If you’re looking for a fairly low-maintenance garden that will look good all year round, a perennial garden could be for you. Of course, there is a small amount of maintenance that you should do in order to keep it looking its best. This guide should advise you what to do with which plants, which tools you will require and how often you should go them.
Tools You Will Need
- Pruners, either shears or hand pruners.
- A hose or sprinkler
- Rakes (both steel and lawn rakes)
- A trowel
- A small and sharp bladed garden hoe
- A spade
- Perennial plant fertiliser
- Organic mulch
Remove Dead Flower Heads
This job is fairly easy and, if done weekly, will take very little time. You should do this using scissors or hand pruners and cut just above the flower or bud once it has finished blooming. This will prevent them from forming seeds. You should also remove any dead leaves from the plants.
Check for Pests and Diseases
You should check for holes and ragged edges on plants, or discolored and abnormally shaped leaves. You should also check for slime on these leaves, it could be a tell-tale sign of snails- you can follow our guide to dealing with slugs and snails link to said article. If you aren’t able to identify which pest may be your problem, take samples of the damage to your local garden centre who should be able to advise you which solutions you should opt for. This task should be done once a month.
Regularly Water Plants
Make a hole of about 5 to 8 cm in the soil; if this this soil is dry you should thoroughly water the soil so that it is wet 15-20cm down. This should be done weekly, watering in between if there has been a lack of rain.
Tip: Watering with a soaker hose or drip irrigation pipe will be much more efficient than overhead sprinkles as water is applied more directly.
Keep Weeds at Bay
Each week you should check your garden for weeds; you can avoid the monotony and length of this task by keeping up to date with it. You should ensure that you remove the hole weed when pulling it, pulling too fast could result in it breaking. You can remove weeds simply using your hand, but a sharp and small bladed garden hoe would be the most effective method.
Fertilise Plants and Replace Mulch
You should do this during spring. You should use a fertiliser that is specifically formulated for perennial plants. A granular, slow-releasing fertiliser would be ideal. You should always follow the specific instructions on the labelling before applying the fertiliser. It is also important to regularly replace or renew the organic mulch, such as bark and leaves to keep them fresh.
Do you have any more tips and advice on how to maintain a perennial garden? Perhaps you have specific advice for specific plants. Let us know in the comments below!
[Photo Credit: Va.Rose ]