Top 5 Tips for Beginner Gardeners

By Bonnie Grant | June 18, 2016
Image by MariuszBlach
by Bonnie Grant
June 18, 2016

Everybody has to start somewhere and that is no less true than with gardening. Starting a garden can be a bewildering and yet freeing project. For newbies it can also be overwhelming, scary and potentially disastrous. A few tricks of the trade can be helpful when embarking on this creative and exciting path.

1. Plan to plant – Choose your garden site carefully. Depending upon what type of garden you want, you may need full sun, partial shade, a large plot or plenty of vertical room. Draw out the intended design first, researching the mature sizes of the plants you intend to install.

2. Play in the dirt – Good soil is crucial to healthy plants. The area has to be well draining and at least moderately nutrient rich. Incorporating some compost can help enhance both areas. Dig in at least 4 inches of compost to a depth of a foot in most garden beds.

3. Shop til you drop – If you have pre-planned the space, you already know what types of plants you are going to install. If you are flying by the seat of your pants, go to a reputable nursery where plants are healthy and staff is knowledgeable. Use their tips and guidance to help you decide which plants to purchase.

4. Tools make a difference – While you are shopping for plants, use this opportunity to get any tools required to help you in your endeavor. You may need a better shovel, a kneeling pad, a root saw, stakes, etc. It is also good to have several bags of organic mulch, which will be the topper to your garden plot. This keeps away many weeds, conserves soil and adds nutrients over time.

5. Use proper and safe techniques – It is quite easy to hurt yourself while gardening, especially if you aren’t used to the practice. Take frequent breaks, ask for help lifting large plants and trees and lift with your knees! Gardening is one of the most fun and rewarding hobbies, but it shouldn’t hurt.

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