With spring in full bloom and weather looking great, here are some tips to make you garden work for you.
1) Start Small- small gardens are easier to manage, especially if you're just starting out. This will help you learn gardening basics such as: weed and pest control, and watering requirements. As you hone your gardening skills you can create more larger gardens.
2) Start a compost pile- start a pile in the corner of your yard. Use your compost by spreading a thin layer over garden beds, mix it with soil when planting, or top off containers with it. If for some reason you can't make it, buy it. Many cities sell it in bags or bulk.
3) Maintain healthy soil- using compost will help but there are other ways too. Avoid walking on soil in gardens because it will compact the ground and make it hard to grow; don't over work your soil, good soil isn't powdery; avoid working with it when it's wet.
4) Mulch- it has many important features. Mulch suppresses weed growth, maintains moisture, and stabilizes soil temperature.
5) Water properly- deep soak each time you water to encourage deep roots. Watering early in the morning well help keep down on fungal growth because the soil will have time to dry out during the day.
6) Go native- native plants tend to be easier to grow. The more native you grow the more your confidence level as a gardener will grow. Visit a nursery to learn more about native plants in your area.
7) Minimize maintenance- to help keep maintenance down: cut back on fertilizer, and prune only when necessary.
8) Visit the garden regularly- spending just 10 minutes a day walking around, maybe with your cup of coffee, will help you bond with your garden and notice at the beginning if something starts to go wrong. Plus by dealing with the small stuff everyday you won't be overwhelmed by the weekend.