Know your garden personally. Understand the light properties, soil conditions, temperature and water needs. It helps to make a rough drawing of your garden and study each area throughout the seasons. This knowledge will help you choose successful plantings.
Only grow plants that are suitable to your garden environment. Taking the knowledge you now have of your garden requirements, buy only those plants that will thrive in your location. It’s always difficult not to want all the beautiful plants that are offered, but wrongly placed plants never grow well and are subject to disease, pests and other problems.
If you see an unsuitable plant you just cannot do without, try growing it in a container, but keep it out of your garden borders.
Give all your plants a good start to ensure their success. That means start them off in a quality planting hole when you first plant them. Dig a hole at least twice as wide and deep as the rootball. If drainage is poor dig a little deeper and add more organic matter. Half fill your hole with good growing medium, plant your plant and backfill will with more amended soil. Water well.
Use lots of mulch in your garden beds, at least a few inches deep. This will go a long way in suppressing weed growth which will save you hours of weeding later. An organic mulch will also conserve water to help the soil from drying out. As the organic mulch breaks down, it will feed your soil with nutrients necessary for plant health. If you are growing a drought garden, try using a mulch of rocks or gravel around your plants.
Water wisely, watering at ground level is best. Set up a drip irrigation system or even run a leaky hose through your bed. If you have to use an overhead sprinkler then be sure to always water in the morning. This will keep the leaves drier and help to prevent mildew or fungal disease. Always water long and deep to encourage deep root systems which means healthier plants and the need to water less often.
Garden using raised beds of at least 10 to 12 inches above the ground. Raised beds have the advantage of warming up earlier in the spring, have better drainage and make it easier to access your plants. Raised beds are particularly helpful for the aging gardener or anyone with a physical limitation.
Weed often and when the weeds are small. It is so much easier than waiting to pull mature weeds with strong root systems. It also prevents any weeds from going to seed and multiplying themselves.
If a plant continually does poorly and repeatedly has problems, get rid of it. It will take up more time that it is worth because it will never really look good anyways. It is also a threat to the health of it’s neighbors.
Invest in a few basic good quality garden tools and keep them sharp and clean. Having the proper garden tools will not only reduce your work, but will save the extra wear and tear on the gardener.