Step 6-Watering, weeding, and mulching Read information and tips to help you keep your garden growing healthy and beautiful. Learn about basic garden care such as watering, wedding, and mulching.
TIP- Plant labels or signs- Labeling the area where you have planted seeds, or bedding plants is a fun way to decorate the garden. It's also a great way to remind you what you have planted, and where. This comes in handy when weeding, collecting seeds, sharing plants with friends, and garden care.
Watering- Plants cannot live without water. Some plants need more water than others. Sometimes natural watering from the rain is not enough. When there hasn't been enough rain you must water your flowers. A sprinkler, or watering can is a good way to water plants. The gentler the watering is, the better. Try not to soak plant leaves or flowers. Water at the base of the plant, which is known as the root zone. Sometimes during very dry, hot days a garden might need to be watered daily, or even twice a day; depending on your climate. Watering in the evening is best. Remember seedlings and newly planted flowers need a good supply of water. Only water plants when they need it. Watch for dry cracked soil or wilted leaves, and drooping plants. These are a sure sign that a plant is in need of watering.
Weeding the weeds out of your garden A good way to describe a weed is to call a plant that is growing where you don't want it to, a weed. When weeds grow in your garden they can take water, sun, and nutrients away from the flowers you have planted in your garden. Deciding what is a weed and whats not a weed can be hard. If you have labeled your seedlings and flowers in the garden with plant signs this will make weeding a lot easier. So if a 'plant' pops up in your newly planted and labeled flower garden where you did not plant it yourself, it is most likely a weed. It is a good idea to wear garden gloves when weeding the garden. Some weeds can be very prickly! When pulling out the weed from the soil try to get the whole root out. If some of the root is still left in the soil, the weed can grow back again. You want to pull out weeds when they are young, and before they go to seed. This way they will not have a chance to reseed in your garden making more weeds, and more work. Some 'weeds' can actually be a seedling from a plant you have planted in your garden. These seedlings can be dug up and transplanted in a spot where you would want them to grow. Or you could share them with a friend or neighbor.
Mulching- Mulch is a protective covering of material placed on the soil. It is a good way to help keep weeds from growing in your garden. Mulch also can help keep moisture in the soil, keep plant roots warm in the spring and fall, or cool in the summer. Mulch is made from organic or inorganic material. Organic material is made from any decomposed plants or animals. An example of inorganic material is a layer of stones on the soil, or some gardeners use plastic coverings. An organic mulch can give plants nutrients, and improve the soil. Organic mulch is made from organic plant material. Examples of some easy organic mulches are hay, wood chips, and leaves or grass clippings. Some of these you might already have in your yard to use. You can place mulch in the garden in late spring or autumn. Soil should be wet. Make sure all unwanted plants and weeds are pulled out first. Spread the mulch about 2 inches deep. Be careful not to cover your seedlings, and leave some space uncovered around the stems of your plants. You may need to add more mulch each growing season.