Unleash Your Inner Green Thumb: Essential Tips for Building and Maintaining a Thriving Garden

Beyond just gardening as a hobby, what other reasons do you think people invest so much time and resources in gardening? Most individuals engage in gardening because of the numerous benefits attached to it.

Some of these are improved air quality, increased natural fruit/vegetable intake, a form of physical exercise, improved mood, reduced blood pressure, exposure to vitamin D, decreased dementia risk, reduced stress, improved mental health, etc.

Despite these benefits, some people are reluctant about going into gardening probably because they have never done it before, they are too busy, or the place they live does not have enough space for gardening. If these limitations were not to exist, how would you feel owning a flourishing garden?

This article will give interested readers tips for building and maintaining a thriving garden regardless of their experience, busy schedule, and limited space.

It will educate you on how to plan your garden paradise, how to plant and tend to your garden, and practical steps to troubleshoot and maintain your garden.

How to Plan Your Garden Paradise?

Before you begin the journey into planting and tending to your garden, you have to plan for the type of garden you envision to have.

To start with, you must know what your Hardiness Zone is and plant according to your zone. A hardiness zone involves the average annual minimum temperature that a geographical area has which determines the survival of many plants.

Garden Lighting

When that is settled, you have to know the type of light your plants will require and how much light they need to receive. Depending on the type of plants in your garden, your plants may need natural light such as sun and artificial lights such as infrared light, incandescent lights, blue and red lights, LED lights, etc.

The lights may be full sunlight, part shade (indirect light), or full shade (no light).

If your plants require full sunlight, all you need is to keep them outdoors in an area that has enough sunlight for a long period. For instance, you can put them in a container and place it on your patio or composite decking board.

If your plants merely require indirect sunlight, then you can invest in a light metre to help you measure the light or you can use a sheer curtain or the dappled shade from outdoors to create an indirect path for the sun rays.

Artificial lights such as infrared lights help flowering plants while blue and red lights help photosynthesis.

To assess the sunlight patterns in your garden, you need to record how much sunlight your outdoor space receives over time and note where the shadows fall and for how long.

These records can be kept in a garden journal and you should diligently assess them every hour or two.

Types of Soil in Garden

Going forward, you need to check how healthy your soil is or if it is even the type of soil that you need. Checking your garden soil health is important because healthy soil suppresses weeds thus allowing your plants to grow properly.

Also Read: Gardening Basics: Soil, Seeds, Water and Fertilizers

Healthy soil allows nutrients to cycle properly and encourages biodiversity. Your garden soil will fall under any of these types – clay, loam and sand – and the best type of soil for your plants is the loam soil.

How do You Know if Your Soil is Healthy?

To check if your soil is healthy, you need to test the soil to determine or estimate the plant-available concentrations of plant nutrients. To test your soil, you need to collect a sample of your soil and add it to an extractant solution then shake it rigorously.

Since the liquid content is all that is needed, you just filter it and then analyse it for concentrations (that have been converted to dry matter) and chemical elements’ presence.

After the test, if your soil is poor, you can amend it by adding lime, wood ash, poultry manure and sulfur. This reduces the acidity and increases the alkalinity, raising the pH of the soil to a healthier level.

When you stand on your porch or in your yard, how do you know the perfect location for your garden?

Garden Location

You need to consider factors such as drainage, access to water, sunlight and sun exposure, soil quality, convenience and easy access, wind directions and microclimate factors.

Companion planting is a great gardening practice that will benefit plant growth. This involves finding mutually beneficial plants and then growing them side by side with each other.

How to Plant and Tend to Your Garden?

Now that you have successfully learned how to plan your garden, the next step is to plant and tend to your garden. This section will guide you on practical steps to take to plant and tend your garden.

  • You have to start by selecting the perfect plants based on the plants that flourish better in your region, the ones that align with the amount of sun exposure your yard gets and the desired outcomes you expect (whether herbs, vegetables, or flowers).

Examples of flowering plants that grow best in the UK include agapanthus, lavender, stinking hellebore, fuchsia, lupines, coneflower, honeysuckle, elder, delphinium, dog-rose, lily of the valley, etc.

  • Amongst these plants, you must select the ones that align with the amount of sun available in your zone. For instance, if the amount of sunlight in your area is high, then the plant you select should need high sun exposure.

Another step is to know and apply the right type of technique based on different stages such as seed propagation, cutting, layering, division, grafting, budding, and tissue culture techniques.

Know the Right Technique of Gardening

To contribute to your planting prowess, you need to know how to properly space your plants and the correct depth.

  • The next step is to know the amount of watering needed by different plants and the proper techniques for watering them.
Watering Garden

The various watering techniques that you need to consider include root/base watering, deep watering, water in the soil, watering in the morning, watering slowly, irrigation, and rainwater.

  • After you have determined the watering technique that your plant needs, then you must know the different methods for controlling weeds.
Weed Control

Some eco-friendly options for weed control include mulching, cover crops, rotation, tillage, flame weeding, hand-pulling, intercropping, etc.

  • Fertilisation is also another means of tending to your garden. This is because the soil also needs to ‘eat’ so that the plants and trees can grow healthier and stronger.

The source of your fertiliser determines whether it is organic or inorganic. If it is organic, then it is obtained from living things such as plants, animals and manures.

On the other hand, if it is inorganic, that means it is obtained from chemicals and minerals from the earth.

Practical Steps to Troubleshoot and Maintain Your Garden

Troubleshooting a garden means tracing whatever faults your garden has and correcting them. Some faults you should look out for in your garden include pests, plant diseases, lack of pruning and inadequate winterising.

When considering common garden pests, you need to know the types of pests you may likely find in your garden. Examples of common garden pests that can be found in UK gardens include aphids, slugs, vine weevils, earwigs, flea beetles, scale insects, whiteflies, thrips, coding moths, capsid bugs, cucumber beetles, etc.

Pest Attack on Plant

Examples of common plant diseases that you can find in your UK garden include powdery mildew, fungal leaf spot, rust, blight, apple scab, botrytis cinerea, black spot, canker, mealybugs, Asian longhorn beetle, fusarium, gall, bacteria, etc.

How Do You Prevent Common Plant Diseases in a UK Garden?

Some preventative measures that you can consider include protective sprays and dusts, and biosecurity measures. The protective sprays are designed to prevent infection and are usually applied to foliage and fruit crops.

To properly tend your garden, you must know how to prune your garden. Why is pruning important for your UK garden? Pruning is important because the gardener checks for dead, diseased and injured parts of plants, and gets rid of them.

When pruning is done, it encourages their growth, maximises their vigour and improves their aesthetic qualities.

The best pruning technique is to selectively remove the longest stem back deep into the shrub of a tree.

The final method of tending to your UK garden is winterising. This is suitable for those who stay in the UK because they experience winter.

It simply involves preparing your garden for winter through different techniques such as mulching, covering crops, protecting tender plants, prep compost piles, aerating your lawn, and tidying up the debris in the garden.


After you have empowered yourself with the knowledge, you need to start planning, planting, tending and maintaining your garden.

There is nothing more satisfying than walking out to your outdoor space and seeing a thriving garden. With the quality of information in this article, you can begin the journey of owning your garden.

And before you leave, don’t forget to read the following article:

Create a Boho Chic Garden Area With These Simple Tips

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