There are some that have always been green-fingered, and then there are the ones that have found ourselves suddenly with a trowel in hand trying to make sense of the world of gardening. If you are fortunate enough to have access to outside green space, or even if you have a windowsill that captures the light at home – turning to gardening can be a welcome pleasure. A project that reaps results, brings a bounty of Zen and lends purpose to the days ahead, gardening can be sheer joy. For all those who find themselves a fair-weather friend of the timeless hobby, here are some great gardening tips for beginners...
Start With Herbs
If you want to keep your gardening habits simple to start, why not grow yourself a herb garden? A great investment in these times when getting to the store more is out of the question. Many supermarkets will already have growing herbs available. Pick a sunny spot, plant them and pay attention to keeping them alive. Starting with something relatively simple like herbs can be perfect practice for further food production and permaculture ideas.
Ease in With Essentials
A pair of clippers, a rake, and a good pair of gloves could be all you need to get started in the garden. If your slice of sunny land has seen better days, then start by clearing and cleaning. Trimming or clipping back bushes, pulling out weeds, and generally making the space more aesthetically pleasing gets you to grips with the basics.
Know Your Seasons
If you decide to go for growing vegetables or even if you pick up perennial plants, you need to know what has the chance to grow in your local environment. Those who live on warmer sunnier shores are more likely to have their pick, but if you live in a state or country where the winds pick up and the rain never stops, you may have a little less choice with what can grow. If your local weather is far from ideal you can always invest in a small greenhouse to keep things steamy.
Make Raised Beds
Raised beds are a great idea if you want to get off on the right foot. While it may take a little more work in the early days (building the frame, etc) it is certainly a better investment in the long run. A raised bed makes your growing space less prone to pests and even cuts down on the level of invasive weeds. It also helps you to keep your plants and projects separate.
Some plants perfectly complement each other and lend a hand in helping glorious growth. Certain plants and flowers deliver nutrients and work well in warding off pests. For example, planting basil close to your tomatoes will help to keep flies at bay, whereas rosemary can be a poor choice of companion for your tomato. Do some research to find out which plants, herbs and vegetables can be firm friends and which are less than ideal neighbors.
Help your soil thrive by bringing in a touch of compost. Compost is an amazing way of making food waste useful. Eggshells, tea bags, coffee grounds and vegetable clippings can all be stashed in a container to be used as compost. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint but you will also be bringing extra goodness to your soil by inviting more moisture, rich nutrients, and healthy bacterial growth.
Know Watering Rules
Overwatering and underwatering can be two of your biggest beginner mistakes when it comes to gardening. Make sure that you understand exactly how much water your garden needs, become obsessive over the weather, and remember that it can often be best to water in the morning.
While a watched garden will grow, this is a hobby that does require patience and constant maintenance. Don’t let things slide out there and be sure to keep on top of weeds and to check the health levels of your plants. Even a few minutes a day can make all the difference in how well your garden grows.
What are your favorite gardening tips? Share with us what you’ve been growing at home.