Not everyone is gifted with a green thumb. Still, it is possible to go green with your own garden when you follow these gardening tips for beginners!
Are you close to nature and love to nurture plants? Or a foodie craving a variety of food? Probably you might be that homemaker who prefers to serve fresh and healthy food for your family on a given budget. Else you are someone getting bored and looking for some recreational activity?
If you are any of these, gardening could become close to your heart.
Hey, wait! Are you thinking it is difficult and not your cup of tea?
Gardening can be taken up by anyone. You don’t need to be a farmer or have a degree in horticulture to own your garden. Only it takes a little effort and some patience to see your plants thrive and bear beautiful flowers, fresh veggies, and delicious fruits.
By now you might be convinced to think about growing plants. But let me tell you, by no means I am an expert gardener. And you too don’t need to be one for growing your own food. All you need to do is simply research and know about these gardening tips for beginners.
And tada! You’ll soon have a thriving garden outdoors.
Start your Home Garden With These Gardening Tips for Beginners:
Plot your Right Spot
First things first, when you are planning to start your garden, you need to pick a place that gets adequate sunlight and has good-quality soil. You can consider purchasing garden soil from your nearby nursery.
Make sure your soil has neutral pH, ranging between 6.5- 7.5. You can use a home testing kit to test pH or take your sample soil to the nearby nursery. Also check the nutrients in the soil, especially, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. If the soil is deficient in nutrients, add organic matter like manure, compost, or vermicompost.
Planning is a Sweet Warning
Once you choose the spot, you need to select the plants you wish to grow based on the growing season.
Opt for diversity in growing plants and choose edible plants like herbs, vegetables, salad greens, fruits, and spices. Go for the plants that your family loves to consume and always have different varieties to make it a balanced diet. However, don’t forget to add some ornamental plants to make your garden beautiful and attract more eyeballs to your home (of course, for a good reason!).
Now take a journal and try to plot your plants. Place similar kinds of plants together. Also, make sure that tall plants and trees should not shadow your young plants. Place climbers near the fence to beautify your garden. Distance the plants based on the amount of sunlight they need and always consider including both annual and perennial plants in your garden.
Pro Tip: Peep into your neighbor’s garden to look into the plant type that grows better in your area and in the soil. This way, you can find more native plants that match the growing conditions.
Go! Grab your Tools
Well, now you have a plan and you made up your mind about gardening. It’s time for you to grab some basic gardening tools that will help you in your gardening journey.
To start with gardening,you would need a spade, trowel, garden fork, pruning scissors, hose pipe, watering can, and a rake. That’s it.
Grab them now and jump on to the next tip!
Holy Soil! You Need to be Taken Care
Soil is the foundation for a healthy plant and now is the time to get your hands dirty. Pick your gardening tools and clear the shredded leaves, weeds, and rocks. Furthermore, break the large chunks and loosen the soil. To improve the quality of the soil, add some potting soil mix and organic matter, compost, mulch, and till the land to make it ready for planting.
You can do all this during the early spring as it’s the time to transform your space into a thriving garden.
It’s Time to Plant!
Now that your soil is ready, it’s time for you to have some plants on the ground. Before planting, make garden blocks or raised beds. Raised beds would be easier for a beginner gardener.
When you use seeds for planting, sow them at a depth of 3-4 times their size and cover them with soil, and water them. When you go for transplanting, dig the soil and make a hole twice the size of the root ball. Now place the sapling carefully and follow the process by covering it with soil and watering.
Also remember, there should be growing space between the plants. This ensures the growth of plants by absorbing enough water and nutrients. Also, make sure to have walkways between each garden bed to prevent stepping on the plants.
Compost to Grow Fast
As we need food, so do the plants!
Use Farm Yard Manure or Compost to nourish your plants. You can make it at your home by decomposing garden waste (dried and shredded leaves, pruned plant parts, weeds, etc.) and kitchen waste (vegetable and fruit peels, eggshells, tea waste, etc.). Compost helps to add nutrients to the soil and retain soil moisture. Add the compost once in two months to speed up the plant growth.
Say NO to chemical fertilizers and always go for organic gardening. This ensures you reap the maximum health benefits from your home garden.
Weeding Helps in Breeding
You can see some grass or any foreign plant grow along with your plants. They compete with your plants for nutrients and sunlight, pushing your plant into vulnerability. Thus, you need to keep a proper check on weeds and remove them regularly.
Water is a Savior
Hydrate your plants for better growth.
You need to water them carefully using a hose pipe or a watering can. While watering, see that your soil gets moistened at about 3-4 inches deep. Your plants need to be taken care of watering pattern – waterlogging would rot the root balls and damage your plant whereas, underwatering would stunt your plant or dry them up.
Make sure to adjust your watering pattern according to the weather. Your plants will need more water in summer and in winter, they can sustain without water even for a few days. Also, young plants need adequate water for their growth than those of mature plants.
Pro Tip: Water your plants in the early morning or in the late evening as it helps to prevent evaporation.
Shield your Plants with Mulch
Yes, your plants need a covering!
Mulching comes with numerous benefits. It helps to retain soil moisture, keep your plant cool, and control weeds. Mulching controls soil erosion, promotes microbial action, and also adds nutrients to your soil if they are organic. So never avoid mulching your plants. Use straw or leaves to mulch your crops.
Safeguard from Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases could be your greatest enemy and you need to keep them at bay. If your plant is not watered or is devoid of nutrients, it is most susceptible to pest attack. So keep a check on that.
When you see your plants infested with pests, try to control them organically. You can use neem oil or can make homemade pesticides to control most of the pests. You can even grow companion plants to control pests.
Ideally, observe them in the initial stages and control them. If it gets severe, you might need to use chemicals or in the worst case, discard them.
Trim! Trim! Trim
Don’t you cut your nails regularly? Also your hair?
Trimming helps in faster and healthier growth.
Plants also need to be pruned to stay in shape and stay away from pests. Regular pruning keeps your plant healthy and enhances the beauty of your garden. It also accelerates the growth of your plants.
Spy on your Plants
Like your kids, your plants too need proper care and vigilance. So keep an eye on them.
Take some time to clean your garden and remove weeds. Water them regularly and give them a proper dose of nutrients. Pruning helps in plant growth.
Track for any diseases. If you figure out any diseases or stunted growth, take proper measures like applying compost, or pesticides. If in intense case, you can even take professional help.
Things to Remember
- When you are a beginner gardener, start small. It’s natural you get overwhelmed in the beginning and go crazy with numerous plants and a large garden. But I tell you, this would be a grave mistake and you might lose interest eventually if you start big as it may become daunting.
- Maintain a journal and label your plants. This would help you to remember where you placed your plants and relieve yourself from the mess. Track your plants- date of planting, watering patterns, nutrients (date, dosage), date of the first harvest, etc.
- Use companion plants. These plants may be used for trapping insects, utilizing space, and providing nutrients. For instance, tomatoes can be used as companion plants against onions, carrots, and cabbage. Tomatoes can repel the caterpillars feeding on cabbage.
- Add variety to your garden by mixing up different plants. Do not stick to only vegetable gardens. You can add some flowers, medicinal plants, fruits, and spices to your garden.
- Go for crop rotation. Growing similar plants year after year would deplete soil nutrients and might become the cause of pest and disease attacks. It is ideal to change your crops to replenish the soil nutrients. This would also help you try new crops in your garden.
- Check the label on your seed packet before planting. Your seed label would contain all the information you ideally need to plant, like weather conditions, temperature to store, spacing, depth, etc. This information is beginner-friendly and would help you grow your plants carefully.
- To start with, you can grow plants in containers, eggshells, citrus rinds, and seed starter trays. This would relieve you from extra effort in plowing land. And if you are looking for ideas to grow plants without soil, you can definitely try hydroponic gardening.
Gardening Made Easy!
Gardening is both fun and rewarding. It is a wonderful hobby that adds natural color to your space. With some initial effort, you can enjoy the beauty of nature and fresh food. Follow these gardening tips for beginners to grow plants like a pro and enjoy the fruit of your efforts.