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Planting a garden of wonderfully coloured plants is perhaps the easiest of all the tasks you will face in gardening. To get to the stage where your garden is a mature, self sustaining entity, you will first need to plan and research your climate and growing conditions. From there, to get the most from your garden in the longer term, it’s always a good idea to remember the three ‘P’s – preparation, positioning and purpose.
Let It Rain
If you’re serious about getting your garden in order, the most important ongoing factor will be the availability of adequate moisture. After digging in soil, fertiliser and other nutrients, providing the correct water delivery or irrigation supplies will be the most time consuming and effective service you can provide to your budding garden. The amount of time you invest in creating a system will reward you in time a healthy, colourful crop.
Do your research – some plants thrive on little moisture (and well ventilated soil) while others prefer a greater moisture level and overall soil humidity. If possible, try to segment your garden in individual ecosystems according to the required moisture level by each plant.
In The Best Light
Light conditions are also of extreme importance if you’re trying to encourage healthy plant growth. Both natural and artificial light can be used to keep plants in their ideal light conditions. Positioning your plants in the correct aspect to the sun regarding their overall light requirements (for example: full sun, half sun, full shade) can help remove some of the ongoing upkeep associated.
Another element of lighting is that it can make or break the atmosphere of a garden – which is important for relaxation. It’s a good idea to make sure you have enough ambient light to use the outdoor space at any time of day or night.
Companionship Is Important
Companion planting is neither as complicated or as provocative as it sounds. Simply put, companion planting is the practice of putting together plants which encourage each other’s growth cycles while ensuring they don’t complete for (and deplete each other of) essential nutrients.
Another type of companion planting relies on the pest control benefits of one type of plant so that another plant may survive with enhanced protection. Some examples of companion planting include planting tomatoes and cucumbers together, and using marigolds to deter white fly in susceptible crops.
Companion planting also ensures that you have some variety in your plants – not only will it make for a more attractive garden, it may also help you get a greater intake of vitamins and minerals.
‘Tis The Season
To get the best of what nature has to offer, it’s a good idea to let the seasons guide your choices of what to plant and when to plant it. There’s no use in planting tropical plants in winter in a temperate climate (an expensive mistake). Select plants and seedlings which have an opportunity to thrive in the current season and climate, and will be able to provide you with the reward of foliage and/or fruit.
By planting with the seasons, you can also reduce your overall costs of water and upkeep – it is less expensive to grow plants which are able to harness their natural surroundings to meet their needs than it is to have to constantly provide plants with a set environment. If you’re looking for a garden which is low maintenance, this may be a particularly important consideration.
Bringing your dream garden to life is easy with some thoughtful preparation and consideration of your location and resources. Let nature dictate your bounty, and you’ll reap the colourful, lively rewards.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.
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