Gardeners across the country will be able to enjoy successful, flourishing gardens this spring and summer by following these 10 golden gardening rules.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, tackling your garden at the beginning of spring can often feel like an insurmountable task.
If you have acres of land at your disposal or just a few square metres to work with, it can be a daunting prospect largely due to the commitment and time you have to invest.
But by following these 10 golden rules, you have a greater chance of ensuring that your gardening efforts are rewarded with a thriving crop of happy, healthy plants throughout the warmer months.
Here are the 10 tips to follow for gardening success in 2023
Before you even consider heading out to buy new plants and equipment, first have a think about the bigger picture and how you’d eventually like your garden to look. There are some great gardening apps available that will help you plan your dream garden with ease.
When you have a strong idea and you have the bulbs, plants and seeds to hand, place them all on to the soil before planting them as you’ll be able to move them around until you’re happy with the arrangement. This is much easier than having to dig up and replant them afterwards!
Successful gardening requires a few tools, and the larger the scale of your gardening, the more tools you’re likely to need. Container gardens are relatively cheap and simple to get going. For these, containers, potting soil, a watering can, and a small trowel are all you’ll need. For raised beds or beds in the ground, it’s helpful to have a trowel, watering can, shovel, hoe, and digging fork. Larger gardens might benefit from the use of bigger equipment, such as a rototiller, for preparing the soil—but this is by no means necessary.
Prepare soil before planting
Good soil is the foundation to any successful garden, so make sure that the ground your plants grow in is fertile and moisture-retentive yet well-drained. Pros know that nothing, absolutely nothing, will do more to promote health and longevity than lovely, crumbly soil that provides plenty of nutrients, lets roots grow freely and holds water, yet drains adequately.
Choose the right plant for the right place
Plants are kind of like people – each type of plant has a unique “personality” and will have a preference for light, shade, soil moisture, and nutrient levels. It may live outside its comfort range, but it won’t thrive, so consider moving the plant if necessary.
Plant on a cloudy day
Whenever possible, plant on a cloudy day, preferably when rain has been forecast, as this helps to reduce transplant shock. If you plant on a hot, sunny day, even if you water well, the plants will not be able to acclimate to their new home as well.
Make sure you leave a few inches around your plants mulch-free. Mulch is great for weed control, and retaining moisture, but when it is too close to the plant it can encourage pests, disease problems, and even rot.
Dig the right sized holes
Plants tend to settle a little after they’ve been planted, but you don’t want them to sink below ground level. So, a great rule of thumb to prevent this is to dig holes twice the width but no deeper than the pot the plant came in. This also helps the roots grow out into the loose surrounding soil which is will be more beneficial.
Beware of weeds
Weeds are a gardener’s worst enemy – FACT! So, make sure you get in to the habit of weeding regularly.
Remember to remove weeds along with their roots to reduce the chance of them re-growing, and if there are seeds clinging to the weeds, don’t put them in the compost heap. You’ll just end up re-seeding them when you spread the compost!
Make a maintenance schedule
Like all living things, plants appreciate TLC and will reward you appropriately for providing it, so you should protect your landscape investment just as you would your home, car and other belongings. Familiarise yourself with the needs of each of your plants including watering, weeding, pruning, and fertilizing, then mark dates on a dedicated calendar to remind yourself when each type of job needs to be done. There are also some great gardening apps that can help you out by sending you notifications too.
Be patient and don’t get discouraged or feel bad if some of your plants die – all good gardeners lose a few plants along their journey. Simply try different plants and move them around.
If you found 10 golden rules for gardening success helpful, be sure to visit our Gardening channel for more tips on how to make the most of your garden.Last modified: May 11, 2023