10 Small Things You Can Do to Improve Your Garden

It’s time to tap into your inner green thumb in celebration of National Gardening Day on April 14. Gardening is a much-loved hobby of many. It’s a chance to cultivate your fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs or plant the most picturesque flower garden imaginable. No matter what kind of garden you have, there is a true sense of pride as you watch it mature and become something beautiful.

Even if you don’t have a yard to create flower beds in, many opt for indoor gardens with special lamps, or perhaps a patio garden with pots and planters. Gardening is the kind of hobby that can be accessible to so many.

But what happens if, despite your best intentions, your garden isn’t flourishing the way you had hoped? Here’s a look at 10 small things you can do to improve your garden in honor of National Gardening Day.

Give Plants Space to Grow

Farmer's Hand Planting Seeds In Soil In Rows
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

One mistake people often make, especially when creating a new flowerbed, is to overcrowd the garden. Placing shrubs, bushes, and flowers too close together means they won’t be able to reach their full potential. It can also stunt their growth.

Take a close look at your current garden and determine if each item has enough space to grow. If not, it may be time to transplant some of the items and make another garden bed with them. If you’re unsure of how much space each item needs, you can speak to your local garden center.

Give Everything a Good Pruning

Young gardener cutting little flower plant, green sunny nature
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

Part of the beauty of nature is that everything is unique. No two bushes, flowers, or plants will look the same. This is something gardeners can embrace, but at the same time, things can get a bit too “wild” looking. Once your garden starts to lose its shape and look overgrown, this is a big sign that it’s time to do some pruning.

When pruning be mindful of what each plant can handle, clip off dead branches and spent flowers, and always think about how to best allow the plant to thrive.

Add a Pop of Color

a flower bed in a large number various zinnias grow and blossom
Image Credit: Shutterstock / imamchits

Because people may plant their garden over weeks, months, or even years, it can negatively affect the overall look of it. Before you know it, your garden can look like a sea of green without any distinguishing features.

This brings us to the next tip which is to add a pop of color. Annuals are the easiest way to accomplish this tip, and you’ll be able to find them in every color imaginable. The nice thing about annuals is that because they only last one year, you can pick a whole new color palette next year. It keeps things interesting.

Try Using Pots and Planters Strategically

Gardeners hand planting flowers in pot with dirt or soil
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexander Raths

A traditional garden is planted in the ground, but this tip will have you looking at the word “garden” in a different light. Decorative pots and planters can be part of your garden plan and help to add a sense of texture to the space. They can be strategically placed on patios and decks, ensuring there is nature in all areas of the yard.

An important tip when using pots and planters is to ensure you pick the right flowers for them. Not every plant or flower will do well in a confined space that doesn’t necessarily allow for deep roots and limitless spread.

Add Garden Lights – Highlight the Best Features

Decorative Small Solar Garden Light, Lanterns In Flower Bed
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Stenko Vlad

After putting so much work into making your garden pop, you want to be sure it’s visible at all times of the day and night. Installing exterior lighting with a focus on the garden will transform your yard. You can use a mixture of garden lights, path lighting, and even spotlights to highlight specific features.

Solar lights are often a great solution for homeowners who want the freedom to install lights in a wide array of spots. There is no wiring to worry about this way.

Dead Head the Flowers

A man deadheading a rose bush in summertime
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Melanie Hobson

Many flowers also require deadheading. This means removing the old dried-up flowers to allow for fresh new growth. Many will keep blooming provided you get rid of the dead flowers. It also makes the plant look much prettier if it’s not covered in dried-up flowers.

Stay On Top of Weeding

Caucasian female gardener in working clothes and with gardening gloves planting begonia while crouching.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nenad Aksic

This is never a fun tip, but most gardeners recognize it makes a huge difference in the overall look of their gardens. Staying on top of weeding means that flowers and plants won’t be robbed of key nutrition, and it makes the garden look cared for. Rather than letting the weeds get out of hand, set up a schedule wherein you weed once a week or even twice a week if needed.

Mulch Offers Many Benefits

gardener mulching flower bed with pine tree bark mulch
Image Credit: Shutterstock / ronstik

For those who want a more elegant and sophisticated-looking garden, mulch is the answer. Adding wood mulch will make the garden appear much cleaner and very professional-looking. You can add black, brown, or red mulch – whichever you prefer.

Not only does mulch improve the appearance of your garden, but it also helps with water retention (ideal for hot climates), stifle weeds, nutrient retention, and even pest control to a certain extent. Mulch typically needs to be replaced yearly to keep it looking fresh.

Ensure You’re Hitting the Right Amount of Water

Little boy with red watering can in blooming sunny garden.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / FamVeld

This particular tip will have huge results, but it can be very difficult to find that perfect balance. You want to give your flowers enough water without over-watering them. Going too far in either direction means you risk damaging the plant. It’s always smart to research how much water each variety of plant likes.

Every Garden Needs a Water Feature

Solar fountain in a copper garden pot spraying the containers of bountiful petunias.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Molly Shannon

Finally is a water feature. Every beautiful and peaceful garden needs some sort of water feature, and there is no shortage of options and ideas. Whether you choose to create a small manmade pond, install a fountain, or some other water feature – it’s going to elevate the atmosphere.

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