Mr Plant Geek's Garden Hacks: Plants
The biggest secret to successful gardening is choosing the right plants! With a little extra knowledge, you can choose plants that cover wider areas, ones that last longer, ones that help keep pests and disease at bay, and ones that will gladly help smother those pesky weeds for you!
As a plantsman, my champion piece of advice is to be wise with your plant shopping, and don’t try to persevere with growing plants in places they just don’t enjoy. A shade-loving fern will never grow in a cactus garden, so don’t try and force it to!
So if you’re looking for plants that will solve a whole range of gardening problems for you, then I suggest you read on…
Impatiently waiting for a new garden to establish?
If you’ve planted shrubs and perennials, but watch anxiously waiting for them to grow, then why not sow some hardy annual seeds around the developing plants? Seeds such as Cornflowers, English Marigolds and Nasturtiums can all be sown directly into the soil. It’s as easy as sprinkling them where you want them! Spread them around your plants and enjoy fuller borders every year, although make sure you snip off the fading blooms before they disperse their seed onto the ground!
Want to cover bare ground quickly and with colour? Try some landscape-style bedding!
Why plant small, neat plants that leave lots of bare soil exposed? This simply means extra work for you, as you’ll need to make sure the beds are kept weed-free, and you’ll also find that moisture evaporates from the soil more readily. Choose big, buxom bedding plant varieties and you can really reduce your maintenance efforts. Compare Sunpatiens Busy Lizzie to the traditional types and you have plants that are THREE times the size and which cover the ground with lush, weed-suppressing foliage. Plus, it’ll cost you less, as you’ll need less plants!
Want the exotic look but without the hassle? Try some of these plants!
People are often amazed at how easy Cordyline and Phormium are to grow, despite their very exotic looks! I’m sure you’ve always wished you could grow the plants you see on holiday in your own garden? Likewise with Hibiscus and Oleander, their high resolution blooms can also be enjoyed in english gardens, thanks to the many hardy varieties!
Always forgetting to water your plants? Try some drought tolerant plants!
Amazingly, some plants actually thrive on neglect! Choose plants with a Mediterranean heritage to enjoy some of the toughest, unfussy plants known to man. Their need for water will be minimal, so that means you can be a little forgetful with your containers, or just book more weekends away! Osteospermum and Pelargoniums (Geraniums) are great choices for containers and baskets, whilst Lavender and Cistus are great for borders. Indoors, succulents and cactus store their own water, so require very little from you, meaning you can relax more!
But, of course, remember plants are like people, none can survive on water alone. Food and vitamins is something they'll crave too! Miracle-Gro All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food is a great 'feeding hack'. All you do is sprinkle the fertiliser around your beds, borders and containers and that's job done, feeding for 6 months all wrapped up within seconds!
Stay tuned for more gardening hacks over the next few months, as we look at feeding in different ways, efficient watering and much more! I hope these tips will help you enjoy your garden more, and that you'll join us with our Facebook LIVE on 28th May.