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How To Setup a Low-Maintenance Garden? 7 Hacks for Beginners With Busy Schedules

For anyone who's looking to start their gardening journey but avoiding it because of the hassle it involves, here's a set of gardening tips that will ease the process.

How To Setup a Low-Maintenance Garden? 7 Hacks for Beginners With Busy Schedules

Maintaining a garden is no piece of cake. Doing it in an urban setting with a full-time job makes it even harder. But that shouldn’t keep you from flexing your green muscles. Here are a few tricks and tips for urban gardeners that will save a whole lot of time and still ensure your garden thrives. 

1. Tease out the roots 

When purchasing potted plants, always take a look at the roots first. Most often you’ll notice that they have tightly wound themselves around each other. This will eventually halt water and nutrients from getting to the plant. While a busy schedule may not allow you to check root health frequently, here’s a tip: using your fingers or a knife gently separate the roots. This will ensure they get to breathe. 

2. Water deep

We’ve all been guilty of forgetting to water our greens once in a while. On the off chance, this happens to you, gardening experts say it’s totally okay. They encourage watering deeply in contrast to watering frequently. Deep watering encourages plants to seek water at lower levels and thus grow deeper into the soil. 

3. Self-watering system

Plant parents often worry when on vacation as to who will water the greens every day. But an NID grad came up with a simple solution to this. Gowtham Reddy from Hyderabad created ‘Osmos’, a self-watering system for plants that keeps them hydrated for 15 days. 

The terracotta planter is made using 60 percent soil and 40 percent of low-weight-expanded clay. The porosity of clay allows for air and moisture to pass through the walls of the pot. In addition to this, there is a glass fish bowl element with the capacity to hold 1.5 litres of water. The clay pot absorbs the water keeping the plants hydrated. 

4. Perennials are perfect!

The optimum blend of low-maintenance and beauty, perennials are the plants that can be counted on to cover up the mistakes you make in your gardening journey. They seem to thrive in all weathers and even harsh conditions such as drought or sunny days. Being beautiful and attractive, they attract butterflies and insects, thus giving you that perfect garden vibe you are striving for. You may like to begin your gardening journey with lavender, roses and asters. 

5. Mulching 

If you are a busy professional, chances are you rarely have time (or the passion) to de-weed the garden. Here’s a tip that will ensure you do not have to do the task often. 

Mulching refers to covering the soil with bark pieces, wood chips and leaves to preserve the moisture content. This also prevents the amount of light that can get to the weed seeds and in turn, stunts their growth.  

6. A sacrificial lamb

Let’s face it. Pests are unavoidable. And even more so if you are busy. The pests take your absence as the cue to have a gala time and feast on the plants. Some urban gardeners recommend planting a sacrificial lamb. This is just what it sounds like. Plant a flowering plant that will serve as the ‘party pad’ for the bugs. This will ensure they leave your other plants alone. 

7. Strategic positioning 

The amount and intensity of sunlight varies as the day progresses. Use this to your advantage. The best spot to place your plants in is one where they will receive morning sunlight but be shaded during the afternoons. The trick here is that your plants require less moisture when they aren’t being exposed to the harsh sun. This will save you from watering them constantly. 

Edited by Padmashree Pande

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