Indoor & Outdoor Garden Care Overview
Volumes have been written about garden care and the all various techniques that can be used to achieve this. We hardly know where to begin!
Our best bet is to narrow this down to talk about some of the materials and process involved in garden care. With that in mind we’ll also explore some of the more common pitfalls new gardeners are likely to experience along the way.
The biggest pitfall is impatience by not taking the proper time to completely prepare the soil for gardening. Soil conditions are the very life-blood of a garden. If care is not taken in proper preparation here, you might as well forget the whole idea.
You’ve got to prepare the right growing conditions.
- Compost – any broken down organic material that are the building blocks to a healthy soil.
- Soil amendments – specific organic materials that help improve your individual type of soil.
- pH – garden plants prefer a more neutral pH. You need to perform a simple test to see if your soil is too acidic or alkaline.
- adequate drainage – your soil should not be heavy or hold moisture for prolonged periods of time.
- Complete nutrients – does your soil have the primary nutrients and trace elements that can support garden plants.
Those are the five most important components of a healthy soil to get you off to the right start. This is the very foundation of your garden so take the time to prepare this properly. Once you have achieved this you can start concentrating on seedling and transplant care.
Your garden is only as good as the transplants you select.
Another pitfall is not taking care when selecting the transplants for the garden. Carefully inspect the plants and look for certain qualities.
- Strong root growth- good root growth is evident by roots protruding from the bottom of the transplant pot. This indicates that the roots are growing and healthy and when air roots are not present it means either the plant was recently transplanted, or it is receiving too much nitrogen. This results in heavy top growth that cannot be supported by the root stock.
- Proportionate growth– as we touched upon in the last description, make certain that the top growth is proportionate to the root stock.
- Free of spotting, yellowing, other defects– Make certain that the transplant looks completely healthy. Spotting, yellowing or wilting could be a sign that the transplant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogenic infection. Wilting can also be a sign of the dreaded soil born infection of fusarium wilt. An infection of this strain can take you many years to fully remedy.
Be careful not to overwater the garden.
Overwatering is the number one pitfall of new gardener. Be careful to water only in the morning and not to the point where the soil is mud. The idea is to allow the soil to get moist, but not completely wet.
By overwatering you are opening the garden up to a world of trouble by creating the very conditions that are right for bacterial or fungal infection.
Danger signs to watch for.
As a gardener you must be on the constant lookout for the danger signs that your plants are under attack by either infection or garden pests.
There are certain warning signs that indicate a potential problem.
- Yellowing leaves
- Droopy stems
- Leaf spotting
- Dying or drying leaves
These are all the signs of a potential problem of some origin. There are far too many potential causes to go into detail here, but suffice to say you should consult your garden center expert and take appropriate action.
Always have the right equipment.
One major pitfall is not being properly equipped. Remember, your garden is only as good as the equipment you’re using. There is nothing more frustrating than having to perform a task and then discovering that you don’t have the right tool for the job.
There are some basic garden essentials every gardener should keep on hand.
- Scissors, shears and hand tools
- A hand sprayer or fogger
- Trellis netting or other plant support
- Meters and soil testing electronics
- Cleaners and disinfectants
We understand that this is a more simplified overview of good garden care, but it provides the basic concepts that you will have to keep in mind. What good garden care comes down to as you can see, is the right materials and the proper tools.
Take the time to adequately prepare your garden and have the right tools to maintain it and that is half the battle already.