Gardening is a hobby that comes with many benefits. If you feel as though your outdoor space needs sprucing up, there’s nothing a simple bit of gardening magic can’t fix.
Nowadays, gardening for beginners may seem overwhelming, but it’s far from impossible. If you want to get the most out of your experience, it’s important to understand the science and skill required to get it right. Welcome to your beginner’s guide to gardening.
What’s So Great About Gardening?
Before we take you through some crucial gardening tips and tricks, let’s uncover why it’s such a worthwhile hobby to get involved in.
1. It’s Good For You
It’s true what they say – gardening is good for the mind, body and soul. This may sound a bit over the top, but many studies have been carried out to prove why this is the case.
Gardening encourages you to get up and get outside, which we all know is far healthier than lazing around indoors. In fact, gardening is actually considered as moderate-intensity exercise on the days you move a lot.
As well as getting your body moving, gardening helps you to maintain a healthy diet. This is because you’ll feel more inclined to eat fruits and vegetables if grown from your own garden. Not only this, but the food will be more organic, too.
In turn, maintaining a healthy lifestyle through gardening may work towards improving your mental health and reducing stress. Pretty great, right?
2. It’s Good For The Environment
Gardening isn’t just good for personal reasons; it’s also excellent for the environment. It’s far more sustainable than relying on major corporations and promotes a more organic way of living.
Wildlife will also thank you for maintaining your garden, as it will create a safe space for them to thrive (just as long as they don’t eat your plants!).
Important Things To Know About Before Gardening
As mentioned earlier, gardening as a beginner can feel overwhelming. From getting started to looking after the plants, there’s a lot to take into consideration! With this in mind, read on to discover seven vital areas of gardening. Understanding the following areas will make the rest of your experience a walk in the park.
Yes – you are reading that right. Just like humans, plants have personalities!
It’s crucial to remember that all plants are different; some will need more water, some will need more sunlight, some will need different types of soil, and so on. To create the best environment for your plants, research into their specific needs before incorporating them into your garden.
Plants are really, really clever. They get most of their energy from the sun and use a process called photosynthesis to convert that energy into their tissues. It’s safe to say that sunlight is pretty important for plants to thrive.
When starting your gardening venture, make sure the area you plant gets plenty of sunlight. If your yard is naturally shady, consider researching plants that need less sunlight to survive.
As well as sunlight, plants need water. We weren’t joking when we said plants were like humans…
The amount of water needed will once again depend on the plant’s personality. So, as usual, research this before drenching them.
As a general rule of thumb, for most plants, water them when the soil feels dry. If the soil is moist, refrain from overwatering. More times than not, rainfall will give the plants more than enough moisture.
Nutrients And Soil
Plants need lots of nutrients to grow properly. They source these nutrients from the soil.
To fuel your plants with as many nutrients as possible, the soil you plant them in needs to be fertile. This is pretty hard to assess on your own, but luckily, pH testing kits are available to do the job for you. Hopefully, your soil will sit between a pH level of 6 and 7. This is the standard acidity that plants need to thrive.
If the pH of your soil is too high or too low, your plants will struggle to get the food they need. Consider sprinkling the soil with specially-made plant nutrients to correct this.
Gardening is a slow and enjoyable hobby, but like most things, it comes with a catch. The seasons.
Some plants cannot grow in colder conditions, so focus most of your work around spring and summertime. You can use the first and last frost dates to help you out here; plan your planting routine around them.
If you’re planning to start gardening, chances are that you don’t mind getting a bit grubby. However, no matter how much it doesn’t bother you, there’s only so much you can do with your hands. This is why it’s worth investing in some good-quality garden equipment before beginning.
For outdoor gardens, essential items include:
- Watering can
These basic items will help you to kickstart your gardening venture. From here, you will be able to establish what extra bits of equipment might be needed further down the line.
Think of plants like your very own family; they must be protected at all costs. You can’t just leave them to fend for themselves.
Weeds are the number one enemy of plants. Although hard to prevent, they suck all nutrients away, leaving your plants with no food to survive. Due to this, it’s crucial to rip weeds out as soon as they appear. This is easier to do if the soil is moist.
As well as weeds, little critters can cause havoc on your garden. Bugs will damage plants that show signs of distress, so looking after your garden will help here. However, if the pest problem continues, consider building fences or seek organic deterrent options.
Whatever you do, try to avoid pesticides; keep your garden as organic as possible.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Gardening
There you have it – an extensive beginner’s guide to gardening. All that’s left to do is take these tips into consideration and create an outdoor space you’re proud of!
Final Tip: Remember to ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of plants do you want to grow?
- Do you plan on growing foods?
- Does your garden get much sunlight?
- How much time do you have to spend gardening?
The answers to these questions will help you create a unique space, tailored to your exact preferences. Happy digging!