Monday, April 22, 2013
How to Create a Low-Maintenance, High-Yield Garden
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try to grow their own gardens. It is a lucrative industry that yields its participants the satisfaction of having their own impressive garden, which provides food and a source of beauty for their homes and yards. However, many people are under the illusion that having and maintaining a garden requires a lot of effort. However, you can have your own high-yield garden by maximizing the resources available to you, meaning you put in minimal effort while gaining an abundance of produce. By following these simple tips, you can balance and optimize your garden.
Choose plants that do well in the type of soil you already have. For many climates, this is a simple choice of selecting a hardy crop and planting it in your backyard after tilling it somewhat and removing the top layer of turf grass. Though many more avid or professional gardeners cringe at this idea, it has worked for many people for years, especially those who simply want a basic garden without putting in all the effort of pH samples, crop rotations, and composting. Keep in mind that, though this method may not optimize your total yield potential, for the amount of overall effort applied, the results are great.
Plant crops, vegetables, and flowers that do not require abundant watering. This can be as simple as reading the seed packet or informational spike found in the sapling you buy from the store. For many plants that require very little water, simply relying on the natural precipitation in an area not affected by drought can be enough to keep your plants happy and hydrated. If, however, you live in a naturally dry climate or cannot rely on the rain (due to the shade of a building, location of your garden, etc.) watering your plants with a hose every few days should suffice.
Grow plants according to their natural growing season - it might seem obvious but this is one piece of backyard landscaping advice that I regularly see being ignored by novices.. This is a simple 'trick' that is almost common sense. Plants will do best when exposed to the environment (climate, sunlight, et cetera) they would naturally encounter in the wild. By being in-tune with your plants' calendars, you can ensure that you will have more success in your garden.
Select plants native to your area, if applicable. This is particularly helpful if you are looking for decorative flowers. Decorative, native flowers thrive because they already are prepared to live in your environment, as opposed to imported flowers which may have trouble adapting. This can also help to bring in local wildlife, insects, and birds to your yard, as they are more likely to interact with native plants than foreign ones.
Although choosing native plants can be beneficial, be careful not to choose plants that are a food source for your local animals. This can ruin all of your hard work, particularly if you do not want to use pesticides or erect fences in your yard or garden to keep out wild animals.
Gardening can be immensely rewarding, even without putting in a professional level of effort. By simply utilizing your natural resources, you can ensure that your garden will be productive and have a high yield, even without spending hundreds of dollars on fertilizers, pesticides, and excess water.