My garden is is exceptionally healthy this year. The David Austin roses are in full bloom right now and from my couch I sit and count the upcoming magenta buds. The California poppies from Half Moon Bay Nursery are completely sprawled out, entirely covering my pathway with tangerine colored, tissue-paper-like petals. And my 8-year-old blueberry shrub is a monster, standing 4 feet tall and blanketed with tiny white flowers. This year, my garden looks fantastic – simply because it is healthy and balanced.
It’s known that in order for us to be healthy, we need to stay fit, active and balanced. Drink green tea instead of coffee, eat whole foods instead of fast foods, and develop an excise habit everyday, like yoga or going for a walk on the beach. But what does it take to develop a healthy garden?
Gardens thrive when their growing conditions are in balance. The soil needs to be healthy, water needs to be consistent, fertilizing needs to be minimal but high-quality, and the climate in which you plant needs to be suitable for the tree, shrub or perennial. It’s not so different from keeping you or me healthy – a simple balance of what is good for us.
Here is a list of how to create a healthy garden:
Balance Your Soil -
You can check the PH of your soil and consult with a professional to adjust it according to what you have growing or will be planting. *You do not need to fertilize much. It’s like when you take a million vitamins a day… your body won’t absorb all the superfluous nutrients and neither will your plants. Keep it lean and mean when you fertilize your lawn and other landscape plants.
Stay Active with Watering -
Although you may have a low water or drought-tolerant garden, you still need to be active about when and how much you water. Irrigation systems are not set-it-and-forget-it, they need adjusting every few months. Minimal (once or twice a week), consistent and deep watering (water once at 5:30am for a few minutes, they again a half hour later for another handful of minutes – this allows for best water absorption, and less runoff).
When you are choosing your plants, make sure to spend a bit of time identifying that it is in fact a good plant. Look for any mites on the underside of the leaf, yellowing leaves or weak stems. Some plants might be freshly pruned back, dormant, or just small – which is all ok. But a diseased or otherwise unhealthy plant is not something you want to introduce to your garden.
*For more info on how to create a healthy garden, please email Jenn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Lee Segale
tel 650 726 5883
office post office box 1015, half moon bay, california, 94019
landscape design & consulting www.wildflowerfarms.org