Gardening is easy to get wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. Plants only need sun, water, and food to thrive, but getting the ratios in your garden right can be difficult…
If you’re itching to exercise your green fingers, we’ve pulled together our top urban gardening tips to help you hit the ground running. Stick to these and you’ll transform your garden into an urban Eden faster than you can say “lavandula angustifolia“.
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Pick the right plants…
Some plants prefer full-sun, while others need a shady spot to survive. The most successful urban gardeners take stock of the sunny spots in their space and then work from there, picking plants that suit the spaces they want to fill.
Make sure to carefully study the labels of your favourite flowers to find out what conditions they prefer. Can’t make head nor tail of plant labels? Read this excellent guide to reading nursery tags from Garden Design for Living to get up to speed.
…And give them space to succeed
No matter how cramped your urban garden is, don’t be tempted to stuff plants in containers that don’t provide them with room to grow. If everything goes according to plan, your flowers will flourish in your urban garden and need the extra space to expand into. Ask your local garden centre for their advice on what size container to use when you’re picking up your plants.
Be smart with your soil
When you’re planting your containers, don’t just use an all-purpose compost. Pick up a specialist potting compost, which is specifically designed to drain quickly, retain moisture, and fight off diseases.
Pick plastic plant pots
If you’ve got a hectic schedule and think you might not always be able to find the time to water your plants, go for plastic pots. Unlike their clay counterparts, plastic containers are watertight, meaning they’ll retain water for longer. They don’t have to be ugly, either: pick yours up from the stylish selection of plastic plant pots and containers at Wyevale Garden Centres and receive free delivery when you spend over £50.
Be wary of overwatering
For many novice urban gardeners, watering can pose a serious stumbling block. Until you’ve got a bit of experience under your belt, it can be hard to know how much water your plants need to thrive. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if the soil in a container is dry to the touch, it needs watering.
Each time you water a plant, thoroughly drench the container, but throw away the excess water that fills the saucer underneath the pot. If you don’t you’ll promote root rot, which will cause your plant to wilt.
Is a plant looking sorry for itself, but you don’t know whether you’re under- or over-watering it? Grab it firmly by the base of its main stem and tip the container upside down to take a peek at the roots. If they’re brown and slimy, your plant is suffering from root rot and you need to water it less. If the soil is dried out, you need to water it more.
For the very best results, you should water your plants in the morning when they’re more receptive to water, according to Horticulture Magazine. Avoid watering during the evening, as leaving water to sit on leaves during the cooler nights will promote diseases like mildew.
Stick to these five tips and you’ll have your urban garden looking better than ever in no time. Happy gardening!