It’s a new year and the world is ready for change! Whether it’s the kind of change that gets you moving, grooving or growing, the year 2022 is a fresh start for us all. If you’re looking for some inspiration for change in your garden this year, we’ve got your back. Let’s make this year’s garden your most impressive one yet with a few inspirational ideas to get you growing!
1. Conserve Water
If being more mindful of your consumption is something you’ve been considering, gardening offers many versatile ways to cut back not only on consumption but cost as well! A great way to save on your water bill is to use water from sources other than the hose. This year try one of the following alternative watering methods to take care of your plants and the planet.
Re-use old water from water bottles.
Use water retaining pots like terracotta pots.
Invest in a garden drip system that will allow for direct watering to your plant’s root system using less water without any waste.
Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater!
2. Attract Wildlife
Inviting wildlife into your landscapes and garden beds can be a great way to create a healthier ecosystem for your plants to grow stronger and healthier! Here are a few ways to gather more wildlife in your 2022 garden.
Introduce native plants to attract native species.
Look for bee-friendly or pollen-friendly plants to grow.
Attract birds with bird feeders, birdbaths and bird fountains.
Incorporate a freshwater source like a pond or fountain.
3. Plant Something New
Sometimes planting something new doesn’t always turn out and we can say that we tried. This year when it comes to planting something new, prepare for the best by trying some of these helpful tips.
Research your new plants to see what their optimal growing conditions are and if you’re able to provide them with the care they need.
Find a garden forum to see what other gardeners are saying when it comes to tips and tricks when growing your new plant.
Check your soil, this is where your new plant going to call home. To make sure they like their new home you will want to ensure your soil is healthy and suitable for your new plants.
Is it an easy or difficult plant to grow? Knowing the difficulty of your new plant will allow you to understand if you have enough time and resources for the plant to thrive.
4. Plan ahead
Sometimes it’s not until we see what someone else has to want it for ourselves. We experience this every year when spring comes and we wished we planted gorgeous tulips and ranunculus back in the fall, or when summer arrives and we missed out on scent of lilies because we didn’t plant any bulbs in the spring. To help you plan ahead, try..
Planning out your with a calendar, marking reminders of what needs to be planted and when.
Draw out your landscape on a piece of paper and map out where you want your seasonal blooms to appear, and consider layering.
Pre-order your favourite seasonal blooms to ensure you get them on time.
Love what you have already? Spread the love by propagating. It may seem intimidating to propagate one of your beloved plants but in the plant world, it’s natural! Some plants even need to be propagated to grow stronger. This year focusing your skills on something you do well already could only help to grow to be an expert!
Bone Meal is one of those things that most gardeners have heard of but not many of us have really put any thought into. Bone Meal can sound like an aggressive name which makes it seem situational. However, it’s actually one of the most versatile fertilizers. It can be used on almost any plant and in almost any soil.
What is Bone Meal?
Bone Meal is exactly what it sounds like! It’s cooked or steamed animal bones that are then ground into a powder. Many types of animal bones are used, however beef bones are most common. These bone products are organic and a great source of the nutrients that our plants need to grow and flourish.
Bone Meal can provide a lot of benefits, such as:
Phosphorus is one the major nutrients required by plants. It is a major part of photosynthesis and is largely used in crop production. It is needed in large quantities to produce fruits and vegetables. In animals, it enables the growth of strong bones. When it’s released back into the soil it helps create strong roots. So how does phosphorus enter the plant? The main way is that it is absorbed through the roots. The little hairs on a plants roots help pull the nutrients into the actual plant.
I’m sure you can imagine that a fertilizer made from bones would provide calcium. Calcium promotes new growth for both roots and stems. It can also work to give you better tomato, pepper, zucchini, and eggplant yields by preventing diseases such as Blossom End Rot. The nitrogen in bone meal is usually quite low, however, it works to help round out the soil and give your plants that small but needed nutritional boost.
How to Use it
Bone meal is a favorite for many gardeners due to its slow absorption rate and the fact that it doesn’t burn the roots if you add too much.
Check the instructions on the package regarding how much you should add, but it is a good rule of thumb to use 1 tablespoon for every 2 square feet of soil.
After digging holes, add the bone meal to the bottom of the hole and mix it well. Lightly water the mixed soil so the bone meal can begin to break down.
Bone meal is great to use with bulbs, especially fall bulbs as they will need extra nutrients to help them grow after their cooling period and establish strong roots.
Things to Watch out for
Bone meal doesn’t have many downsides, but there are a few things that you want to be aware of:
It is a slow-release fertilizer. It is preventative and planned, so it won’t show any immediate results.
It needs to be mixed into the soil well. Since it is made of bones, it smells like food to a lot of animals. If you want to avoid scavengers digging in your garden make sure it’s mixed in well.
It is mostly effective in soils with a PH below 7. Plants in Alkaline soil tend to absorb fewer nutrients. Make sure you test your soil before adding any fertilizers and adjust the PH level first. You can find an example of a PH soil test kit here.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure about whether or not you should add fertilizer, you can run a soil test before hand. Pick up some Bone Meal from Nursery Land here or browse our hundreds of products at wildwood.express
Watering during the summer can be tricky, especially during a heatwave, but we have some tips for you!
Choosing the right time: Water in the early morning when possible. If you can beat the heat, this gives your plants enough time to soak up all the water they need before it heats up and the water begins to evaporate. If you’re not an early bird, then choose a time of day when your garden is a little cooler.
Water deeply: Water deeply & right at the roots. Soaker hoses with wand attachments work great! Watering deeply ensures you’re getting right to the roots. It’s better to water deeply, less frequently when possible. We also recommend watering right at the base of the plant. Not only is it a more effective way to hydrate your plants, but letting water sit on your plants’ leaves in the hot sun can cause damage and scorching.
Don’t overwater: Just because it’s toasty out there, doesn’t mean your plants want to be drowned! Keep an eye on your soil. It should never be so wet that water is pooling, and you should allow some time to dry a little between waterings so the roots can get oxygen between waterings.
Mulch: Adding 2” – 3” of mulch makes a huge difference! Mulching helps your soil retain its moisture longer, so your plants have an opportunity to absorb more water before drying out in the hot sun. It’s also a great way to conserve water, as you’ll need to water less frequently on hot days.
Self-Watering: Take the guesswork out of it! Self-watering planters let you sit back and enjoy the sunshine while your plants remain optimally cared for over a long period of time! Just fill the water reservoir and let it do the rest. Our favourite brand of self-watering planters is Lechuza Canada. We have some smaller sizes available online with a few more sizes available in store.
p.s. Lechuza’s sister company is Playmobil! How cool is that?!