If you want a rewarding hobby, gardening is a good choice. You can enjoy the benefits of fresh air and creating something beautiful, but when your garden is in bloom and your crops are on the table, you’ll have the satisfaction of improving your landscape and lifestyle, too. Follow these gardening tips for beginners for the best results in your new garden.
You can plop a plant into the dirt and it probably will grow as long as you water it, but if you put a little more effort and planning into your garden, you’ll be rewarded with long-lasting flowers, plants, and vegetables. Here are some quick gardening tips for beginners:
- Make a plan. Decide where in your landscape you’d like to plant your new garden. You need to figure out what kind of sunlight this area receives, because certain plants are suited to shade, partial sun, or full sun. The lighting your new garden receives each day will dictate what kind of plants you’ll be able to grow there.
- Soil. This is one of the most important gardening tips for beginners, because soil is one of the most important aspects of your new garden. You’ll need to know the chemical makeup of your soil (you can take a sample to your local Cooperative Extension office for analysis), and then, what you need to do to make your soil ready for planting. For example, is your soil rock-hard and clay-like? You’ll need to add amendments like sand and peat to make your soil richer and well-draining. If your soil is loose and sandy, you may need to add compost, and even topsoil to get it ready for planting.
- Pick your plants. Visit a local garden center to find out what types of plants grow best in your area, and what they recommend for your growing season. If you live in a mild climate with a long growing season, just about anything may be open to you, but if you live in a cold climate with a short growing season, your options may be a bit more limited. Once you know your options, you can pick the plants right for your garden.
- Irrigation. Decide what kind of irrigation you want for your new garden. Will you hand water with a hose, use a single sprinkler on a hose, or install a drip system? A drip irrigation system is the most effective way to water, but it is the most expensive form of irrigation, too, so you need to decide what’s right for your garden and budget. Another important gardening tip for beginners? Don’t over water your new garden!
- Mulch. Once you’ve planted your garden according to your new plants’ directions, it’s time to finish up with good mulch over the entire garden. Many gardening tips for beginners ignore this step, but a good mulch can help conserve water in the garden, so you don’t have to water so much and still get good results.