If you’ve recently decided to take up gardening, congratulations! You’ve made an amazing choice as this hobby comes with many great benefits. Not only will it provide you with a great workout and boost your mood as you’ll be spending plenty of time outdoors, but you will also potentially have a source of food. However, in case you’re completely new to this and not really sure where to start, you could probably use a few pointers to ensure you’re successful from the first try. With that in mind, we’ve created the ultimate guide for beginners that can help you on your way. Take a look.
Decide what you want to grow
First and foremost, to have a successful garden, you need to decide what you want to grow. Do you want to start slow with some flowers and herbs? Or are you willing to make a bigger commitment and try growing fruits and veggies? Regardless of your choice, it’s a good rule of thumb to pick foods that you and other household members will actually eat. If you simply don’t like kale, don’t waste time, space, and effort on it. Opt for something everyone likes like tomatoes, lettuce, and potatoes. Moreover, you want to check which plants are actually suited to your region and the conditions you can provide them with.
Choose between seeds and seedlings
Something else you will have to decide on is whether you will use seeds or seedlings to start your garden. On the one hand, seeds are more affordable, but on the other, you might not be able to germinate them properly. You should also take into account the length of the growing season, which might not allow you enough time to start a garden from seeds. That being said, nothing is stopping you from combining the two methods and using both seeds and seedlings, especially if you will have a varied garden and grow all sorts of veggies.
Find the right spot for your garden
Once you decide which plants you’d like to grow, you should also do some research and see what kinds of conditions they thrive in. For instance, some need full sun while others can tolerate partial or full shade. With that in mind, pay attention to the space you’ve dedicated to this hobby to see how much sun it actually gets during the day. In case you cannot provide the crops with six hours of sunlight a day, you want some other varieties that can succeed in your yard or consider relocating your planter beds to a better location.
Perform a soil test
Before you actually start planting, it’s also recommended that you test the soil you’re working with. Unless you’ve bought all new soil for your plants, you probably don’t know its characteristics. Perhaps it’s lacking some nutrients or the pH levels do not suit your plants. Taking a sample to the local nursery to have it tested is the best way to ensure you’re providing the crops with the ideal conditions. Furthermore, you’ll know if it needs amending and get some tips from professionals on how to do it.
Get all the equipment you need
Another big part of taking care of a garden that you should not overlook is getting all the necessary equipment. There will be plenty of tasks that you will have to tackle so start by looking into quality Hoselink gardening tools like forks, spades, trowels, weeders, knives, pruners, and shears. Something else that you should get is a retractable garden hose and reel that will make watering easy. Depending on your type of garden, a soaker or weeper hose might be better. You should also invest in a garden cart, heavy-duty planter bags, and some protective gear like hats, gloves, and knee mats.
Know when to water
You also want to learn more about various watering practices. For example, you should avoid overwatering as soggy soil can result in rotting roots. As a matter of fact, you’re usually better off if you are underwater than if you overwater. Before watering, stick your finger into the soil or use a moisture meter to see how dry it actually is and decide if you should water it more. Most plants require an inch of water on a weekly basis, which means that you might not have to water at all if there was rain recently. You also shouldn’t water in the evening or at night, as that can lead to diseases, so try to water early in the morning to prevent evaporation.
Feed your plants appropriately
In addition to water, your plants also need food. So, look into both organic and inorganic fertilizer options and decide on the approach you would like to take. Organic solutions will ensure your food is free of chemicals but inorganic ones typically act faster.
Learn to compost
You will soon realize that there will be plenty of scraps around the garden. Fortunately, there is a way to use them as well. You can learn how to make compost, use up all your garden and kitchen waste, and produce organic fertilizer in the process. Everything from dead leaves to wood chips can go into the compost bin, so why not give it a try?
Turn to mulch
Beginner gardeners might not be aware of all the benefits that mulch comes with. For example, you should know that it can prevent sunlight from reaching the soil, thus helping preserve moisture levels. This means that you will not have to water your plants as often. Plus, it will also prevent weeds from sprouting and can even nourish the soil over time if you pick an organic variety.
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Look out for weeds and pests
Besides mulch, you can also use pre-and post-emergent herbicides to prevent weeds from popping up. What is more, you will probably be dealing with insects or critters eventually, which is why you should look into the many ways of keeping them away. From chemical pesticides to natural methods like attracting beneficial insects, there are various solutions you can try.
In case you have decided to start your own garden, you will certainly benefit from these ten tips. From deciding on what you will grow to checking the soil all the way to equip yourself with the right tools, don’t skip something important.