Top Tips for Beginner Gardeners
Gardening is a hobby that pretty much everyone can enjoy, from the young to the old and it’s even an accessible hobby for most people with disabilities. It gets you outside, keeps you active, broadens your knowledge and makes you generally more aware of what’s going on in your garden.
However, if you’re completely new to gardening, it can be difficult to know where to begin. With that in mind, here are some tip tips to get you started.
Understand the Different Times of the Year
Before you start you should know what to do and when. Spring is prime time for digging and growing, whilst summer time will see you watering and weeding. Autumn is a good time for planting trees, shrubs and bulbs. Pruning is also important for some plants and trees, and this is the best pruning guide we’ve come across recently, which should help you immeasurably.
Prepare and Improve the Soil
You can’t just dive right in and start planting; you need to prepare the soil first. You can dig it out to clear it or you can lay down some newspaper and cover it with compost and soil (the newspaper will then decompose). To give the soil a bit of a boost, try use some organic matter such as compost, decayed leaves or manure mixed in with the soil to help the plants get the nutrients they need. You may want to do a soil test to check out how good your soil actually is.
Pick Your Plants
Not you need to decide what you want to plant. Perhaps you have a particular favorite type of flower you want to plant, or maybe you’re totally open to ideas. Either way, you need to work out what flowers work best in what circumstances, based on factors such as how much light they’ll get, temperature, access to water, time of the year, etc. Better Homes and Gardens has a superb plant encyclopaedia to help you with such matters.
Know How Much to Water
As you probably know, water is one of the most important things for plants, so it’s vital to know how much to give them. Seedlings need regular watering to stop them drying out, whilst new transplants also need regular watering (every other day) until their roots are established. You then need to judge how much water they’re getting based on rainfall and humidity. In terms of actually how to water, do it slowly but for a sustained period so that they get plenty but it doesn’t run off and away from the plant.
Using mulch around your plants will help keep the water in and will help guard against weeds that will not only look nasty but will also compete for water and nutrients. There are various different types of mulch available, although bark chippings are popular, and are available from any garden center.
One of the most important tips is to keep it up! If you are half-hearted about the whole thing then you won’t see results but if you put in plenty of care and attention then you’ll reap the rewards.