your garden! Pick out a few favorite plants and nurture them, and try mixing in something new every year that you haven’t tried to grow before. Starting out with seeds is a great way to keep prices down if you’re experimenting. And don’t forget, it’s okay to fail!

Always set realistic goals. If you have a budget to stick to, don’t go overboard on planting just yet. Always keep in mind your ultimate goal for your garden. Is it about personal satisfaction? Or is it about saving some money at the grocery store? These two goals will require you to plan out different goals ahead of time for which plants you want to include and the timeline you’ll want to stick to.

Choose which plants you’ll grow in containers and which will be grown in a plot ahead of time. For the ones growing in the ground, be sure to allow proper spacing so your plants will thrive. It’s also a good idea to plan how many vegetables and how many flowers you plan on incorporating. You should aim to plan a healthy mix!

Keeping an eye out for insects
Once your plants are established and begin to bud, be sure to check daily (ideally, multiple times per day) for any signs of insects and diseases. Look underneath the leaves and stems often, and use a gentler product to treat that. Try using botanical ingredients you’re familiar with.

Keep in mind that while organic products are generally better for the environment, they typically must be taken care of more often (but can usually be applied the same day as food harvest!). For larger harmful insects like beetles, consider protecting your plants with cloth covers.

Note that not all insects are bad, however! Attract beneficial organisms like ladybugs and praying mantises to your garden by bringing in flowering plants. Remember not to spray these beneficial insects directly with any pest control products. Try spraying at a point in the day when these organisms are less active.

Deal rightly with the weeds
Weeds are often one of the most cumbersome aspects of a garden to deal with. Always ask yourself how much time you really have to tend to the weeds before beginning so you don’t get trapped into the process, and pull weeds in batches if you’re busy! Always be sure to pull weeds when the ground is wet to not disrupt the soil.

If all else fails, let a section or two of your garden grow wild! A wildflower garden attracts many pollinators like bees, which are very beneficial to your landscape. If you have the space, consider letting nature take its course. Be sure to prepare notes on what happens and save them for next year!

Feed your plants properly – crown to soil
Many people think only of feeding their flowering buds, but it is important to feed the soil too. Make sure you are taking care of your soil with organic amendments. We recommend ArborChar, a blend of biochar and organic amendments. Biochar is very dynamic and creates an exchange of nutrients in the soil, holds water, adds air, and boosts biology.

Water management practices
When it gets hot in the spring and summer, it’s especially crucial to consider proper water management practices. Try growing drought-resistant plantings to withstand warmer temperatures. You can also consider setting up a drip irrigation system and timers to water your plants when you’re unable to. The advantage of using a drip irrigation system is that water goes directly to the plant, and you don’t have to worry about windy conditions spraying water elsewhere.
Mulch and organic matter can also be helpful in properly managing water. Mulch is particularly good for plants like tomatoes. Fungus will sometimes grow on the soil surface, and when you water, will splash up to the leaves of the plant. Use mulch to reduce splashing and prevent your plant from harm.