The foundation of a good garden starts with high-quality topsoil that is free of pests, harmful chemicals, rocks, and debris and is full of fresh nutrients. If you believe that the soil on your property is not suitable for the type of plants that you want to grow, don’t worry. You can simply search “topsoil near me” to find nearby nurseries and purchase high-quality topsoil.
It is also important to keep your plants properly hydrated, especially during the summer heat, and follow the best practices to keep them healthy. Now, let’s look at a few tips you can follow to keep your plants healthy and hydrated:
1. Add mulch to your soil – One of the best ways to prevent water runoff, and evaporation, hold moisture, and maintain moderate soil temperature in your garden is to add mulch. Adding mulch such as cardboard, shredded paper, straw, leaves, and more also provides shade to the roots of the plant and keeps out the weed.
Generally, the layer of the mulch should be 5-10 cm thick and mound in a donut-like fashion about 8-10 cm away from the tree base or plant crown. The raised ring helps to direct the water flow toward the root of the plants.
2. Automate watering with drip irrigation – During the hot summer months, plants need lots of water to retain moisture. However, hand watering is often not enough since water tends to run off the soil surface instead of being absorbed by the roots in the lower layers of the soil.
The best solution is to automate the process using drip irrigation, soaker hoses, or sprinkler systems which can be set to slowly water the plants on a regular watering schedule.
3. Focus on soil amendments – If your garden has a high mix of sandy soil, it can dry out quickly. In such cases, you can amend the first 15-30 cm of the soil to allow it to retain more moisture. In order to amend the soil in your garden, you need to till or mix organic materials such as sphagnum peat moss which can hold up to 20 times its weight in water.
Other organic materials that you can add include humus-rich compost, grass clippings, perlite, worm castings, mushroom compost, straw, leaf mold, shredded bark, and other such materials.
4. Water properly – Different plant varieties require different amounts of water. Plus, the age of the plant also determines the watering frequency that is appropriate for it. Thus, ensure you do some research about the watering requirements for the different plant species in your garden.
Also, it is best to water your plants during the early morning or evening when the heat of the sun is not too strong. Otherwise, the water will evaporate before it has the chance to provide enough moisture to the plants in your garden.
5. Provide the correct fertilizer – Plants require high-quality fertilizer to unleash their growth potential. However, you should be careful not to over-fertilize your plants since it can lead to root burns which can reduce their capacity to absorb water.
Root burns also make the plants more vulnerable to heat, cold, and stress. We recommend you conduct a soil test to determine which nutrients are lacking and the correct amount required. The appearance of the plants is also a giveaway to the lack of certain types of nutrients. Certain signs and symptoms you should watch out for in your plants include wilting of foliage, yellow leaves, leaves with dead spots, fewer or smaller leaves than normal, and more.
6. Prune your trees when appropriate – Pruning the dead and decaying branches of your trees and shrubs helps to prevent the spread of disease and infection to other plants in your garden. Late winter is the best period to prune dead branches since it prevents the diseases from spreading to the new growth in spring.
It is recommended that you use sharp tools to prune your trees to ensure cleaner cuts that allow the plant to heal faster. If you are not familiar with the process of pruning trees, you should hire the help of a professional arborist.
7. Protect the plants from bugs – It is crucial to protect the plants in your garden from harmful bugs in order to protect their health. Bugs, pests, and insects feast on the leaves of your plants and create entryways that allow harmful bacteria and viruses to invade the plants. Plus, they can also carry the viruses of diseased plants and infect other plants in your garden.
For instance, aphids are a common carrier of viruses, and thrips are known for spreading impatiens necrotic spot viruses which are plant-life threatening. Thus, it is important to employ strict prevention measures to prevent the infestation of bugs, insects, and pests in your garden. And, if you notice any signs of infestation, it is important to deal with it quickly before it gets too late to fix.
8. Prevent overcrowding of the plants – When creating a new garden, ensure you don’t space the plants too close together. Established plants need enough space to grow so be sure to keep an eye on their growth. Overcrowding can restrict the airflow and cause high levels of humidity which facilitates the growth of powdery mildew, downy mildew, rust, and more. Plus, overcrowding plants creates more competition for nutrients, light, and water and allows diseases to spread more easily.
Apart from following the tips above, you should be careful when adding new plants to your garden. Never purchase a plant that has rotted stems, dead spots, insects, or bad roots since they can spread disease to all the other plants in your garden. It is also a good idea to select plant varieties that are disease-resistant to certain varieties of insects and diseases to keep your garden healthy. Finally, don’t forget to add high-quality topsoil to your garden if you want your plants to thrive. You can find all the reputed nurseries in your locality that sell topsoil by searching “topsoil near me” on Google.