As a beginner, the first step to starting your gardening journey is to decide what you want your garden to look like. Do you want it to be engulfed with colorful, beautiful blooms? A glorious vegetable garden, a lush herb garden, or hanging basket? Regardless of what type you prefer, there are a few basic gardening tips for beginners to follow before starting out. You must start slow and then work your way up to create a delightful landscape in your backyard.
Here are some first-time gardening tips for you.
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Gardening tips for beginners
Let us check out few basic gardening tips for beginners.
1. Get the Basics First
Now that you have a plan, you will need basic tools unless you want to dig with your hands. Fortunately, gardening requires only a handful of tools.
The most important tool for a gardener is pruning scissors. These scissors are used to cut back bushes and plants and cut withered flower heads and dead branches to maintain their health. If you are dealing with large plants in your garden, then another useful tool is looping pruners.
These have massive blades and elongated handles, which will make it easier for you to maintain well-established plants.
Raking and Digging
To begin planting, you will require a couple of tools for digging the soil to prepare it. You will need a trowel, garden fork, and a spade.
The trowel and spade are used to dig a ditch for the plants, while the garden fork is used for breaking up soil clumps or pull out weeds and old plant roots.
You will also require a couple of rakes, one with soft plastic prongs and the other with the metal ones. If you want to level the soil and remove stones in the beds, use the metal rakes. On the other hand, plastic rakes are great for the maintenance of the garden, such as clearing out the leaves.
Tools Used for Watering
You will need to invest in a garden hose for watering your plants. They are perfect for covering large areas and plants such as trees. Also, for smaller plants use a watering can because they won’t be able to handle the pressure of the hose. For you, younger and more delicate plants use a gentle sprinkler.
After investing so much time and effort in your garden, the last thing you want is weeds sprouting out and ruining it. Use a gardening knife and forked trowel to deal with the weed problem. With these tools, you will be able to remove the invading plants easily.
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2. Choosing the Plants
Now let’s move on to the exciting part; picking the right plants. One of the essential gardening tips for beginners is to avoid going to the garden center and buy everything that catches their eye. You should spend some time to examine and improve the soil for gardening, and buy the plants accordingly.
You can observe your soil by either digging some out to see whether it has a clay-like or sandy texture.
You can also check your friend’s garden and see what type of plants they are growing. If you want to be more thorough and find out the nutrient levels of your soil, you can do a soil test.
Doing any of the methods mentioned here will give you an insight into the type of plants that will thrive in your soil and make your garden look lush.
If you have a garden basket and want to hang it where there is plenty of sunlight, choose sun-loving plants. You must feed the soil in the basket with nutrients once a week and use moisture control compost that slowly releases the plant foods.
3. How to Improve Soil for Gardening
You have a few choices when it comes to improving your garden. You can take the easy path to buy compost, topsoil, peat moss, or other materials and add them straight to your garden beds. Doing so will make your life very easy, but it will burn a hole in your pockets.
The cheaper method is for you to get your hands dirty and dig into the soil. First, till the soil to analyze it. Most places will have kits that will help you find out the nutrient levels of your soil. Your soil may be packed with some nutrients and lack others. That way, you will be able to decide on the fertilization.
Composted manure is great for adding to the soil’s nutrients. It enables the soil to hold the moisture. Even if the soil test says your soil is packed with nutrients, your plants will appreciate you adding more.
As a beginner gardener, you should add compost with a fork or a spade in the top 13 inches of the soil. The compost is going to break down in a few months. Therefore the perfect time would be to do it in winters or early spring.
Another option to improve the soil quality is that it takes longer, but you don’t have to dig. If you have a lot of free time in your hands, this is an excellent choice. Cover the garden bed with four to five layers of newspaper.
The reason for using a newspaper is because it is made from recycled matter and wood pulp. It is not meant to last for too long. Cover the top of the newspaper with 3 inches of compost and let it sit for four months. After the decomposition of the newspaper, the compost nutrients will mix in with the soil.
Now that you know how to improve soil for gardening, you can safely move on to the next step.
4. Organize the Garden
This is one of the most important gardening tips for beginners to ensure their garden is thriving and looks beautiful.
You must determine where each plant will be placed and be extra careful about the spacing. Plants, just like humans, need a sufficient amount of space to thrive and grow. If your young plants are placed too close to each other, they won’t be able to grow adequately. They may become prone to diseases or, in some cases, simply wither away.
Humans tend to be somewhat forgetful. Therefore, to know where you have planted your plants, it’s best to label them. It is a tedious process and takes a few extra minutes, but there is beauty in detail. It will help you take care of your garden correctly.
Take a diary or a journal and write down the progress of your plants. Note down where your plants are placed. Map out your garden by sketching or using pictures and notes. It will make your life a thousand times easy. You will know how your plants have fared, and if some improvement is required, you will be able to do it promptly.
5. Age of Plants
When planting young plants, it is very important to be meticulous because they are delicate and can quickly get damaged or die out. You have to keep a light hand when removing baby plants from the tiny pots.
It may be tempting to grab them by their stem and to yank them out, but it will damage the plant. Flip the pot upside down and then tap pot’s underside so that the soil slides out along with the plant. Dig a small hole in your garden and then place the plant in it, filling it with the soil from the pot. Use this technique for all the plants and water them so that their roots spread out.
6. Watering Tips
Many novice gardeners assume that the more you water the plants, the more they will thrive. That’s a misconception. If you over-water your plants, they will begin depending on you to water them regularly.
They will develop immature roots that will be shallow and unable to go deeper into the soil to find water. If the plants have to work to reach the water, their roots will be extended, making them strong. Your workload will reduce because you won’t have to keep watering them consistently.
Here are the major gardening tips for beginners regarding the water supplication of plants:
When and how much water should be used?
Your newly-planted seeds require plenty of water because they need moisture for germination. Therefore, it is preferable to water small amounts regularly. You have to ensure the soil remains moist but not soaked in water.
Water your plants once or in some cases twice a week. While watering the plants, allow them time to drink the water thoroughly. Six inches of soil should soak in water.
It is vital to water the plants during hot summer days. If you notice your plants wilting during the hot days, water them. Do so, especially in the afternoon, when the day is the hottest. Also, water them when the weather is dry.
However, on regular days water your plants on in the morning and evening. In the afternoon, the water will evaporate before the plants can quench their thirst. The ideal time is to water at 4 pm, and 10 am.
We give water to the plants to survive, but the soil will become waterlogged if you overwater. Always water your plants slowly to allow it to reach the deep end of the soil.
Remember, plants at each stage of growth require different levels of water. Younger plants will need more water to grow healthy than already grown plants that will need to be watered every 2 to 3 days, once a day.
7. Let it Shine
For your garden to thrive, it must be at a location where there is direct sunlight for six to eight hours. Before deciding where to start your garden keeps the direction of the sunlight in mind. However, some plants grow in the shade. Therefore, lay down your garden bed and plants accordingly.
You can divide your garden into two areas. One area comes into contact with plenty of sunshine, and the other half is shade-loving plants. You can either plant them where there is hardly any sunlight or get a sunroof installed to protect them. When buying the plants from the garden center, ask the seller or check the packaging to determine how much sunlight or shade the plants require.
Other first-time gardening tips
Plant different types of trees and plants in your garden. As a novice gardener, it is essential to keep your garden small, so that it is easier for you to manage it. However, to make things exciting, experiment with different plants. Plant a few different flowers, or a couple of vegetable plants, and maybe a tree or two. Here’s why:
- Your garden will look unique and interesting
- You can enjoy different blooms and vegetables throughout the year
- Planting both perennials and annuals, you won’t have to keep replanting your garden
- A variety of plants encourages pollinators like bees to make use of different flowers throughout.
These are a few advice for first-time gardening tips.
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- Take baby steps. Start small and then work your way up.
- Appreciate and love what you grow
- Keep things simple
- Don’t stress out. Gardening is meant to be a therapeutic and fun activity
- Don’t forget to enjoy the literal fruits of your labor.
A lot of people get put off by the thought of starting a garden. Some say it’s too much work, some are afraid of not doing well, and some are just not good with plants. However, with the mentioned best gardening tips for beginners, anyone can start a garden and watch it thrive and grow into a gorgeous piece of land in their backyard.
As long as you know how to improve soil for gardening and choose the right plants, you are set to go. Beginners may struggle with it initially because, like anything else, gardening also requires you to research and plan the process. Break down the tasks into small steps, and you will ease into it in no time. The rewards of gardening are plenty and bountiful from the delicious fruits to colorful blooms. It is perhaps one of the most satisfying things you can ever do.
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.