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Gardening Tips

PREPARE Prepare the garden bed properly to save time down the track. Kill weeds and smooth the soil flat.

PLANTING Do it right to ensure your plants get a good start. Dig holes a little bigger than the plants. Stake trees and hedging plants. Water.

All plants will need to have moist soil for a period after planting while their roots establish.

  • 1-2 weeks after planting, water daily.

  • 3-12 weeks after planting, water every 2 to 3 days.

  • After 12 weeks, water weekly until roots are established.

Morning is the best time to water, water the soil around the plant, not the plant itself.

MULCH Mulch is an essential final step. It suppresses weeds, holds water and temperature in your soil and adds nutrients. It also looks great as a contrast to your plants.

After planting, cover your soil with a thick (5cm+) mulch, the thicker you apply it the better the weed suppression. Do not pile mulch around the stems or trunks of plants. If you live in a windy area choose a heavier mulch or make sure you water it as soon as it goes on, to stop it blowing away.

Types of mulch include stone, bark, compost, pea straw and tree mulch.

I prefer tree mulch, available from arborists or garden retailers. This provides a rustic look that suppresses weeds like nothing else. It breaks down eventually, providing nutrition to the soil and is very cost effective. Also great is a dark and weed free compost, this will contrast nicely with your plants as well as condition the soil and hold moisture.

Most retailers deliver mulch or have trailers for hire. Arborists can organise to drop their day's mulch to your garden, it will be a big pile so get ready for some shoveling and wheelbarrowing.

MAINTAIN Pruning and weeding, little and often.

USEFUL TRADESPEOPLE Sometimes it is more efficient and effective to bring in a professional to do some work in your garden. Get a quote before getting the work done.

Arborists make short work of tree pruning and removal as well as hedge trimming. You can keep any firewood or mulch from the job or they can take everything away with them.

If you have large tree stumps or tricky to remove stumps in your garden, a stump remover can come in and remove them completely with their stump grinders.

For more advice like this, see my new guidebook What Plant Where, coming soon or call Artful Gardens today for all you garden design and advice needs.


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