5 TIPS TO CULTIVATE YOUR PASSION FOR HOME GARDENING
The lockdown has offered many of us the chance to cultivate (quite literally!) our passion for home gardening. Here are some practical tips to help you take care of your garden
Beware of invasive plants
Choose carefully what to grow because mistakes may be costly to your garden! Ivy and wisteria are beautiful plants but if you don’t take care of them properly, they will invade your “green corner”. To prevent them from taking control of your garden, cut off the bottom of a plastic pot and plant them in that. This simple trick will stop the roots of aggressive plants crowding out others.
Different kinds of soil for different kinds of plants
Potted plants, unlike those grown in gardens, don’t have access to as many mineral salts and nutrients as plants in the ground. Hence, choosing which soil to grow them in is essential for their health. The right soil ensures there is the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide, it drains the excess water and retains just the amount necessary. The combination of all these characteristics, however, is different from soil to soil, and you need to find the one that best suits the needs of the plant. Fortunately, you can easily find the soil for geraniums, for cacti, for citrus fruit and much more. The right soil, combined with a specific fertiliser, will make your potted plants bloom!
Avoid withering with mulching
What you are probably all wondering now is… what is mulching? Mulching is a very simple gardening technique used to prevent plants drying out due to high temperatures. It consists of adding some straw – or some other material such as bark or woodchip – inside the pot to maintain the correct soil humidity. Garden centres sell a wide range of mulching materials.
Ensure soil drainage
If left untreated, soil often becomes unsuitable for the most delicate plants. If it retains too much water, it may create some stagnation and muddy parts. These may prevent sufficient oxygen reaching the roots, which will eventually fester. If this happens, more resistant plants will survive, whereas the more fragile ones will die. Make sure any pots you use have holes in the lower part and place a layer of pebbles and stones on the bottom.
Apps that get the (green) thumbs up!
Technology can also help with your gardening. Some apps allow users to monitor their plants and provide support with specific tips for their care. “Gardenia”, available for Android and iOS, has a database of over 90,000 species and will notify you when to water, fertilise or prune your plants. It also offers advice on the most suitable soil and the best sun exposure for each plant. If you are a social media maniac, check out “Garden Tags” (also available for Android and iOS), a social network for influencers with green thumbs!
Let’s get the right tools, start sowing your plants…and don’t forget to talk to them!