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22.2.16

5 Tips and Tricks to the Perfect Garden

Finally… warmer days are on the way! Isn’t it time you gave some thought to tending to what’s become of the back lawn? Here are five tips and tricks you need to know in order to create the perfect garden this season…


1. Have a plan
Before you jump into the veg patch spade-first, think about what you want to achieve. Are you going to attempt a beautiful water feature? Do you want be a little bolder with the sculptures and structures you’re using?


The best way to achieve the perfect garden is by planning what you’re going to do first: detail which Bakker Flower Bulbs you’re going to plant and where. Sketch a border design whilst considering the colours and textures you want to see in full bloom. Assess the areas that get the most sunlight. Do you need to rethink the position of any of your plants?

2. Go for a theme
Watering is deceptively tricky: too much and your plants will be swimming, but too little and they’ll wither and die. So how do you know you’re giving your vegetable patch (for example) the right amount of water? As a rule of thumb, it probably needs 4 to 5 litres of water, every 5 to 7 days. Top it up again when the top two inches of soil is dry. You can check the dryness of the soil by grabbing a handful and clenching – if it’s moist enough, it will stick together well. If it’s too dry, it will crumble.


Gardening is a hobby performed by a spectrum of green-fingered folk, from absolute beginners who are dabbling with a herb patio, to semi-professionals who treat their outdoor spaces like an art gallery. If you fall somewhere in the middle (or indeed even the higher end), consider designing your garden around a theme this year.


For example, a rustic garden theme will help determine which plants you’re going to grow, how deliberately ‘dishevelled’ you allow areas to become, how you’re going to use the space to entertain, and even which furniture you’re going to recline on.


3. Prepare perfect soil
Healthy soil is the foundation for a great garden. So, start by determining your soil health and doing a quick test to find out its pH level. If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline you’ll need to amend it so that it’s neutral and full of the right nutrients. Add compost, manure, mulch, fertiliser, air and water, and check out Planet Neutral’s free guide to learn how to prepare your soil.


4. Learn how to water
Watering is deceptively tricky: too much and your plants will be swimming, but too little and they’ll wither and die. So how do you know you’re giving your vegetable patch (for example) the right amount of water? As a rule of thumb, it probably needs 4 to 5 litres of water, every 5 to 7 days. Top it up again when the top two inches of soil is dry. You can check the dryness of the soil by grabbing a handful and clenching – if it’s moist enough, it will stick together well. If it’s too dry, it will crumble.


5. Prevent pests

Of course it’s important to respect the ecosystem and feed the wildlife entering your garden, but it can be soul destroying to catch a rabbit nibbling on your vegetable patch! Grow strong smelling herbs to keep animals away such as mint and lavender, consider growing vegetables in enclosures, and if all else fails, sprinkle a little ground chilli powder! It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s natural and wont cause long term damage to the animals munching your produce.