February 06, 2024
Is being the master of your garden your New Year’s Resolution? Perhaps you’re completely new to gardening or an expert looking to refine your skills. Any reason to get outside and enjoy nature is a good one, but it’s even better when you have a gardening goal in mind.
Gardening sprouts so many benefits: connecting to nature, growing food, relaxation, pride and ultimately, it’s a lot of fun! But it can come with frustrations, too, especially when you’re unsure how to take care of your garden. This article discusses the value of gardening goals and how you can achieve them in 2024!
The key is not to overstretch yourself; you don’t want to become disheartened if things don’t quite go to plan, and you need to be flexible around unexpected weather conditions that could impede your desired results. When plotting your gardening goals, consider the following factors:
Getting the most from your garden comes down to a little trial and error. You also need to experience all four seasons to understand how your garden responds. Be patient and set yourself some achievable but exciting targets. We’ve provided our top 6 garden goals to help you get started.
This is something many gardeners neglect, assuming that all soil is the same. However, soil can vary from country to country, town to town and even street to street. And it’s not just the type of soil – it’s the lay of your land, how well it drains and how much sunlight it receives. All these factors will influence the kind of foliage you grow, the type of turf you lay, and where best to plant everything to ensure it has the best chance of thriving and surviving.
Like any topic, you need to brush up on your knowledge to become an expert. There are incredible gardening books out there that walk you through everything from landscaping and weeding to picking suitable trees and how to care for them correctly. You could also head to gardening classes and exhibitions, speak to gardening professionals or attend flower shows – these are great for some stunning garden ideas and inspiration; they’re also a lovely day out!
Ok, so you now know your garden inside out and have a solid idea of the garden design you want. It’s a good idea to draw out a plan for your garden to map out the different sections. This could include a decking area, raised flower beds, a wildflower area, fruit trees, sheds and garden furniture. It’s helpful to create a visual of what you’re aiming to create to provide a step-by-step guide in building your dream garden.
…and your soil will take care of you, well, your plants! A flourishing garden comes down to the condition of your soil. Its texture, pH levels, drainage, etc., will determine how your flowers grow and how your turf settles in. Get to know your soil so you can spot any signs it’s struggling; this is when you can give it a little boost with compost or fertiliser full of healthy nutrients. Pay more attention during extreme weather – keep soil hydrated during the summer months and cover it in mulch or bark during extremely cold snaps.
There’s nothing more rewarding than nurturing tiny seedlings and watching them mature into beautiful blooms. Just imagine how proud you’ll feel to say, “I grew that!”. With seedlings, keep them warm and sheltered by starting them off in your home or a greenhouse. Plant them into small pots (egg boxes would work) and spritz them with water to keep them hydrated but not drenched. This will help them establish a strong stem and roots, and as they grow, move them into bigger pots until they’re robust enough to go straight into your flowerbeds. Growing seeds is also cheaper than purchasing and planting established flowers.
You’ll come across these names a lot in the gardening world, and they refer to two different types of plants:
Annuals are flowers that complete their life cycle (germinate, flower, seed and die) all in one season. Annuals tend to go a little crazy because their goal is to reproduce (set seed), but this produces dense and beautiful flowerbeds. Effective deadheading also helps annuals seed, as removing dead buds will encourage them to produce more buds. Some annuals will slowly self-sow, but more than likely, you’ll have to replant them next year.
Perennial plants will return year after year, hibernating for the winter and awakening for the spring/summer. When cared for correctly, perennials can live for a long time, making them a worthwhile investment in any garden design. Bear in mind requirements can vary from plant to plant, with some needing to be pruned and split up, and others preferring to be brought inside and protected throughout winter.
Pruning is an essential and life-long gardening skill. Productive pruning not only helps to keep your garden looking fresh and tidy, but it also enables your plants to focus their energy on healthy stems that produce bountiful buds. However, there’s more to pruning than just cutting away stems; every plant, tree hedge, etc., must be pruned slightly differently to benefit their qualities. It’s important you get to know how they like to be trimmed; prune incorrectly, and you could stump growth or kill your plant completely.
Gardening is a rewarding but sometimes challenging hobby; it requires time, patience and practice. You’ll make mistakes along the way; they’ll be factors out of your control, but the good news is you and your garden are resilient. If something doesn’t quite work out, tweak it. The important thing is to start small, develop your gardening skills and watch your garden flourish. We know you’ve got this, and we’d love to see how you’re getting on! Share your pictures with the GDT team, or if you have any queries, get in touch with us today.