So, you want to start a garden? You’re definitely not alone, but with all the information out there, it can be hard to know exactly where to begin. Even if you’ve never planted so much as a pea, you can grow your own beautiful flowers and delicious fruits and veggies! It’s a practice nearly as old as mankind itself, after all.
These expert tips will help you get started on the right track, even if you don’t have the slightest shade of green thumb – yet!
Pinterest has a plethora of gardening photos and information – start gathering some of this for your own gardening board. First of all, you’ll start to get a feel for what you’re looking for in a garden. Are you drawn to neat, clean rows of vegetables? Or is a lush, biodiverse wonderland more your style? Take the time to study images of gardens that inspire you.
Read, read, and read some more.
Most gardeners will tell you that you’ll learn the most by getting out there and getting your hands dirty – and they are absolutely right. That said, you’ll do yourself a favor by reading up on some gardening basics to give you a good baseline of general knowledge. Articles like this are a great start, of course! You’ll also learn a lot by reading books such as:
- Better Home and Gardens Gardening Made Simple
- Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening
- Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening
Travel smart with your plants.
Novices and gardening experts will both love saving time and effort by purchasing seedlings and young plants from a local nursery rather than starting completely from scratch. Readers’ Digest offers a great tip for transporting your plants: line the back of your vehicle with a plastic tarp, then lay a step ladder on its side on top of the tarp. The sections created from the steps of the ladder are perfect for nestling vulnerable young plants as you travel!
Compost is your friend.
Soil quality is possibly the most important aspect of having a healthy garden. You can add nutrients and minerals to your soil with compost. Buy it ready to go or make it yourself. Both are great options, but making it yourself is incredibly satisfying: there’s something pretty special about improving your soil quality with kitchen scraps that you would normally throw away.
Know your region.
So much of how, when, and what you’ll garden depends on where you live. Even more specifically, your own plot of land might be very different from others in your area. Some questions to consider are:
- When does the last frost of the season usually occur in my area?
- When does the sun rise and set where I live?
- How much sunlight does my yard get?
- What is the soil quality like in my region, in my yard?
There’s power in community.
You can learn so much from other gardeners in your area. Look for Facebook groups, Meetups, and local gardening events to connect with more experienced growers. Many are very happy to help beginners and even share seeds, plants, cuttings, and extra supplies.
Some plants are easier to grow than others.
It’s true – some plants will thrive quite easily, making them a great choice for novice gardeners. Sunflowers are one well-known example. Many ferns are also pretty forgiving, as are most root vegetables as long as your soil quality is decent.
Keep a gardening journal.
Blogging or journaling your gardening journey is a wonderful way to keep track of what you’re learning and keep notes about your land. You’ll retain information better – plus it will be a very treasured keepsake to look back on in the years to come when you are no longer a novice.