If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that gardening is one of my passions. However, you will also know that when we were in the process of house buying this was, unfortunately, the one area that we had to compromise on due to house prices and even though we have now lived in our new build for 6 years, I am still working hard on the garden in order to mature it and to give it that homely feel. For me, the garden is an extension of your home and it deserves just as much attention as the house does. I have such fond memories of playing in the garden as a child with one of the best parts being that we had an apple tree. We had hours of fun climbing it, hanging a rope from it to swing on and collecting the cooking apples for my Nan to make crumbles with. I don’t think you need to have a garden full of toys, you just need children with a good imagination. I also believe that it is very important to get kids into gardening too, even in simple ways such as watering, growing strawberries or just by having a place where they can happily dig and play.
When we moved into the house the garden was looking a bit worse for wear with a tired lawn, poor quality soil which wasn’t helping any of the plants/shrubs and there wasn’t anything that I could say gave you that feel-good factor when you were out there. I have discovered that choosing the right plants can take time if you are an amateur gardener and I can admit that I have made a few mistakes with my choices over the years, mainly by purchasing flowers that are only seasonal. By doing careful research I feel that I can now begin to feel happier with my garden on the whole but I would still love to add a tree to give it that mature feel.
Our garden began quite simple but has grown over the years which you can see is a huge improvement
The garden is slowly getting there so now I am looking into the type of tree I could plant as it turns out that Autumn and Winter can be the best time to bed one in. Other areas to consider are the soil types in the garden (in our case it is pretty poor. After the houses were built a lot of the rubble was used in the garden areas to level the ground out which has taken years of us sorting and digging and replacing to improve it), drainage, positioning (thinking about shade and sunlight) and of course the space available– you don’t want an oversized tree in a small spot. Then the equipment needed will also need to be looked into. Tree guards may be required to prevent damage to the trunk– I have a cat so his claws could be an issue but if you live in a more rural area rabbits and deer can be serious problems. Tree supports and weed guards are also both very useful items to be considered.
Once all of this has been decided you can get on and plant your chosen tree. Definitely get the children involved in this, it is so important to have them outside and learning about these things. Their little minds just absorb everything that is going on and it’s the best time to learn about gardening.
Here are some easy steps to get your tree planted:
- Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the tree roots. You don’t want to compact it into a small area where it won’t have the opportunity to grow.
- Check the size by placing the tree in. You want the top of the tree base level with your hole. Anything higher will increase the chance of your tree being pushed up and out of the ground as the roots grow.
- The width should ideally be twice the size of the tree base.
- When you are ready to plant, tease the roots a little with your hand. This will release them after being in a pot and encourage it to take better in the ground.
- Once the tree is in the ground turn it to the position you want. Take into consideration the plants around you or fences.
- Begin to fill your hole with your chosen soil/compost. Press down slightly as you go to keep it in a good position.
- Adding a layer of mulch on top will help to prevent weeds and reduce water loss.
- Add you stake for support and loosely tie. Your tree needs the give to be able to grow, if you tie it too tightly it may affect the positioning and could result in the trunk growing into or around the support.
- Add your tree guard if required.
- Water well.
You will need to research pruning, tree care, removing flowers, picking fruit etc. but once you have this information you will be able to help your new tree flourish and grow.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.