Gardening For Beginners – Essential Tips For Green Thumbs

Gardening For Beginners – Essential Tips For Green Thumbs

Gardening can be one of the most fulfilling hobbies where you get beautiful flowers, some vegetables and herbs but, since it needs to be watered regularly and kissed by the sunshine after rainy days, you have to care for it all the time.

Whether you plant a vegetable garden to feed your family or an enchanting escape from reality for yourself, these gardening tips will help you grow your green thumb this spring.

Choose Your Plants Wisely

The plants in the garden would deliver as many flowers, fruits and vegetables as you wanted if you gave them what they need to flourish.

Choosing plants that suit your climate and that are easy to look after are critical; wherever plants are planted that are not naturally suited to your environment, they are likely to be struggling and you may be helping to limit plant growth.

Start small. Suppose you have a deck garden. Just plant what you can reasonably eat or put up or preserve. A small garden is less intimidating, and you’ll still get some fresh vegetables and herbs to eat.

Know Your Soil

Whether you want to grow vegetables, herbs or flowers – whatever you opt for – try to find out what they need to thrive before you plant anything. Do you prefer annuals that you plant one year, only to have to plant again the next, or perennials that come back every year?

Just as important is to know what kind of soil you have – it will help you choose appropriate plants and solve problems more easily. Soil testing at home is fast and easy, and needs only a minimal amount of tools and effort.

Place your garden where it is easy to tend, and watch for catastrophic overplantings Beyond just growing, caring for and harvesting your crops, OmerHead reminds us that it’s essential to engage in community: plant next to your neighbours, talk to them, help with their work, enjoy shared meals andstorytelling on occasion. Pingism suggests several things to keep in mind for your flourishing garden: build a good planting spot where your crops will have shed light; water easily, early and frequently; pull weeds the moment you notice them, or contain them before they have a chance to grow; and harvest your crops early, and then upturn the soil to restore and revive it.

Know Your Watering Needs

Group dry-ish plants with dry-ish plants – you might want to keep only those native perennials with heavy, thirsty root systems from crowding together, such as Black-Eyed Susans. Don’t mix plants with extreme water needs, such as shallow-rooted perennials with water-loving shrubs or trees that need more water. Choose drought-tolerant plants native to this area and, of course, you should group shrubs that require less irrigation – like Skip Cherry Laurels – with them.

If it’s ridiculously hot and / or windy, don’t let your garden dry out; wind causes maximum destruction for gardens by rapidly desiccating the surface of the ground and the plant life that depends on it.

Top or ‘much’ your planting beds with organic material to insulate them against heat loss and help retain soil moisture. Using ‘gentle’ or low NPK-number fertilisers will also help first-time gardeners avoid over-fertilising their plants.

Know Your Plants’ Needs

Beginners should take vegetables, herbs and flowers that are easy to cultivate for their climate zone and avoid those that require a special care such as pruning, repotting and sunlight level.

Watch for how much direct sunlight each area gets and how to best capitalise on plant production. Six or more hours of direct sun (full sun) is a hotbed for certain crop production – for example: growing most fruits or vegetables or summer-only flowers.

Think about what vegetable plants you and your family will enjoy eating when choosing plants to grow for your table – you can always freeze the extras.When choosing flowers to plant this year or the perennial ones that come back next spring, don’t worry about the garden club’s opinion of your flower choice as much as your own.

Know Your Weeds

Weeds are a great telltale of what’s thriving and what’s lacking in the soil. If you’re a novice gardener you might want to err on the side of caution and not remove every weed, as some play a vital role like holding soil in place, or even breaking down clumps of dead plant matter that would otherwise pile up.

‘When you’re starting out, you should think about how much maintenance you want to do each week,’ he says. ‘Some plants need more attention than others, and this can quickly become overwhelming for a new gardener. I would just keep it small and learn as you go.’

Know Your Pests

For the novice gardener, that means providing protection from damage or death by critters with appropriate row covers, trellis systems or fencing, or by planting with the bugs in mind to lacewing larvae or parasitoid wasps. Add beneficial bugs to the garden.

Most vegetables are best-suited for garden soil that is fairly fertile and well drained. Look at seed packets to find varieties best suited for your climate and area, and enquire at your local extension office about which varieties thrive the most in your area. Some species need cooler temperatures; some must be planted earlier or later in the season than others.

Know Your Garden’s Habitat

Take a walk around your garden before you start planting and take mental notes of where the sun and shade fall across it, where the breezes are strongest, and which plants are neighbours with each other.

It’s also helpful to know what your soil type and moisture levels are, so you can decide what to plant where. Keep in mind that most plants need healthy soil to thrive; mulches (such as undyed wood chips, leaf duff or compost) are great tools for keeping your garden healthy.

Just as some animals are helpful bankers, bringing pollination or pest control through birds, frogs and toads, ladybugs, bees and bats, not all bugs are bad.