A garden is a place where you can relax, get some fresh air, and spend some time on your own. Gardens have their serenity and are an integral part of your home. Therefore, you must keep them clean on the daily. Ensure that your plants are healthy and not spreading diseases to the others while keeping checks on everything else.
Garden cleaning tips
Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your garden stays neat and clean to enjoy it to the maximum!
1. Examine the plants before buying them
When buying plants, it’s essential to carefully explore them to avoid pests and diseases into your garden later. Pick one that is healthy. You can check by examining its roots as well as the top of the plant. Put your hand on the top of the soil, placing the plant stem between your fingers.
Turn the pot around gradually and jiggle the plant loose. Disconnecting the roots from the pot might require tapping the side of the pot on a hard surface. If the roots are sturdy, white, and spaced out, it shows that the plant is healthy.
On the other hand, if they’re dark or slushy, those are indicators that you shouldn’t buy them. Even when the tops look healthy, its roots may be rotten, which means it isn’t a healthy plant. It won’t be long before the roots destroy the plant.
If you bring in healthy plants, half your work in preventing diseases in your garden is already done. It isn’t easy for the common man to identify whether the plant is healthy or not. Thus, it’s best to do some research before buying.
You can take guidance from blogs, books, and magazines that show what a healthy plant looks like. If a plant has rotted stems, insects, or dead spots, it is not one you should buy. It could spread diseases to your other plants and essentially be very difficult to get rid of.
2. Use compost as manure
Composted soil makes the best manure. Usefully composted waste as manure for your plants. Not only is it great for the plants and helps to avoid diseases, but it is also a great way of making use of the waste in your garden, keeping it clean and tidy. Dried-up twigs, grass, and leaves are some of the most common materials used to compost.
Different materials in a compost pile decompose at different rates. While some materials may be ready to be put in the garden, others may not have disintegrated to the extent needed. Thus, before you use manure, look carefully to ensure all its materials are completely decomposed and ready to be used.
Make sure to thoroughly compost your materials, which will radiate high temperatures for long periods, killing any pathogens in the material. Plant debris that is infected and has not been through the composting process will bring diseases to your garden. If you aren’t fully aware of the state of your compost pile, then do not use garden waste as mulch, especially for more sensitive plants, and be careful not to include potentially infected debris into the compost pile.
3. Keep a close check for bugs
Insect damage to your plants is a real problem. These attacks can cause your plants major stress, making it less capable of fighting off diseases. Therefore, you must keep an eye out for insects that can lead to bacteria and viruses.
Viruses and bacteria mostly only make their way into a plant through some kind of crack or opening, and bug damage provides just the platform for that. Some insects provide a means of transport for viruses, taking it from a plant and spreading it to the next.
Aphids are one of the most known carriers, and thrips spread causes necrotic spot virus, which over the last 10 years has become a major nuisance for commercial producers.
Aster yellows is a disease transmitted through leafhoppers and has a wide variety of host plants.
4. Clean your garden regularly
You need to clean your garden regularly to ensure it remains a source of joy and not misery. This is especially important during the fall season, even if you live in an area with a mild climate. Keep removing dry leaves to prevent diseases from breeding and destroying the new leaves re-emerging once spring starts.
In addition to that, you should dust off pots and leaves daily; they tend to collect a lot of dust every day. The best solution is to regularly wipe them gently with a cloth. This is especially important for the leaves; many a time, they are frail and soft even though they look strong and sturdy. As for pots and containers, you can either wash them down or clean them with a cloth and water.
You need to keep a constant check and get rid of the dead leaves and debris. By disposing of dead leaves during the fall season, you can prevent or reduce the impact of diseases like the black spot that attacks roses, the fungus causing spots on the leaves of irises, and the leaf streak fungus that affects daylilies.
5. Plant disease-resistant varieties
Apart from picking and choosing healthy plants, you should also make sure that they are disease-resistant. These plants will fight the disease off instead of letting it cause damage. Some vegetables, such as tomatoes, are already labeled as being resistant to certain diseases, so check for those when you are buying.
You won’t find these labels on flowers as disease resistance is barely ever identified on plant tags. However, this does not mean that various flower varieties are not resistant to disease. Many flower companies do sell plants that are resistant to diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot.
You can take help from nursery employees and gardeners to help you pick the most resistant varieties. In addition to that, books and blog posts can also provide further information on which plants and varieties are resistant to specific diseases.
6. Trim hedges
Even though this sounds like a rather simple task, it is an important one that keeps your garden clean. It keeps the hedges intact and in shape, while also preventing them from getting attacked by insects and diseases.
You can trim the hedges once or twice a month. It will keep your garden clean and tidy. An easy way of doing this is by investing in a cordless trimmer. It’s easy to use and maneuver around. Plus, the length of the cord or need to buy extensions won’t be an added stress for you.
Keep an eye on damaged branches and prone them as soon as you spot them. This helps to prevent diseases from spreading onto the rest of the plant. Daily pruning will keep your garden neat and clean and ensure good, healthy produce.
Ideally, you should prune in the late winter season rather than waiting for spring to arrive. This especially applies to plants that are wounded and vulnerable to infections over the winter season, causing diseases to spread while the plant is still asleep.
Through pruning in the late winter season, you are stopping diseases from coming onto your new plants. Although storms during this season can cause some damage, pruning a fragmented plant is still a much better option than abandoning it till the spring season.
It is best to use sharp tools so that they make straight cuts that recover at a rapid pace.
For your convenience, you can keep a bucket, and a pair of pruners ready in the garden shed to dispose of dead branches or leaves or those plants that have been impacted by insects or mildew instantly.
The ideal rate of a complete pruning of the garden plants is once a month. However, if you spot a dead leaf at any point in the garden, take care of it immediately.
8. Deal With Weed Growing Immediately
One of the most challenging tasks while gardening is dealing with weed growth. Just after you have finished dealing with one weed, another one comes up. It’s a never-ending process. However, there are two simple ways of dealing with it. Dig them up and spray them with a weed killer.
The more sustainable option would be to dig up the weed right to the roots in the long run. This will be much better for the garden as well. However, if you’re looking for a shortcut and a solution requiring less time and effort, you should opt for the spray.
9. Deal With The Fallen Leaves
Fallen leaves are a part of every garden; this is especially true during the fall season. As mentioned earlier, it is best to take out such leaves as soon as you spot them. However, for doing this on a larger scale, many tools will help you deal with these leaves and debris. Depending on the amount and time you want to spend on it, you can choose your tools accordingly.
If you are looking for more efficient, less time-consuming tools, you can go for garden vacuums and leaf blowers. You can get them as a combination to keep changing modes in a single machine where you can suck in the leaves or blow them away.
The best way of doing this is to first use the leaf blower to gather the leaves and debris in a certain area and then use the vacuum to take them away and clear up space.
Other options include using a simple lawn rake to collect all the fallen leaves, branches, fruits, etc. in a fixed area to dispose of them and using a garden vacuum. It should be noted that garden vacuums are cheaper and much easier to use than regular vacuums.
When fertilizing your plants, you need to make sure that you’re not doing it excessively. Over-fertilizing can destroy a plant’s roots completely, making it more difficult for them to soak in water. Eventually, this leads to them being more prone to cold temperatures, drought, and heat. An excessive supply of one mineral will exhaust a plant, causing it to decay and, in turn, ruin your garden.
Still, you need to ensure the plant receives some amount of nutrients for it to be healthy. Plants completely deprived of nutrients turn out smaller and unhealthy; they can get leaf spots, which can damage other plants as well.
Get a soil test to get reliable information on nutrient levels in your soil. This is essential before adding any fertilizers, as it will directly depend on the nutrients present in the soil at that particular time. Without it, it would be based purely on guesses, which could lead to an excessive amount or not sufficient enough.
11. Avoiding Soil Erosion
Soil erosion is capable of destroying your entire garden and making it into a complete mess. Therefore, you should take the necessary measures to prevent it from happening. Soil erosion can be caused by heavy winds or a large amount of rainfall.
One solution for preventing it is to grow plants that will help keep the soil firmly in place and not be affected by the wind or rain. Another solution is to have raised plant beds and use rocks as an obstruction to the unstable soil.
12. Taking care of decorations
If you have any kind of ornamental decoration in the garden, such as statues, make sure not to leave it outside while cleaning. These can be home to the growth of moss and dust. You should also check on them from time to time and have them cleaned.
If your garden has water bodies, such as fountains or ponds, make sure they are cleaned from time to time and that the water is clean and renewed as it could otherwise be stagnant and, therefore, be a hub for the spread of viruses and diseases that could destroy your garden and be harmful to your health. It is recommended that you do this at least once a week.
13. Rearrange plants to prevent overcrowding
An excellent way of making sure that your garden looks neat and clean is to de-clutter and rearrange your plants so that they aren’t over-crowded and that your garden doesn’t end up looking like a jungle. Rearrange the plant containers from time to time, making your garden look new.
14. Re-pot your plants
Keep a check for broken or damaged containers and pots, and replace them with new ones. Not only will it make your garden look spectacular, but it will also ensure the safety of your plants.
All potted plants that have been in the same pot for many years should be re-potted.
The plants may have outgrown their current pot and need a new one. You can do so by transferring the plants into bigger pots with fresh potting mix. Another way of doing so is by trimming the roots and replanting it into the same pot while using a fresh potting mix.
If you don’t have many pots, buy one or two bags of potting mix. However, if you have several containers, buy a larger quantity of potting mix from a landscape supplier to save your time and money.
This ensures a clean and healthy garden. The plants aren’t old and rotting; they are fresh, making them less susceptible to insects and diseases, resulting in a thriving garden.
15. Garden waste
Some of the most common waste items that come out of the garden are:
Twigs: Waste items that are produced after cutting the woody part of a branch
Dead Leaves: These leaves have usually dried up because of not getting a sufficient water supply
Cuttings: Items that have been cut from the plants and trees in the garden
Grass: Grass waste mostly comes into the garden after mowing your lawn
Branches: They are a product of parts of trees that have usually been cut or fallen With these 14 tips, you can be sure to keep and maintain a clean garden, one that is free from pests, diseases, and waste, in general. Remember, if you want it to stay clean, you have to make an effort to do so yourself. A happy garden leads to a happier you.
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I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.