If you love spending time outdoors, but don’t have the time to get out of the city, you probably cherish your backyard. That is why you want to do everything you possibly can to make sure that it stays healthy and beautiful. If you are a newcomer to gardening grooming, you might be looking for helpful and practical advice that can help your new garden thrive. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned gardener, you are most likely always on the lookout for some new tips and tricks that you can try. With all that in mind, keep reading for some insight and inspirational ideas on how to improve the health of your backyard.
Check the quality of the soil
Regardless of whether you want to use the backyard space for gardening or to simply have a luscious lawn, you need quality soil! Therefore, the first step toward having a healthy backyard is to your soil tested, yes, tested. You can buy a test online or in a local nursery and do this on your own. However, if you are new to this, you might not be quite familiar with everything so it might be better to take a sample to professionals and let them run the tests you need. Having your soil tested presents you with great opportunities to learn more about what your soil might be missing (vital nutrients) as well a test will determine if the soil is acidic, alkaline, or neutral. Knowing the type of soil you are working with will help you find the right fertilizer to improve it and decide what to plant.
Improve the soil
If the tests show that the soil is lacking in vital components, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium, you need to find a solution to this problem. A good way to tackle this issue is to try mixing leaf matter and grass clippings and placing them as top soil, this can provide the soil with the nutrients that it needs as well as improve drainage. Mulch and compost are other methods you can try. You should start adding organic matter to the soil in winter so that it’s absorbed before spring. If the PH levels of the soil are also not suitable to the plants you want to plant, there are ways to overcome this as well.
Choose plants native to your area
While it is possible that you have really poor soil, chances are also high that you are trying to grow something that is not native to the area you live in. For the best results, you should look for species that thrive in your location. Let’s take for example warm climates where water restrictions and droughts are not an uncommon occurrence. In order to save time and money, you should be planting plants that are drought-tolerant and low-maintenance. Not only will that benefit you but you will also be helping the environment as native plants provide the local wildlife with food and shelter. Plus, you can surely find some gorgeous native flowers and yummy local veggies that will help you with your goal, whatever that might be.
Examine the plants before you purchase them
Something else that will ensure the health of your backyard is carefully selecting the plants you purchase. If you opt for purchasing seedlings instead of seeds, you need to examine them thoroughly before you buy them. If you buy just one plant, and it turns out that this plant is ‘sick’, you can easily introduce it into your garden and infect other plants. If you are not sure what a healthy plant looks like, go through a few books, magazines and look online so that you don’t buy a plant that has dead spots or rotten stems.
Take care of your lawn
It doesn’t matter if you have a garden area or not, you should also pay attention to your lawn. For one, choose the right grass that you know will thrive in your area. Then, learn the best feeding and watering practices, such as watering early in the morning as opposed to late in the evening to prevent various diseases from developing. You should also be aware of proper mowing techniques. For instance, you should never take more than a third off the top in order not to harm the grass. Your mower blades need to be sharp so either sharpen them on your own or take them to a professional. Moreover, keep in mind that you should never mow wet grass and that you should have several mowing patterns to prevent compaction and other issues. On the other hand, if you are not starting from scratch and are dealing with dead grass, you’ll be glad to hear that there are ways to revive it. For one, it might be lacking hydration, so try watering it. It might be an issue whereby it is smothered with weeds, so you need to get rid of those.
Learn to make your own compost
We mentioned compost earlier as a way of amending your soil. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make your own? Well, with a little bit of preparation and practice, there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to. If you want an organic garden, that is one reason more why you should give composting a go. Basically, you will be making your own plant fertilizer from your household’s organic waste. So, start by saving organic matter from your kitchen. Most things (except ‘meats’) can be used for this purpose. You also need garden waste such as weeds and fallen leaves, mix all of these in your composting bin or pile. While collecting the waste is the easy bit, now you will have to learn when your compost is ready to be used. Once it is dark brown and crumbly, your compost is probably good to go. It should smell like rich earth instead of having the smell of rotting veggies.
It doesn’t matter what you plan on using it for, having a healthy backyard is a must in every home. Take the above listed tips into account and your backyard should be thriving in no time.