The gardening world is rewarding. What could be better than eating an evening meal on the patio surrounded by the fragrance of scented plants you have grown? Or better yet, eating food you have grown yourself?
Nonetheless, it can be hard to know when and how to start a garden, but I’m here to guide you through the process. Here are ten must-know tips before you step into the gardening world.
Read also: How to Get Rid of Hoverfly
1. Know Your Garden
Before you begin, it is a good idea to get knowledge about your garden. Check the aspect – is it north-facing or south-facing? Knowing where the sun hits the ground will help you decide what to grow.
Additionally, it is worth knowing what soil type you have. Take note of what is growing – camellias, Pieris, and magnolias will tell you the soil is acidic, while the absence of these indicates a more alkaline soil.
Doing a soil test will further enhance your knowledge of your soil and what plants you can grow.
2. Plan Your Garden
Sitting down and planning your garden is an excellent starting point. This way, you can work out what to grow where instead of getting carried away at the garden center and ending up with a jumble of plants that do not look good together and might not fit in your growing conditions.
Also, planning will enable you to use structure and color wisely, which helps create a great garden throughout the year.
Read also: Hydroponic Tomatoes 101
3. Master the Art of Planting
Planting your plants properly will give them room to grow well and live for a long time. Ensure you take time to weed, prepare the soil before planting, and add fertilizer or mulch.
If you are unsure how to plant something, search online for instructions rather than just hoping for the best. Trees planted too deeply will never thrive, and root balls that sit proud of the soil surface will dry out quickly, leading to the death of the plant.
Read also: Top 4 Unique Chicken That Lay Green Eggs
4. Feed and Water Plants Regularly
Knowing when and how to water plants is the difference between living and dying. As a rule of thumb, water the root ball rather than the leaves since the roots absorb the water. Soaking the root ball every week is better than watering a little bit every day.
Also, feeding is important – generally, you should be looking at feeding every fortnight during the growing season (that is, summer and spring), although you will need to feed more if growing in containers.
Read also: Best Vegetable Garden App
5. Start Small
When beginning a new vegetable patch or allotment, it can be tempting to take it all on in one go. It is much better to do a little bit at a time. You can easily cover areas you do not want to cultivate with black plastic or cardboard, to stop weeds from growing while working on a different area.
6. Monitor Pests
Most garden pests do not harm plants and can be left alone – many natural predators will keep them under control.
Nonetheless, sometimes pest population can become an infestation, and you may need to take action. Monitoring increasing numbers of pests such as slugs, aphids and snails will help keep your plants safe and save you a lot of heartaches.
Read also: 10 Best Vegetable Garden Mulches
7. Make Use of Compost
Composting garden and kitchen waste are good for your garden, purse, wildlife, and the environment. Allow the waste to break down for a year, and then use it as a mulch around the base of plants in your garden and vegetable patch.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Prune
Pruning plants can seem like a difficult job, but if you learn how to do the job properly, you will be rewarded with plants that look good, grow well, and are likely to flower and fruit better. The ingredient to successful pruning is knowing when to prune and following guidance on making the cuts and shaping the plant.
Read also: How Many Onions Grow From One Bulb?
9. Be Kind to Wildlife
Many of those new to the gardening world see wildlife as the enemy – insects, and their larvae defoliate plants, birds eat our fruit, and mice nibble our pea and bean seeds.
However, wildlife can be useful in the garden. Birds eat a variety of garden pests, including snails and slugs, aphids, and caterpillars. Bees pollinate food crops.
A garden would not be as exciting without its wildlife – from toads and frogs to hedgehogs, butterflies, bees, and birds.
Creating habitats for them and learning to share your garden with them is the key to enjoying your space.
10. Enjoy Your Garden
Do not forget to enjoy your garden. Ensure you take time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your effort. Create a seating area where you can sit and read or eat with friends and family. Plant borders you can enjoy from a window, and hang bird feeders so you can watch their antics.