Gardening Advice For Beginners
Gardening can be a worthwhile and productive hobby, but getting started is sometimes the hardest part. Many people aren’t quite sure what to do to get started or have concerns over the space they have for a garden. Whatever your concerns, there are many tips and tricks to help you feel more confident in achieving your gardening dreams.
Below, a few experienced green thumbs have shared some of their best tips for ensuring your first venture into gardening is positive and enjoyable.
1. Planning Makes Perfect
Of course, researching what you’d like to grow is essential. Are you growing fruits and veggies? Flowers? Tropical plants? Consider whether you’ve chosen items that will be compatible to grow in the same garden, as well.
Even after that has been decided, there’s still much to decide. Taking into account the needs of each plant, it’s now time to analyze the proposed gardening space to determine if it gets enough sunshine and rainfall. Be sure the area doesn’t get too much of one or the other, as well. This is also the time to discover if the soil is up to the task, or if you’ll have to supplement it with store bought soil with higher nutrient concentrations.
2. Don’t Plant It All At Once
By separating the garden into thirds and planting one third at a time, you can ensure a steady supply of fully grown crops. This is especially beneficial in growing fresh produce.
3. Don’t Overdo It
You may be getting into gardening with the idea of selling off your products at the local farmer’s market. If that’s the case, go wild. Otherwise, it’s recommended that you just plant a few plants for your first year. See how they grow, if it’s enough for your needs, and how the harvesting goes. You can always increase, during the next planting cycle.
4. Keep A Gardening Journal
For this, you can use a regular composition notebook or you can get creative with a scrapbook kit. The first things to put in your gardening journal are the plant tags and sticks from each planting season. You can add notes and comments, as well. As time goes by, you’ll have a collection of advice on how to best grow your favorite fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
5. Make Shoveling A Snap
Shoveling may very well be the most grueling aspect of gardening. While this can never be avoided, there are ways to make it an easier task. For instance, spray the shovel with a silicon based lubricant. This will help soil fall off the shovel with greater ease.
6. Lighten The Weight Of Potted Plants
Fill the bottom half of a pot with packing Styrofoam to lighten the weight and top it with landscape fabric, before filling the rest with soil. A soil mixture that contains vermiculite and peat moss will lighten the weight even more.
7. Enhance Your Rain Gauge With Food Coloring
By adding a few drops of your favorite color, the rain level will be easier to read. Red is the recommended color for its brightness, but most colors will suffice.
8. Keep Pests And Pets Away
While you certainly want to deter unwanted visitations, you may not want to use harmful poisons. Instead, secure netting over your newly planted bulbs. As the plants begin to grow, you can either cut holes in the netting, or remove it altogether.
9. Don’t Dig The Same Hole Twice
This is a particularly useful hack in cases where you’re planting seasonal flowers or plants. Once you dig a hole, fit it with an empty plastic pot. You can then use a slightly smaller plastic pot for the seedling you want to grow. When it’s time to retire that plant, simply replace it with a new potted plant.
10. Save Those Eggshells
This tip will have you walking on eggshells in a very literal sense. By tossing your eggshells into a blender and grinding them into a pile of small flakes, you can add them to the soil in your garden and give your plants a boost of calcium.
11. Gardening In Confined Spaces
This one is for gardening hopefuls who live in apartments or own homes where there just isn’t much land with which to work. It’s still possible to grow a small, productive garden with a couple of Rubbermaid storage containers. The first step is to fill the bottom half or third with those lightweight Styrofoam packing shells. Don’t forget to lay the landscaping cloth on top, before filling the rest with soil. This will make the filled containers easily mobile. Now, plant your seeds and place the containers on the balcony of your small apartment or the porch of your home. Really, they can be put anyplace and can even be moved at midday to take full advantage of the day’s sunlight.
There are plenty more gardening hacks waiting to be discovered. Using your own imagination, you can come up with ingenious ways to make the gardening experience easier, as well as more productive and more enjoyable. Most importantly, don’t lose sight of the reasons you chose to start this gardening adventure and you’ll never regret it. Good luck and happy gardening.