Gardening is typically viewed as a leisurely pastime activity. But for some, gardening is serious business. If you’re one of those who’ve heeded the gardening call, it’s vital to grasp a few basics before diving in. Here are seven simple gardening hacks to get you started.
Get Proper Tools
Any serious gardener understands the value of their tools, and you should too. Even if you’re starting a small garden, having the right tools goes a long way in ensuring gardening success. Basics like a shovel, gloves, a garden fork, pruning shears, loppers, a rake, and a hoe are all must-haves. Other important extras include a wheelbarrow, a watering can, adjustable garden hoses, and a hand trowel. A rule of thumb when it comes to gardening – never compromise on your tools.
Recognize Your Garden’s Function
Not every garden serves the same function. Some gardens are purely aesthetic, while others serve a more productive purpose. If you want your garden to serve solely as a recreational space, go for easy-to-tend plants that create the sort of ambiance you desire. If you’re veering more towards a garden for home produce, go organic with your soil, fertilizer, pest control, and seed varieties. Remember, plants grown with chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides are more prone to weakness and disease.
Location is Vital
Before starting your home garden, decide which side of your home you want to place your garden. If you’ve settled on a more aesthetic-based garden, the front yard might be a great place to kick things off. That way, your garden adds an extra level of appeal to your home. A produce garden is better suited to the backyard to keep potential interference at a minimum.
Even if you’re gardening as a sort of hobby, remember that it still calls for dedication. In fact, maintenance is often a bigger challenge than starting the garden. Plants such as hydrangeas, coneflowers, peppermint, or dusty millers are generally easy to maintain. Orchids, weeping figs, roses, basil, and tomatoes are high maintenance and need that extra bit of care. Take time to research and select the kinds of plants you want in your garden.
You might be pumped to get your garden up and running, but don’t get too carried away with the enthusiasm. There’s nothing wrong with embracing your newfound love for gardening, but start slow, especially if you’re a first-time gardener. Maybe start with a small patch and get to learn how the plants behave. Once you’re confident about how things are progressing, plant some more varieties and keep a close eye on them. Soon enough, you’ll have a vibrant blossoming garden that’ll be the envy of your entire neighborhood.
Mulch It Up
Mulch is every gardener’s dream. Essentially, mulch is organic material spread over soil or around a plant to serve as a protective layer. Mulch serves a multitude of purposes. These include adding organic matter to the soil, improved water retention, natural shielding against weeds, soil temperature regulation, reduced soil erosion, and increased biological activity, to name a few. Regardless of what kind of garden you’re planting, mulch is an indispensable ingredient to successful gardening.
Know Your Frost Dates
As a gardener, frost is not your friend. Frost dates are times of the year when temperatures drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Such low temperatures often damage leaves and kill young, tender plants. Frost dates vary depending on your location, so always keep a close eye on your local weather forecast during colder months. You can protect your plants from frost with a plant cover.
Gardening is a rewarding venture. Whether it’s a simple flower garden for your front yard or a comprehensive backyard garden for growing all your favorite vegetables, the key to becoming a successful gardener lies in hard work and planning. With these tips in mind, go forth and plant away. The world’s gardens are your oyster.
- Garden fork
- Pruning shears
- Watering can
- Gardening hose
- Plant cover