7 Tips for a Better Garden

Follow these tips for a flourishing garden!

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Tending a garden offers a way to connect with nature and nurture plants from the ground up. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul.In fact, a meta analysis of research, published in Science Direct, links gardening to good mental and physical health

A healthy garden requires a delicate balance of the right amount of sunlight, soil, water, and TLC to help your plants thrive. Whether growing your own food or cultivating a sweet-smelling flower bed, follow these seven tips for a better garden.

Start Small

Cultivating a garden requires quite a bit of know-how, from companion planting to planning sunlight. So if you’re new to gardening, start small... but not too small. Nicole Burke, author of Kitchen Garden Revival: A modern guide to creating a stylish, small-scale, low-maintenance, edible garden, told Self Magazine that a garden takes about 1.5 minutes per square foot a week to maintain. Too small, and you may over tend your garden. Instead, she recommends a minimum 15 to 25-square-foot garden to start, which needs around 40 minutes a week to water, prune, and harvest.


Save Space with Vertical Vining

Vining vegetables like peas, tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers love to climb. If you have limited space in your garden, try using vertical vining. Dave’s Garden points out that gardeners can train vining plants to trellis, ideal for saving space in a garden.

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Water Your Garden in the Morning  

Moisture-loving plants need watering when the soil gets too dry. But if you wait until the hottest time of the day, water can evaporate quickly without giving your plants a chance to soak up all that moisture. Smart Garden Guide recommends watering your garden in the morning, which avoids excessive evaporation. Watering in the morning also gives the foliage a chance to dry before sundown, which avoids fungal and bacterial disease.

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Maintain Healthy Soil

Soil is much more than dirt. It’s alive! Soil is an entire ecosystem with billions of living microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, earthworms, insects, and nematodes. According to The University of Minnesota, these living microorganisms help maintain healthy soil, by breaking down nutrients for plants and creating pathways for roots, air, and water. 

Maintain healthy soil by adding organic matter to attract and nourish microorganisms in the soil. Add compost, which contains macronutrients like carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. You may also want to add micronutrients to your soil, like iron, manganese, molybdenum, chlorine, boron, copper, and zinc. Test to understand the composition of your soil, and what you should add specifically to help your garden grow.

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Control Fungus With Chamomile Tea

Fungus exists naturally in soil, however some types can infect your plants and cause them to wilt and die. HGTV has an easy way to stave off fungi: Use chamomile tea to control damping-off fungus, which often affects young seedlings. Simply sprinkle the loose tea around the base of seedlings once a week.

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Beat Back Bugs With Insect-Repelling Plants

Protect your plants against insect infestation by including repellant herbs. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, insects hate the odor of plants like lavender, basil, thyme, mint, lemongrass, and chrysanthemums. You’ll get rid of pests in your garden while also protecting plants from getting eaten by bugs.

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