We've already talked a lot about the inside of your home, but what about the outside? Although gardening may seem like foreign territory to many in India, it's actually surprisingly easy to get started with DIY in your own Indian home’s yards.
To make things a little easier and to give you some basic knowledge to go on, we've rounded up 25 helpful tips for DIY gardeners that you can put into practice. Good luck!
- Make sure you plan in advance to ensure you have the time to grow everything you'd like to feature in your garden. Otherwise, you'll have nothing but tiny sprouts – probably not the blooming look you were going for.
- Ensure you're using good quality soil to ensure your flowers and plants are more likely to thrive. Remember, its balance, water capacity and texture is important and can vary depending on what you're looking to grow.
- When planting seeds, be sure to read the packets before throwing them into the soil. The instructions will tell you how deep to plant them, how far apart, as well as the best time of year for your desired growth.
- Once you've chosen a favourite flower for your garden, save on time and money by buying them in multi-pack planters, ready to fit into your soil.
- Be careful when buying plants. Be sure that they haven't already dried out or are showing signs of dying in their prime. To ensure good growth, you'll need to start with a healthy plant.
- In the summer, use summer bulbs that are prone to growing quickly. It's the ideal way to take the DIY approach to a more colourful outdoor space.
- Although you may be eager to get started on your garden, take your time and avoid planting too early in the year. No matter how tempting it is, it's better to wait until temperatures have settled and you know the climate is appropriate for what you're trying to grow.
- If you've noticed your plants are growing a little too close together, don't be afraid to pull some up out of the ground. Giving plants the space they need is essential to ensure they grow to their optimal size.
- Don't get bored of your perennials. Simply switch them up to create new combinations or add colour to different parts of your garden.
- Use plant pots for added convenience. They're simple, can hold a variety of plants and can be moved anywhere you choose. They're also a great way to add colour to a patio or other paved or concrete area.
- When your plants start to get a little on the tall side, consider using wire supports to stop them wilting, breaking or sprawling. It will help to keep them under control and looking their best.
- Don't shy away from using sculptures or ornaments in your garden to add depth and interest to its look. You could try a bird bath or house, a sundial, a small pond, a water feature, a decorative bench, or something else entirely. Let your imagination run wild.
- Use strong shapes and colours to create bold imagery in your garden and make it look like more of a 'statement' garden right out of a home magazine.
- If you have plants that are sensitive to the weather, ensure you have the correct means to protect them. This could be a foldable nook to cover them at night, or even a fully functional greenhouse.
- Ensure you know exactly how much water each plant needs. They're not all equal and some may need more than others to stay healthy.
- Another good point when it comes to water is to remember to always turn off your tap, hose or sprinkler. Not only is it a waste of water if you leave it on, you'll also be putting your plants at risk of drowning.
- Plants need food as well as water, so try giving them a pre-made plant food that will ensure the best nutrition for their health and growth. This will make them more likely to last for longer and stay looking their best.
- Decide whether you're going to do a 'matchy' continued look by using similar colours, or a random approach with a flurry of different shades. Either way can work, it just depends on your personality and the look of your home.
- Try something new and unpredictable. Visit your local plant shop or gardening centre and choose something you've never heard of. It will add an interesting focal point to your garden.
- Remember to take care of weeds in your garden by removing them in good time. Alternatively, cut the tops off recurring weeds to ensure they don't seed.
- Ensure grass doesn't start to grow into your flower beds by setting up little fences or rows of stones as protection.
- Cut off any dying blooms to ensure the overall look is still fresh, full of life and presentable.
- Even if you don't have the space to grow your own fruits and vegetables, you can still grow small vines of tomatoes, strawberries or similar small fruits in a planter.
- Manure mixed with water makes an excellent fertiliser for plants. You'll be able to source this from a local farm or stable at a low-cost, or even free.
- Create an eclectic mix by adding a little of everything to your garden – flowers, shrubs, trees, herbs, vegetables.. you name it!
Now you know these 25 tips and tricks to help you along the way, it's time to get started and see what you can do in your garden.