The rewards you can reap from gardening are great; relaxation, beauty, exercise, fresh air, and fulfillment, among others. This is especially true in this pandemic. But starting your very own and first garden could feel daunting for many. Fortunately, gardens are remarkably forgiving creations, and you can learn its ins and outs in a short time. Below are practical guidelines that will help you begin your gardening career.
Familiarize Yourself With The Space
Stroll around the garden site with a pen and notebook. Take your time and when you’re ready, sketch out the existing plants and planting areas. Determine which parts of the garden get the most shade and sun. It’s also a good idea to get your soil tested to determine the balance of pH and nutrients. You can do this with a home test kit or send it to the local garden center.
If you are planning on growing edibles like herbs, fruits, or veggies, make sure to get the soil checked for lead. If the soil has unsafe lead levels, you could grow edibles in pots with different soil or elevated beds.
You should also jot down existing features like pathways and fences as well as existing plants you want to keep and want to remove or relocate. Spend some time just lounging around your garden and see if any new ideas come to you.
Determine Your Goals and Garden Style
Do flower-filled, lush gardens make you happy, or do modern and more defined outdoor spaces appeal to you more? While you are still figuring out your garden style, keep the overall picture of your home in mind because whatever style you end up with your home’s architectural style and your personal preferences as well. When in doubt, consult your local landscape professional for expert advice.
Dream Big But Start Small
The larger and more elaborate your garden, the more energy, resources, and time you will need to maintain it. Evaluate your garden desires, a vegetable garden, for instance, and then try to scale it down. Consider planting two to three raised beds instead of going for eight beds right away. You can easily expand in a few months or next year.
This applies to buying plants as well. It’s very easy to buy all sorts of plants and end up with plants that you can’t take care of. Keep in mind that planting takes ample time, so purchase only what you could realistically plant within a day or two after buying.
Mix Starts and Seeds If Budget is an Issue
Starting a garden directly from seed could save you some cash, but it could likewise be very frustrating. On the other hand, buying only started plants is more costly and might limit your options of which plants to grow. So consider a garden of starts and seeds. Buy a few started seedlings and then grow a couple from seed.
Combine Annuals and Perennials
One of the most common newbie gardener mistakes is buying too many annuals and ending up with a garden that withers in just one year. So for color and longevity, opt for a combination of annuals and perennials.
Just Grow What You Want
This may sound simple, but it’s something that even some seasoned gardeners forget. In a nutshell, don’t grow kale just because it’s popular. Devote your gardening efforts to plants you want to look at, use, or eat.
Not everyone is blessed with a green thumb, but this should not stop you from growing your garden. Keep the tips above in mind and start somewhere.