Useful information on smart gardening. How to maintain the garden.
- Start small. The surest way to become frustrated with gardening is to bite off more than you can chew. Of course, small is a relative term; in an area of, say, only 100 square feet, you can plant a lot more than you might think.
- A shady spot that measures only 96 square feet is one of my favorite gardens. There's a large Japanese maple, a small green one, a shrub yew, dozens of foliage plants, a few flowering plants and some groundcover.
- Small gardens are easy to manage, and by starting on a small scale you'll quickly learn gardening basics such as weed control, pest and disease control and watering requirements without being overwhelmed. As you develop more confidence and skills, you can expand the area or create a new garden bed elsewhere.
- Your compost pile doesn't have to be fancy: find a reasonably sunny spot and get started. Other composting myths debunked.
- Start a compost pile. Whether you choose to build an elaborate bin and compost on a grand scale, create a simple pile in an out-of-the-way corner of your property, or place a store-bought composter in a sunny spot in the yard doesn't matter. All that matters is that you make compost--and use it, of course. Spread a thin layer over your garden beds at least once a year. Mix it with the native soil when planting. Apply it as a topdressing to lawns. Top off containers with it. And use it to make compost tea.
- And if you can't make your own compost for whatever reason, remember you can always buy compost in a bag. Many cities across the country make and sell compost in bags or in bulk, producing it from leaves and other lawn refuse collected throughout the year.
- Maintain healthy soil. The use of compost goes hand in hand with maintaining healthy the soil, but there are other things to consider:
- Try to avoid walking on the soil in established gardens, because every step compacts the soil, and compaction makes it difficult for roots to