Unless you were born with green fingers and have a natural talent for keeping plants alive, you have probably experienced your fair share of horticultural disasters over the years, as have many residents of this great city of ours. The climate in Toronto can be very hard on perennial flowering plants especially, and there are many shrubs and creepers that also find it difficult to survive the local weather conditions. Even those species that have proven their mettle in the harsh GTA winters can die off suddenly if not cared for properly, which is why we decided to put together a list of tips that will help local gardeners to avoid making costly mistakes with their favourite plants. If you have never had much luck with your garden in the past, this could be the guide that you have been looking for all these years, the list that solves the mystery of your horticultural mishaps.
What Your Friendly Toronto Landscaping Contractor Can Tell You About Gardening
While gardening is not incredibly difficult, you do need a certain amount of basic knowledge before you can successfully grow many plants and keep your garden in good condition throughout every season. Below, we take a look at the core factors that will decide if the plants in your garden will thrive or if they will wither away and die, leaving you scratching your head and wondering what on earth you did wrong.
- Planning for Future Growth – One of the most common mistakes made by those who are planning their very first garden is to forget about future growth. If you do not take growth into account when you are planning a new garden, you will almost certainly run into problems in the months and years to come. Shrubs that grow up and out at a fast pace may end up being planted too close together and subsequently smother each other as they compete for the same resources. Trees that were once attractive saplings may grow so large that they pose a threat to the structural integrity of your property or throw such a large shadow over your yard that almost nothing will grow there, no matter how well you look after it. No plant will thrive without growing room so make sure you bear this in mind when deciding what to include in your new garden plan.
While gardening is not incredibly difficult, you do need a certain amount of basic knowledge before you can successfully grow many plants and keep your garden in good condition throughout every season.
- Using Fertilizers Correctly – Probably the first mistake that inexperienced gardeners make concerning fertilizer is to forget about it all together. During the years that we have been operating as a Toronto landscaping contractor, we have seen many gardens that were in a poor state simply because the homeowners were not aware that they should be using fertilizer. The second mistake that those who are new to gardening make with fertilizers is to use far too much of them, resulting in plants with scorched leaves, slow to no growth, a high rate of seedling failure and brown/black roots. If you learn how much to apply and when to apply it, fertilizer could be your best friend as you start to create your very first garden.
- Choosing the Right Species – Some plants are just not cut out for life in a Toronto garden and you can make your life a whole lot easier by avoiding these plants in the first place. All plants are rated according to their hardiness and different parts of the world have their own hardiness ratings too. What you need to be doing is matching the hardiness rating of your plants with the zone in which you live. This part of Canada is classified as Zone 5 to 6, which means you should be looking at plants with a similar rating. The higher the numbers, the warmer the weather needed to keep the plants alive so a shrub that is rated Zone 11, for example, would stand no chance of lasting through a local winter. While a plant that is rated as more hardy – zone 4 for instance – would probably do well in your garden, a zone 7 plant might struggle. For the low down on species that thrive in local conditions, call your friendly Toronto landscaping contractor today.
- Correct Watering Techniques – Although rain falls directly onto the foliage of all the plants in your garden, it is far less concentrated than the water from a hose, which is why you need to be careful when you are watering your garden the old fashioned way. If you water flowers such as roses, which are susceptible to fungal diseases, from above, you may unwittingly kill them off. You need to avoid wetting the foliage as much as possible because if it becomes soaked, fungal spores will find it easier to make their home on the leaves.
- Weed Control – Many attractive plants are crowded out of their homes by fast-growing weeds, which is why you need to take weed control seriously from the very start. Although we are principally a Toronto landscaping contractor, which means we focus on creating new garden designs and implementing them, we also have maintenance experts on our team so we know a thing or two about looking after plants as they mature. We have found mulching to be one of the most effective methods of controlling weeds in flower beds and vegetable patches, and will be more than happy to recommend a type and quantity of mulch for your yard and garden.
- Soil Preparation – The areas where you intend to plant new flowers, shrubs and trees need to be dug over thoroughly and you should add organic matter (compost or peat) to the soil as you go. Home-made compost is the most environmentally friendly solution and can be the most effective at promoting new growth too. Plants in soil that has not been prepared will find it much harder to become established.
If you need any more advice on how to keep your garden looking good and how to avoid killing your plants, we are the Toronto landscaping contractor with the information you need: call and speak to us today!
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