It's Mother’s Day, why not take some time off your busy schedule to join your mother in her garden? Gardening is a great way to spend precious time with your loved ones as you share the common goal of nurturing and caring for plants; gardening also allows you to bond with nature and relax, making it an enjoyable activity to work on with those you love.
However, if you are new to gardening or have had unpleasant experiences with it (eg. Perhaps many of your plants have died before?), you may want to read more about the know-how and tips on how to successfully tend to a garden.
Select a suitable type of soil
Before you get started on the dirty work, it is best to first decide on what plants you would like to plant and do research on the type of soil that is most suitable for growing them in. For example, root vegetables thrive in sandy soil; shallow-rooted plants such as hydrangeas and pear trees grow well in clay soil; lily plants and lilac have no problems when planted in soils that are high in alkaline.
Prepare your plant roots
If you are planting a shrub that comes with a root ball, have it prepared before placing in your garden bed by soaking the root portion of the shrub in water. When planting it, take note to leave ample space around it so that the roots can grow out.
Placement is important
Where should you place your potted plants? Whether you are growing your plants indoors or outdoors, you should take time to do research on how much sunlight each type of plant will require in order to thrive. Plants like basil, lavender, marigold and sunflower require a lot of direct sunlight to grow beautifully; a lot of house plants like the dragon tree, snake plant and the Chinese evergreen do not need much sunlight but can still grow well.
Start with the easy ones
Why make life difficult for yourself right from the start? There are a variety of plants that are gorgeous AND easy to grow, making them perfect for the beginner gardener to start with. Look out for rose, petunia and sunflower plants in your local nursery as these belong to the “easy plants”. For those of you who are looking to start your very own vegetable garden, start with onions and tomatoes.
Label your garden bed
Let’s agree on this – all plants look the same to amateurs before the fruits or flowers grow out. The best way to identify your plants is by labeling them as soon as you plant them. The same goes for potted plants especially if you are growing them out from seeds.
Add nutrients to your plant
Some ways that you can improve the quality of your plants include creating your own potting soil by mixing manure and compost together, adding used tea leaves and coffee grounds to plant soil and by watering your plants with water that was previously used to soak your cooking vegetables in. These tips will help in increasing the nutrients in the soil and making it more fertile.
Spend a fulfilling day with your mother this Mother’s Day! Be inspired by the beautiful gardens at our local Chinese Garden, Gardens by the Bay and the Botanic Garden before heading to a cozy restaurant for an intimate lunch with your loved ones.