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Your garden maintenance checklist

Keep your garden in top shape with these essential maintenance tips

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Last updated on August 21, 2023

Have you finally set up your dream garden? Congratulations! But now, onto the hard part. Keeping your garden or backyard in top shape can feel daunting—to the point of letting things go unattended for a month or two. To help you out, here’s a garden maintenance checklist that breaks down the process into actionable steps.

What should be on your garden maintenance checklist?

Garden maintenance checklist

Check for garden pests 

Inspecting your plants for pests should be on your daily maintenance checklist. You can opt for DIY insect control solutions in cases of small-scale pest problems. Otherwise, you can hire a garden pest control service to get rid of garden pests.

Tip: Different kinds of pests can appear or grow in your plants. Some pests will leave eggs on the stems or flowers and eat the roots of your shrubs. Other pests like cutworms will even chew their way through the stems.

Weed your garden 

Some weeds are long and easy to spot, especially if you haven’t weeded your garden. But others are small and difficult to see if they hide under the plants. Some weeds also sneakily look just like the plants they’re growing next to. Depending on the type of weed, they steal water and nutrients from your plants. 

Tip: To stop weed growth, spread a layer of mulch to smother existing weeds of light and air. You can also pull the weeds from the roots and leave them out in the sun so they don’t take root elsewhere.

Isolate or remove sick plants

If you find some parts of your garden are infected, do two things: quarantine the affected plant with a clear plastic or glass cover to keep it from spreading disease, or remove the sick plant to prevent it from infecting the rest of your garden.

Checking the soil’s moisture

Overwatering your garden can hurt or kill your plants. Use your fingers to feel the earth to about a few inches deep. Water the soil if it feels dry. But there’s no need if the soil feels too wet.

Clear out fallen branches, leaves, and other debris

Debris can appear at any time. If you want to keep your garden spick and span, always remove dead plants and fallen leaves and branches. Clean out your garden, especially after strong winds or a storm. You can gather the debris into a compost pile. However, make sure to remove plants that died due to disease, as these can infect your garden.

Prune and trim your plants regularly

Trimming your bushes or shrubs is an essential garden maintenance task. Your greenery can turn into an unruly jungle if you leave it be for a few months. Regular trimming and pruning not only keep your garden tidy but also uncover pests and weeds that could be hiding.

a man weeding the garden

Garden maintenance tool list

You’ll need the following tools to tidy up your garden. You don’t need to have all these tools. But with just the basics, you can make your garden look nice on a budget. 

Hand trowel - A small shovel you can use with one hand. Its pointed tip makes it easy to move seedlings or small flowers, repot plants, and remove plants infected by pests.

Soil knife - Also known as a hori hori knife or weeding knife, you can use this tool for digging, cutting foliage, and weeding, as the steel blade is sharp on both sides.

Pruning shears - Strong enough to cut through hard branches and shrubs up to two centimetres thick

Lopper - The big sister of pruning shears. It has long handles to make cutting easier if the branch or foliage is too deep inside a tree or bush.

Garden rake - For scooping or scraping out garden debris and fallen leaves

Garden hoe - To remove weeds 

Garden hose - Lets you easily water your garden without lugging around a bucket of water 

Garden gloves - Keep your hands clean and protect them from sharp branches, dead plants, and pests

Stay on top of your garden maintenance checklist 

Garden maintenance can be a lot of work, but all your effort will be worth it. With proper maintenance and the right tools, you’ll have a tidy, healthy, and beautiful garden. And, of course, you don’t have to do it all yourself! You can always hire garden maintenance services or professional gardeners for complex gardening tasks.

☞ Learn more: Gardening basics

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Winter can be tough on gardens, so cleaning your garden during spring the best time to get your garden back in shape. 

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