When we evaluate the cost of gardening, we tend to look at one thing: the price of the plants.  However; it takes much more than flowers to make a beautiful garden grow and it usually involves a cost. Stunning gardens need to be nurtured. Don’t undervalue the benefit of having the right products and tools, like landscape fabric, quality soil, mulch and fertilizers. These essential products will not only help keep your garden thriving, but will save time, money and energy in both weeding and replanting in the long run.

The Right Start

To keep your garden thriving, you first need nutrient rich soil. Each year, the humus (organic component of soil) becomes depleted of the minerals that give plants the energy that they need to thrive. These minerals help build a strong root system and provide the energy needed to keep those flowers blooming. For optimal growth, soil should be an annual investment. 

If planting in containers, remember you are starting with nothing. Potting and container soils are specifically designed to give your container plants a strong foundation. These lighter soils are often enhanced with minerals, vermiculite and perlite giving the roots a bit of a boost while keeping in the moisture.

More than a Pretty Product 

The foundation for any beautiful garden is the flowers and shrubs: But price should not be the only factor when selecting flowers! Instead, invest the time researching which plants are right for both your lifestyle and for the gardening area. Look at lighting, soil conditions and maintenance needs, before investing in that final product.

When choosing your spring plants, don’t choose solely on colour. Look for products with new growth, a strong, healthy root system and green leaves. If a product is “marked down”, be cautious. These plants may be marked down for a reason and are best left for individuals who have both the time and the expertise to bring those flailing plants back to life.

Finishing Touches

When creating your final canvas, keep weed prevention at top of mind. Weeds are not only an eyesore, but can strip minerals from the plants. The end result: thriving weeds and sick plants. However; weeding is both time consuming and labour intensive, making it challenging for even the most avid gardener to keep up. To prevent weeds, seasoned gardeners invest the time and incorporate landscape fabric, edging and mulch as part of their spring maintenance plan.

However; not everyone has the time and money to revamp and maintain their entire garden throughout the season. For those individuals, products like the Garden Halo™ provide a simpler solution to a weed free garden. This ring can be placed right in your garden, eliminating landscape fabric and labour intensive digging and weeding.

Pricing out the true cost of gardening is far from a simple formula. Gardeners should take a hard look at both the labor involved in planting and the time spent on regular maintenance. Putting a strong weed prevention strategy in place, like the Quick Garden System™, will save you time, labour and money!

Anne-Marie Hardie is a freelance writer/speaker from Barrie, Ontario, and part of the third generation of the family-owned garden center/wholesale business Bradford Greenhouses in Barrie/Bradford, Ontario.

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