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Seven tips for growing a thriving garden

Growing and maintaining a thriving garden can both enhance the curb appeal of your home and help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. And now that summer is in full swing, we asked our followers on Facebook and Instagram to share their top gardening tips to help you plan out a beautiful garden of your own.

Gardening tip 1: Start with a colour in mind.

Planning your garden around a colour scheme can help you decide what to plant and how to lay your yard out. 

“I do a lot of container gardening,” Sabrina Tardi shared on Facebook. “I always start either with a colour in mind or one plant that I love and build from there.”

Gardening tip 2: Kitchen scraps often make great natural fertilizers.  

One useful tip that people shared with us is that using leftover scraps and peelings from the kitchen in your garden can be a good substitute for more expensive commercial fertilizers.

“Banana peels are full of potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium – nutrients that plants need,” Roxana Reid (@roxanareid) shared on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Sean Ash (@adiehardjetsfan) said on Instagram that he uses “coffee grinds, eggshells and mulch” to “beef up” the soil of his vegetable garden.

“It seems to make the tomatoes happy,” Ash said.

Gardening tip 3: Fertilize your garden after it rains.

Using fertilizer can help ensure that your plants are well-fed with vital nutrients, so it pays to know when the best time is to fertilize your garden.

One tip from @mustbegiven is to fertilize your garden a few days after it rains.

“My tip is to fertilize shortly after a super heavy rain as it will have probably washed away your fertilizer,” @mustbegiven said on Instagram.

Gardening tip 4: Onions around your plants can help keep pests out.

Spreading onions around your plants can help keep small rodents away from your garden, according to Katherine Moore (@kmmama0110).

“Want to keep mice and rabbits from eating your veggies in your garden? Plant an onion in your garden or cut up an onion and spread it around your veggies,” Moore shared on Instagram. “Mice and rabbits dislike onions!”

Gardening tip 5: Try growing native plants in your garden.

Plants that are native to your region are generally more resilient and easier to maintain because they are already well-suited to your local conditions.

“Try to incorporate native plants in your garden,” Sue Murray shared on Facebook. “They thrive in favourable conditions.”

“Native species of plants are often better adapted to growing in your region than plants from other places in the world,” @bikerchic709 shared on Instagram. “They also are better for local pollinators that evolved with them.”

Garden tip 6: Avoid overcrowding your plants.

Having plants too close together can impact the growth of their root system, which in turn may result in problems such as stunted growth and disappointing harvests in the case of vegetable gardens. 

“We can get excited and ambitious with our plans but overdoing it can cause your plants not to thrive if they do not have enough room,” @life.outnumbered said on Instagram. “Focus on what plants you really want to grow, the bread and butter.”

And if you find yourself running out of yard space, @gofforever shared on Instagram that many vegetable plants can actually be grown vertically.

“This makes them easier to pick and saves space,” @gofforever said.

Garden tip 7: Keep at it!

While growing a beautiful garden is a long-term commitment, many followers said that you should not be discouraged if the results come up short of what you expected.

“I guess that is my tip: If you enjoy gardening then keep at it!” shared @coming_up_candace on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Jay Nelson added on Facebook that just because your garden isn’t perfect “doesn’t mean you are not a gardener.”

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Photos by (from left): Roxana Reid (@roxanareid), Laurie Keindel (@crazychicktwo) and @gofforever

And congratulations to Roxana Reid (@roxanareid), Laurie Keindel (@crazychicktwo) and @gofforever for showing off their gardens to win first, second and third prize, respectively, in our #HomeTrustGardenContest!

The information, materials and opinions contained in this Blog are provided for our information only. This Blog does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice and you should not rely on it as an alternative to specific advice based on your particular circumstance. This Blog contains links to third party websites. These links are provided for information and convenience; Home Trust does not endorse the content of any third party website, and it makes no representation or warranty as to the information on such third party sites. By clicking on any link to a third party site, you leave Home Trust’s website and do so at your own risk. Home Trust disclaims all liability for any damage or loss that results from your access to or reliance on information contained in this Blog or any third party site.

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