When it comes to maintaining a yard, not all homeowners understand the responsibility that comes with it. After all, no matter how much money you’ve spent on your yard, if it is not taken care of for long stretches of time, the condition speaks for itself. It takes regular care and constant supervision if you are to keep your yard green, clean, and healthy.
A yard greatly enhances the beauty of any house and if it is all green and manifests the beauty of nature, it becomes even better. Unfortunately, when taking care of your yard one mustn’t forget that it has to be done in line with nature.
Now, many people think that a garden is good enough if it appears pleasing to the eye. Yet, what good is a garden if it is akin to a dead painting? For the painting to look lively, a garden requires a lot more than just aesthetic considerations. As a proud garden owner, you need to maintain the ecological balance of your yard and give it back to nature.
The question is, what does giving your garden back to nature mean and how can one do it? Well, it is admittedly a tricky task and will require quite a lot of preparation and awareness. Yet, if you’re committed to owning a garden that reflects the ecological balance of the area you live in, it becomes important to understand a few things. Let us outline these vital aspects step by step.
1. Start By Understanding The Land
Every piece of land has its own characteristics. It is pretty much like people, you can’t grow the same plants or the same crops in every field. The first step towards growing a natural garden is becoming friends with the land you want to grow it in. Let the soil of your land pour out its preferences and understand if it is suitable for the kind of plants you’re planning to grow.
This is key to taking the next step towards owning a naturally grown yard. Yet, how does one talk to the soil? Well, this metaphor isn’t as out of place as it appears to be, let us see how:
Understanding The Climate
Now, this is a little different than just knowing the data about the rainfall, humidity, etc. Understanding the climate means you need to look at it in terms of the effects it has on the soil. After all, it is the soil that has to bear the brunt of the climatic conditions or benefit from it. You can start by learning about the plants that grow successfully in your area. Then you can move on to know how do they grow, what kind of land do they grow with optimum health?
All these questions hold immense importance when it comes to handpicking the plants that are suitable for growing in your area. You can contact experts in your neighborhood or simply log on to bonap.org, The Biota of North America’s website.
Notice The Exposure Your Yard Gets
Once you’ve looked at the relevant details about the kind of plants that grow well in your area, you need to get a little more native. Yes, the next step is noticing the kind of supplies and sunlight your yard is exposed to. No matter how well a plant goes in your area, if your yard deprives it of its necessities, it won’t grow at all.
Other factors that you need to consider are the airflow, testing the soil for how long it can hold moisture. All this must sound a little too hectic and an arduous job, yet, if you wish to grow a naturally healthy garden, these details become vital. With the help of a simple soil test, you can determine the planting zones with ease. With this, you’d have taken another major step towards becoming the owner of a naturally grown yard.
2. Designing Your Yard
Once the observation and studying part is complete, you now need to move to the interesting part. Yes, this interesting part is choosing the plants and determining where and how to place them. Basically, the design has to be at the intersection of your choices in terms of design and what will be perfect for nature. To begin with, it is wise to not jump in with too many different plants and keep it simple.
There are many facets to this process of choosing plants. For instance, if your area receives hefty amounts of rainfall, your choice of plants should differ accordingly. In such a case, you should go for wet plants that need a constant flow of water at their feet.
Along with understanding the types of plants you want to grow and checking if it’ll be possible to maintain them in your yard, you need a trustworthy place to buy the plants.
Choose A Reputed Nursery
Once you’ve minutely observed your area and determined the kind of plants you want to grow, the place you’re planning to buy those plants from also matters quite a bit. You need to choose a reputed nursery to ensure that the plants you buy are up to the mark and suitable for growing in every way.
For this, you can browse websites and search for a good nursery according to the eco-types. Once you’ve found a list of a few nurseries around you that appear to be good options, compare among them before you make the final choice.
3. Preparing Of The Site And Installation
Now that the preparation part is out of the way, it is time to start with the execution. This process also has to be undertaken step by step and the very first step is to remove the invasive plants.
The invasive species of plants, even if only a few, have to be eliminated if you are to maintain the health of your garden. You cannot allow these plants to grow as they’ll without a doubt hamper the growth of the natural species and slowly take out the vitality from your yard.
Begin With A Small Piece Of Land
It is safer and wiser to start small before you go ahead and take it on at a larger area. Clear a small piece of land and start planting the plants you’ve handpicked. Do keep in mind the factors that are mentioned before you decide which plants to start with. After all, it would be a waste if you take on an amount of work that you’ll find hard to complete.
Try Not To Amend The Soil
Although you can amend the soil according to the plants you want to grow. Yet, it is a lot natural to choose plants according to the soil and don’t hamper much with the soil. Trying to amend the soil will only reduce the natural quotient of your yard and it is definitely not what you would want to happen.
Keep It Dense
As you must’ve heard before if you’re into gardens, leaving empty spaces becomes a breeding ground for the unwanted weeds to grow. So, you have to make sure of filling your yard with plants separated by reasonable distance for them to grow.
There are a lot of ways you can manage it. For instance, you can choose to spread the leaves under the trees instead of raking them up in on the curb. Once you’ve made sure that your garden is as dense as it can be without making it look like a collage, it becomes easier to maintain.
In order to suppress weeds, you might require sufficient mulch around your plants and it can only be done if you don’t leave too much space in between. Anywhere between 10 to 12 inches for the seeds to grow is the perfect distance but it differs at times according to the plants in question. So, it is wise to be specific while deciding on such factors.
4. Maintaining Your Yard
Now that all the preparation and designing is out of the way, we now turn towards the most important part of owning a vivid, natural yard. To begin with, you should avoid hurrying things as it requires a whole lot of patience to grow and maintain a natural garden. After you’ve planted your choices, give your yard some time to adjust and become established. The time a garden takes can vary depending upon the plants you choose to grow and there’s a chance you might get restless. Yet, the key is to hold on to your patience before you do anything with it. Just keep watering it and change the water once or twice every week according to the plant.
In the long run, you might have to shift from weekly targets to looking at this from a seasonal perspective. Your seasonal goals can consist of cutting the perennial grasses back and deadheading shrubs. Notwithstanding all the effort, there are chances that weeds will grow every once in a while and spot cutting can solve the problem of weeds for you.
Keep The Lawn-Mowing High
The mowing height has to be determined according to the soil. It holds immense importance for the health of your yard in the long run. In fact, the mowing height of your grass depends directly on the varietal and this is a fact one shouldn’t oversee. Another tip you need to keep in mind is to not remove any more than one-third of the blade. Cutting very low can adversely affect the rooting of the plant and cause it to lose its vitality in the long run.
Avoid Excessive Watering
Now, this is important to understand if you’re a beginner. People often think that maintaining a garden and watering it are one and the same. This results in them watering more than they should. According to experts, during the growing season, the grass requires no more than one inch of water every week. This might sound surprising but it is a well-established fact.
Keep It Organized
Once all the boring maintenance stuff is over, let us jump to the more interesting aesthetic aspects of your yard. There is a lot that you can add to enhance the appearance of your garden like frames and fences that you must’ve seen in pictures of vivid, well-grown gardens.
Along with the organization, you can design your yard according to one particular theme. There are lots of themes to choose from and in order for your garden to stand apart, try and go for those ancient themes that are not very common. After all, who doesn’t want their garden to be unique?
Also, let the colors bloom as they do and avoid hurrying into making changes and adjustments. In a nutshell, as in all the other facets of growing a garden, you must let nature take its own course.
5. Be Patient And Support Your Garden
Once you see your garden growing naturally in front of your eyes, it is easy to jump to conclusions. There may be a chance that one or two plants don’t turn out to be as lively as you expected even though you did solid research. This is a part and parcel of gardening and one shouldn’t get too harsh on the results.
Let the colors bloom, let your garden take as much time as it does to grow fully. All you need to do meanwhile is to take care of the maintenance and make the little changes that shouldn’t affect the garden as a whole.
After all, growing a garden is a journey you should enjoy without giving the destination too much thought. Given that you did enjoy the journey, the destination is more likely to turn out to be beautiful.
Of course, there will be skirmishes and a few things you’d want to turn out to be better but it is only wise to not run after perfection. Live in the beauty of your naturally grown garden before you decide to jump to conclusions and make hasty changes. Give it the time and care and you’re sure to have a beautiful, lush-green relationship with your garden.