5 Tips for a Great Garden

Gardening is one of those activities that will expand to fill the amount of time you have to give!  With that in mind, here are 5 simple things you can do to make your garden great, even if life is busy and time is short.

  1. Weed little and often, not once a month. If pushed for time concentrate on weeds that are flowering, just make sure they don’t seed.Gardening-Tips-001
  2. Deadhead flowers to extend flowering; they look so much better and many plants will bloom for months not just weeks.
  3. When it is very dry don’t splash a bit of water on the garden every night, instead give plants a really good drink once a week. For shrubs and trees up to a whole 2 gallon watering can may be applied slowly or use a hose pipe, just turned on, trickling around the base.
  4. Mulch your beds in spring to help conserve moisture and improve the soil, use compost, leaf mould or well rotted manure.
  5. Prune flowering shrubs correctly; there are exceptions but here is a general guide.  If a plant flowers before July, it blooms on last year’s growth, therefore prune out flowering stems and remove some old wood to encourage new growth straight after flowering – Forsythia, Deutzia and Philadelphus are good examples.  Shrubs flowering from July onwards such as Buddleja will bloom on the current season’s growth, so remove about half the length of branches in early winter and then reduce to 2-3 buds from the base in early spring.  Although you are unlikely to kill a plant by pruning at the wrong time, there are many excellent books or online information to confirm what to do.Gardeneing-Tips-002