Love your plants: Three ways to show your garden how much you care
February is the month of love – and in keeping with the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it’s time to show your garden how much you care. After all, it showers you with affection all year long in the form of flowers, foliage and fruit! Here are three simple ways to show how much you love your plants - but remember, you don't have to limit your affections to February. Shower your garden with love all year long and it will continue to reward you.
Act of love #1: Mulch.
It might not sound like the most attractive of tasks, but think of mulching as wrapping your garden in a blanket of love and protection. Not only does mulch have a decorative purpose, it also performs a few more practical functions to keep your plants healthy and happy. A layer of mulch over your soil helps to insulate and protect it from atmospheric temperature changes. This is especially important in the hotter months, as the hot sun beating down on the soil tends to raise the temperature below the surface. Similarly, in colder months, mulch will help stop your soil from getting too cold. In addition, mulching helps soil retain moisture by limiting evaporation, meaning your plants will get more out of every watering session. Finally, mulch acts as a weed suppressant, which will in turn limit root competition and help your plants to thrive.
Want to learn more about mulching? Here's an article with all you need to know.
Act of love #2: Check in.
We show our loved ones that we care by asking how they're feeling, but our plants find it a little harder to answer our questions. Even so, you can still show your plants how you feel by checking in on them regularly. Spend time in the garden and have a close look at your plants' flowers, foliage and stems to help you better understand what kind of care they need. In a hot, wet summer like this one, pests and diseases abound, so keep your eyes peeled for bugs, powdery mildew, black spot and rust, and if spotted, treat appropriately. Love your plants by removing spent flowers and dead leaves, too, which will keep them looking their best. They'll love you for it and reward you by putting on new growth!
Act of love #3: Feed and water.
The way to anyone’s heart is through good food and drink, and plants are no different. While wining and dining your plant at the finest bars and restaurants might not work out so well, there are a few things you can do at home to make sure they're well-fed and happy. Make sure you’re meeting their hydration needs by providing adequate water, particularly during the warmer weather - remember, your plant will really thrive off occasional deep waterings in the early morning or late evening, which will encourage strong and deep root growth. As far as food is concerned, there are plenty of fantastic fertiliser formulas on the market to suit a range of plants, so you can pick the one that best suits the individual needs of your plants and feed as per package instructions. Alongside fertiliser, an application of Amgrow Seaweed Solution will act as a health tonic to give your plants an energy boost.
Some other loving gestures
Still want to show how much you love your plants? Here are a few other little things you can do that they'll love you for...
- Put up a shade cloth to shelter your outdoor plants from the harsh afternoon sun.
- Protect plants from the elements with an application of Yates Waterwise DroughtShield. Not only does this miracle product protect from sunburn, heat stress and the effects of drought, it also helps protect from mild frostbite, wind damage and transplant stress for up to 90 days. It forms a flexible and transparent polymer film which grows with the plant.
- Repot indoor and outdoor potted plants into the next size up if they look a little crowded. Make sure the new pot has plenty of drainage and use a professional potting mix for the best results. If the pot size is OK, you can still remove your plant from its container, add new potting mix and replant it for a nutrient boost.
- Help your large-leaved indoor plants look their best by wiping their foliage over with a soft, damp cloth. This will remove dust which not only improves the look of your foliage but allows for better photosynthesis.