Keeping a garden in good order isn’t so much about getting the fanciest plants or having the best lawnmower. It isn’t even about that beautiful garden path or the gate that keeps the deer out. The real test of a garden is how well maintained it is. Garden maintenance is all about managing these three items: weeds, water and waste.
Gardens aren’t just about growing plants; they’re about growing the right plants. Any plant in your garden that isn’t supposed to be there is a weed, whether it’s an encroaching native plant or an invasive alien. You can help control weeds with certain kinds of coverings, like the best mulch in Cincinnati or your area. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to control weeds is by pulling them yourself.
Weeds can’t grow without water, but neither can anything else. Like almost all life on earth, plants need water, but overwatering can drown plants as surely as under-watering. If you have a rock garden or use xeriscaping to reduce your water consumption, you may need to irrigate water away from some of your more delicate desert-loving plants.
All gardens produce waste in the form of dead leaves and branches, unwanted weeds and other detritus. You can, of course, just put it out on the curb in a paper bag with the rest of your yard waste, but you can also put some of it back onto the soil, and keep your soil healthy and productive, with composting.
So before you drop a mint on that special tree or the heritage rose, make sure that you’ve got a maintenance plan that will keep the weeds in order, the water flowing properly and the waste under control. A garden isn’t something that you fix once and then never look at again. It’s a living entity that needs care, nurturing and, above all things, proper management.