I went to a gardening class (so I can be more successful gardener) at Engh Gardens to teach us the 5 essential steps to good gardening. I learned a lot, and saw some great inspiration. Their pots (already planted and ready for purchase) are beautiful and creative. It’s no wonder I made a purchase before I left that evening. I felt as though each plant was talking to me! “Plant me! Plant me!”
Now each and every “step” is the most important according to Darren Engh. You have to do all of them, and not just plant and forget. These plants need to be taken care of, but if you do so regularly, it will be almost effortless.
1. Prepare your soil. Your soil should be soft and light enough that you can stick your hand in, fingers straitened up to your thumb. Does that make sense? Use peat moss to loosen up your clay soil, working it together with a shovel or a garden fork. This is the first step, because your flowers have been growing at the nursery in very lite soil. You must keep your soil light so the flowers will continue to grow happily.
2. Good plant selection. It is best to have an annuals (plants that complete their entire life cycle in one year) and perennials (a plant that lives for more than 2 years) in your gardens and containers. This allows colors to be bright and vibrant all year long. Don’t be afraid to mix colors and varieties, giving the garden depth and creativity.
3. Water your plants. When you plant flowers, or vegetables, you will need to deep water for 1-2 weeks to help the plant become established. It is hard when the flowers are transplanted, they can go into shock. Best time to water is early morning. And while you are planting, stop every 1/2 hour to give the flowers and plants a good soak.
4. Fertilize your plants. Using the common liquid fertilizer 2-3 times per season doesn’t cut it. You have to use it 1-2 times per week, or you are just wasting your money. For large flowers, foliage and fruits and veggies, use a high phosphorus fertilizer. (The middle # on the fertilizer package- use higher than 15.)
5. Maintain. Weeding, pest control, fertilizing. If you spend a little time each week, your plants will thrive. If your garden is full of weeds, your plants and vegetables will be starved of necessary nutrients and flavor.
For more information on gardening classes, call Engh Gardens at 801-748-0102 or visit www.enghgardens.com..