Garden secrets: Easy gardening tips for beginners
A beautiful home starts with a beautiful garden, and a few well-placed shrubs, beautiful blooms of flowers and an immaculately groomed lawn can transform any outdoor space, no matter how lacklustre it might look to begin with. But whether you’ve just moved into a new place or have simply let your yard area slip over the winter, if you weren’t naturally blessed with green fingers, then it can be difficult to know where to start.
Thankfully, it’s not a difficult skill to learn, and with some love, dedication, hard work and consistency, that dream garden can be yours.
To help get you started, we’ve put together our top ten tips for gardening beginners – and we promise they’ll l take you to pro status in no time.
Invest in the Right Kit
Before you get started, be sure to invest in a few gardening essentials to help you get things moving. A rake, hand trowel, watering can and hose are all good places to start and will ensure that you’re well prepped to both plant and look after your new dream garden.
If you shop around, you can find some great value equipment – Dealslands is a great place to begin.
Know Your Soil
The first key to gardening success is knowing what type of soil you’re dealing with, as from there you can be sure to choose the kind of plants that will thrive in your garden. Pay attention to whether it’s heavy and clay-like in texture or whether it’s lighter and sandier, and seek out the right plants at your nearest garden centre. If you want to get really serious, then test buy a home kit and test out the pH level of your soil. Depending on how acid or alkaline it is, it will be better suited to certain plants.
Many plants put down sprawling roots, and need their space to flourish. They also often grow larger than you might expect, so think ahead and do your research, giving them as much space as you can allow. Overcrowding can mean many plants won’t survive, so take your time and don’t rush in without giving your beds some thought. Typically, perennials – plants which live longer than two years – should be spaced around 18 inches apart, allowing for new growth whilst still making your garden look well filled from the off.
Picture how you’d like your flowerbeds to look once they’re in full bloom, and use this as a basis when planting your bulbs. Try arranging them in different patterns on top of the soil first – then once you’re happy, go ahead and plant. Be mindful of how you position your plants, as some may block the light from others. Shorter ones and creepers should be planted towards the front of beds, with taller plants at the back. If you live in an apartment, however, and have no real room to garden, container gardening would be your ideal solution. In addition to growing plants, gardeners limited to a balcony, small courtyard, or only a patch of sun on their driveway can produce a wide variety of vegetable crops in containers.
An often overlooked step when it comes to gardening novices, it’s crucial that roots are soaked before you plant your bulbs. Make sure your hole is large enough to give roots room to spread, as this will make them more effective at tapping moisture and absorbing nutrients from the soil.
Water with Care
Whilst it’s important to keep plants well hydrated, take care not to oversaturate them. Plants and flowers placed in beds are efficient at drawing moisture from the earth themselves, so only get the watering can out if the soil around them starts to feel dry. If your plants are in pots, baskets or containers, however, then reserves are more likely to run dry, so they’ll still need regular watering.
Weed, Weed, Weed
Some weeds might look pretty, but if you’re serious about achieving a garden to be proud of then it’s time to get brutal. Weeds will compete with the plants you’re trying to grow for moisture, nutrients and space, as well as spoiling your carefully maintained lawn – so remove them regularly, taking care to pull out the roots.
Add an Extra Dimension
Trees and shrubs provide height and can give an extra dimension to your garden – as well as providing colour for seasonal interest throughout the year. Take care to consider the mature height and spread of your trees, and stick to one or two to avoid overcrowding.
Don’t forget your lawns
An impeccably maintained lawn is the key to an immaculate garden, so remember to mow and water it regularly to keep it in good condition. Water in the morning or evening, and fertilise once a year to promote healthy growth, keeping it lush and green in all seasons.
Keep Up the Good Work
Maintaining a beautiful and thriving garden takes work, and that continues long after you’ve finished planting your beds, baskets and pots. Getting into a regular habit of weeding, pruning, tidying, dead-heading and trimming will keep your plants and flowers at their best – but leave them to fend for themselves, and you could soon be back to square one.