Want to start gardening but feeling a little insecure? Don’t worry – with every plant you plant, you’ll be a step closer to the gardener you dream to be.
It’s important to enjoy and have fun with your garden – after all, it’s something you’re going to need to regularly attend to.
Don’t wait any longer, here’s some expert gardening advice for beginners to encourage you to take those first steps of turning you green-fingered! It’s fascinating to watch a seed sprout from the ground and grow into a beautiful plant – enjoy!
- Start small so you don’t feel discouraged. It will give you a good feel for what works in your area and what doesn’t.
- Get to know the type of soil you have, and how you might want to improve it.
- To make sure your soil is healthy enough to foster plants, send a sample to the lab, or use an at-home kit to measure the pH level of your land.
- Now that you know what your soil is like, what kind of plants you should grow, and where you are going to put your new garden spend some time mapping it out before you break ground.
- Start your garden off by making sure that the soil is pre-fertilized.
- The best fertilizer you can use is from your own OR manure from organic grass, or hey-fed livestock animals like a horse, goat, rabbit, or a cow.
- Depending on what you are growing, you may want to consider mulch. Mulch helps to feed the soil with nutrients and protects against erosion. Mulch will also help your new garden fend off weeds.
- Know your garden zone and climate. You need to take into account the growing season, how long it is, the length of time it takes for a plant to germinate (if you are growing from seeds), and become mature, the temperature, and much more.
- Keep track of what you planted with the help of a gardening journal.
- An old photo album is a perfect way to keep track of your seed packets.
- Don’t plant things too close together.
- Plants need food and water. As a beginner gardener read about the various vegetables you want to start with and how much water they need.
- Make sure you give young plants plenty of water, but always avoid wetting the plant’s leaves! Be on the look-out for yellow leaves-that means too much water!
- Always water a vegetable garden in the morning before the hottest part of the day, so the water doesn’t evaporate before it soaks into the soil.
- Turn a milk jug into a watering can. Poke a few holes into the lug’s lid so the water can sprinkle through it.
- How much light do plants need? Grow vegetables in a location that gets at least 8 hours of direct sunlight every day.
- Trimming and pruning your plants allows for increased air circulation and fewer leaves for you to spill water on.
- Plants need food especially nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
- Use coffee grounds in your garden. They’re high in nitrogen. Also, worms love coffee grounds and gardens love worms.
- Find a gardening mentor! You’ll probably find gardeners nearby and most of them will want to share their knowledge. If you know neighbours with fabulous gardens don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Don’t compare your new garden with someone who’s been gardening for a while.
- If you’re just starting it’s better to start with established seedlings (for plants that do well this way) and transplant them carefully. You can get this from a quality garden centre or your neighbour.
- If you decide to use seeds instead “start” them using recycled materials: egg cartons, eggshells, toilet paper rolls. They are perfect for starting seeds!
- For greater growing success, “start” your seedlings inside!
- You can also grow new vegetables from leftover scraps:
- Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons grow from their seed
- Turnips grow from the sprouted tops
- Fennel, romaine lettuce, green onions, celery, leeks can all grow from the base or root.
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes grow from the sprouts
- Garlic bulbs with sprout green shoots if in water
- Basil, cilantro, rosemary will root from the stems if placed in water
- Consider “companion planting” as you plan: particular plants may help keep another’s pests under control, and others just naturally grow well together.
- If you’re planting flowers, consider a mix of annuals (which last just for a year) and perennials (which grow over many years).
- Pick up a few basic tools and a pair of durable protective gloves.
- Keep pests away! Use crushed eggshells to keep pests like slugs and snails away. They also act as an excellent fertilizer by providing calcium to your plants.
- Also, you can take care of any slug problems by creating a beer trap.
- Keep weeds out! Weeds are bad for your garden because they compete with the plants you are trying to grow for the nutrients in the soil.
Do you have any advice, tips or hints about gardening for beginners that we’ve not mentioned? Share them here in the comments section below!
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