Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > March 2015 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - LOVE, LABOUR, LOST


Are you thinking that I am going Shakespearian on you?  No, but the title seems fitting for what I am about to write on landscaping.  We LOVE our gardens and landscape.  Why not?  It is the number one hobby amongst Americans.  We have LABOURED many years in getting our dream gardens established.  We have found working in our gardens to be very healthy, both physically and mentally.  But, now we need to make some 21st century changes.  Don’t look at this change as a LOST.  Instead, we now need to think “outside the box” as to applying some different gardening trends that will help us create a low-maintenance landscape.  I, for one, have been doing some of these new gardening trends with my own landscape and, at the the same time, have been enjoying my gardens equally as well as before but with less stress and maintenance.
                Here are some gardening and landscaping trends that may help you continue to enjoy gardening but, at the same time reduce the amount of physical effort by creating a low-stress, low-maintenance landscape:
  1.  Reduce the lawn area by expanding gardens.  Maintaining a pristine lawn is very costly and time consuming not to mention the hard work.  Minimize this effort by expanding your gardens.
  2. Improve your soil condition.  A plant in the wrong soil struggles for life and becomes fair game for any disease and harmful insect that comes along.  So, spend some time beforehand on soil management.  Add organic matter to the soil.  Have a complete soil test done that will indicate any deficiencies of nutrients in the soil prior to planting.  Healthy plants require much less maintenance.
  3. Plant more native plants in the gardens.  You may ask “what is a native plant?”  The simple answer is that a native plant is a plant that has existed in our area before man.  Native plants tend to be sturdy and have adapted to survive in our environment.
  4. Plant plants that do double duty.  Perennials are a prime example of giving us color with a bloom and texture with their foliage.  Plus, perennials will come back year after year and need much less attention that annual plants, like marigolds or petunias,  that need to be planted every year.  Other plants that can serve as double duty is Blueberries.  Plant blueberry plants in your garden.  They will give you flowers, fruit, and beautiful fall color.  Another idea of double duty plants could be with evergreen hedges.  Plant camellias for screening.  Not only will camellias give you privacy but they will give you beautiful flower color.
  5. Right plant in the right location.  Remember the rule of “the right plant in the right place” to maximize plant vigor and health throughout the season.  Consider soil, slope, amount of sunlight, space and size, hardiness zone, drainage, exposure and soil pH.  Don’t forget tyo consider the final size that a tree or shrub will become at maturity.  Don’t crowd the plants.  Yes, they look small now, but space plants according to their final size.  Following these tips will lead to less maintenance needed.
  6. Mulching.  Mulch is essential for low-maintenance gardening.  Mulch will protect the root system of the plants, keep them shaded in the summer and warm in the winter.  Mulch will help reduce the amount of water required by the plants.  And, mulch gives a garden a finished look and will help to control weed growth.
It is now March and the gardening and planting season is upon us.  Think about these tips and see what you can do to lessen your maintenance on gardens at your home.
Posted: 3/6/2015 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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