4 Telltale Signs You’re Losing Control Of Your Garden
In the beginning, you couldn’t imagine anything better than an afternoon spent in the garden. It was your pride and joy; nothing made you happier than being able to put your hands in the earth and coax something into growth. You are the produce you grew from nothing and marveled at the beautiful flowers that your efforts had brought into being.
Over time, however, many gardeners experience the beginnings of a slip – of signs that they aren’t quite as dedicated as they once thought. There’s many reasons this can happen, but the most predominant is usually a lack of time. Life changes, family situations happen, and you can suddenly find yourself struggling to keep up with even the most basic chores when it comes to garden maintenance.
It can be difficult to admit that you have lost control of your garden, especially if you previously took joy in everything it had to offer. However, there are always a few signs that your garden is getting away from you. As well as examining these, let’s try and be helpful and come up with some suggests of the best ways to find remedies – so once again your garden can be an aspect of your life that delights you.
- You’re Not Sure What’s Growing
If there was once a time when you could have named off the top of your head every plant you had growing, then that’s a sign that you were a dedicated gardener. How would you do nowadays? If someone walked into your garden and asked you to name every flower, would you be able to do it? Would you be able to remember planting them – or are they all blending into one, to the point you can’t remember which is which or how long you have had them?
Give yourself half a day to go through everything that you’re growing and familiarize yourself with it. If there is anything that you don’t recognize, you can take a photo of it and ask online gardening forums for their opinions.
- There Are Insidious Signs Of Overgrowth
You will usually notice if the signs of overgrowth are obvious. Insidious overgrowth, on the other hand, is just that – insidious. It’s found in the shoots of weeds around your hardscaping features – such as your patio or stepping stones. It’s in the shoots of stray grass outside of the dividers of your raised beds. Or it is in the corner of the lawn where the mower didn’t fit and you didn’t take the time to strim – resulting in strange, patchy overgrowth. These might sound like small fry, but they are actually indicative of a general lack of time to focus on the details. They can make a garden look messy and somehow unfinished.
If you have gone to the effort of installing features in your garden such as patios, water sculptures and other forms of hardscapes, then it seems a real shame for them to be let down by a few messy edges. Blitzing all of the aforementioned problems in one go is perhaps the best way to deal with the issue; get it all done, then start afresh with a clean palette. It might take awhile, but it’s the only way to really bring a sense of order back to your garden.
- You’re Not Trying Anything New
Very few passionate and devoted gardeners will grow the same things year after year. There’s a certain beauty in taking a single plant variety and turning it into a specialty of yours, but if your entire garden is a remix of another year, then it could be a sign of a loss of focus.
If you’ve not tried anything new for awhile, then you have to be honest with yourself. Is that happening because you’re just satisfied with growing the same plants, seeking to perfect rather than experiment? Or are you sticking to the same tried and tested plants because you know how to handle them?
If you have been short on time and thus defaulting to the same selection of plants, then the answer is simple: do something different. There’s a good chance that if you have been repeating the same patterns year after year, you’re in dire need of a shakeup of what you can get from your garden.You could experiment with organic gardening techniques or turn your attention to the more unusual forms of fruit and vegetables that you can grow.
- The War On Weeds Shows No Signs Of Ending
A well-tended garden is as likely to have weeds as one that is left to fall into disrepair, but that doesn’t mean they will be quite so obvious. Excess weed growth and the battle to control it is a sign you’re not really in control of what’s happening in your garden. Instead, you are constantly firefighting; yanking up the existing weeds when you have a moment, only to see them reappear by the time you next have the chance to spend an afternoon in the garden. It’s upsetting and incredibly demoralizing to see this happening time and again.
It’s a sign that you haven’t been practicing proper weed control techniques, such as using landscaping fabric or getting rid of weeds before they have a chance to spread and pollinate. If you spend more time weed busting than you do focusing on what you’re trying to grow, then it’s a sign that you’re no longer the master of your gardening fate.
Get rid of all of the existing weeds in one fell swoop, using whatever method you find the most effective. Unfortunately, the only fix from that point onwards is to focus on honing your weed control techniques. Try and get into the garden every couple of days; this kind of regularity is necessary given how fast some common garden weeds can grow. Even if you only pull up a few stalks at a time, it’s at least preventing the reproductive cycle – and thus the spread of more weeds – from establishing.
Wrestling back control of your garden might be time-consuming, but you’ve been a devoted gardener once before. Why not make this summer the one where you relearn old habits and get your greenthumbed groove back?