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Low-maintenance gardens: the 10 best tips and tricks

Who doesn't dream of a garden that does little work and is so easy to maintain that there is enough time to just relax? In order for this dream to come true, the right preparation is the be-all and end-all. If you pay attention to a few important points, you save additional effort later and have more enjoyment in the garden and enough time to enjoy it in the long term. If you observe these ten basic principles for an easy-care garden, nothing stands in the way of your personal recreational space.

Easy-care garden: the 10 best tips at a glance
  1. Pay attention to the quality of the plants
  2. Choose approved ADR roses
  3. Use evergreen trees
  4. Lay out weed control
  5. Pay attention to the planting distance
  6. Prepare the soil properly
  7. Maintain tools
  8. Mulching gaps
  9. Choose the correct planting depth
  10. Promote water quality in the pond

1. Pay attention to the quality of the plants

Strong, vital plants are the be-all and end-all and a basic requirement for healthy growth and that you can enjoy them for many years. That is why it is important to pay attention to healthy shoots and strong leaf color as well as evenly rooted pot balls without root felt when buying. Stay away from injured plants such as trees with kinked main shoots. In addition to the quality of the plants, a selection that is appropriate to the location is also relevant - because only plants that are adapted to local conditions will prove themselves in the long term.

2. Select tested ADR roses

No garden without roses is the credo of many garden lovers. But the hobby gardener is quickly overwhelmed with the large selection, as the new rose should not only be beautiful and richly blooming, but also robust and resistant to leaf diseases. A reliable seal of approval for all these properties is the ADR label, which only excellent roses are allowed to carry. It is awarded by the General German Rose Novelty Test (ADR), which tests roses at eleven locations in Germany. More information: www.adr-rose.de.

3. Use evergreen trees

For year-round accents in the garden, evergreen trees are a good choice. Slow-growing, small varieties that rarely require pruning are particularly suitable. We recommend, for example, the hardy dwarf sickle fir (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’) with a spherical growth that does not exceed 1.50 meters. The small mussel cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’) is also interesting in terms of growth. The cypress juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’) impresses with its slender columnar shape.

4. Lay out weed control

No more weeds? If you want to save yourself the hassle of weeding, you can lay out breathable, water-permeable weed fleece on the prepared bed area and cut it to size. Now distribute the plants, cut a cross in the fleece at the desired planting points with the knife and then insert them one after the other. When all plants are in the ground, the bed is covered with a five to ten centimeter thick layer of mulch. This can consist of gravel or decorative grit. It protects the film from direct sunlight and also looks decorative.

A fleece installed before planting saves the need to weed annoying weeds later

5. Pay attention to the planting distance

So that perennials do not push or displace each other in the bed over the years, it is important to ensure that there is sufficient spacing when planting. Therefore, first lay out plants on the prepared area, placing tall species in the background and bringing low ones to the front. Any reallocations are now also possible. Orientate the distance to the final plant size, not to the young plant in the pot - an additional distance marking with fine sand can be helpful.

6. Prepare the soil properly

Thorough soil preparation before planting makes it easier for the plants to grow. First loosen the soil roughly with a cultivator. Thoroughly remove deep-rooted weeds, then level the bed with a rake. Depending on the type of soil, soil improvement is advisable. Sandy soils can be upgraded with clay powder (bentonite) (add a maximum of one kilogram of clay powder to one square meter). Incorporate deciduous compost and sand into loamy soils. Supply normal garden soils with organic fertilizers such as horn shavings.

7. Maintain tools

High-quality tools are a guarantee of long-term durability, because cheap ones are often bought twice. And who wants to change their tools every season? No matter how often spades, rakes, etc. are in use - after each use they should be thoroughly brushed off and dirt removed. Rusty spots on metal are treated with steel wool until it shines again; then rub with oil. Wooden handles and handles also benefit from regular oil treatment. The general rule is: Always store tools in a dry place.

8. Mulch gaps

Everyone is talking about mulching, but what exactly does that mean? Organic materials such as compost, chopped bark and coconut fiber, which are five to eight centimeters thick, are suitable as mulch for ornamental plants. The mulch layer suppresses germinating weed seeds, keeps the roots cool in summer and warm in winter. It also reduces evaporation and keeps the soil moist. Over time it decomposes and is renewed every two years; the best time is autumn or spring. Because mulch removes valuable nitrogen from the soil, nitrogen fertilizers should be applied beforehand.

9. Choose the correct planting depth

The following applies to trees and shrubs: The planting hole should be about one and a half to twice as wide as the root ball. The ball of the pot for container goods should be so low that the top edge of the ball is flush with the surrounding soil. The same goes for perennials. Roses, however, are set so deep that the grafting point is at least five centimeters below the ground level. The best planting times are autumn and spring - cloudy, not too warm days and damp weather are ideal.

10. Promote water quality in the pond

Every body of water needs some maintenance. The effort depends not only on the size but also on the content. Aquatic plants such as cattails and water lilies promote good water quality in the garden pond, algae are a natural by-product that occurs to a certain extent over time. But residents such as fish and their excretions increase the nutrient content in the water and stimulate algae growth. So if you attach great importance to clear water, you should do without it.