Let’s get into the garden!
Gardening is an incredibly rewarding hobby, and is great for just about everyone, of any age or level of experience. Whether you’re a beginner looking to start your first garden or an experienced gardener looking to expand your knowledge, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure a successful and enjoyable gardening experience.
First things first
The first step in starting a garden is to choose the right location. Ideally, you want to choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-drained soil. If you’re not sure what type of soil you have, you can take a sample to your local nursery or gardening centre for testing. Once you’ve selected the perfect spot, it’s time to start planning your garden.
When planning your garden, consider the types of plants you want to grow and how much space they will need. Some plants, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, will need plenty room to spread out, while others like herbs and lettuce can be grown in smaller spaces. An important consideration is the time of year in which you’ll be planting, and the weather conditions that will best suit your seedlings. Tomatoes and peppers, for example, are warm-weather crops, while others (such as lettuce and spinach) are cold-weather crops.
Preparing the soil
Once you’ve planned your garden, it’s time to start preparing the soil. You want to remove any rocks, sticks, or other debris from the soil and to mix in organic matter such as compost or aged manure. This improves the structure of the soil and make it more fertile. Fertilizer or other recommended nutrients will also go a long way in supporting your new garden by providing your plants with the nutrients that they need to thrive. If you’re unsure of which nutrients to add, have a chat with a consultant at your local nursery, or rely on trusted Google to point you in the right direction.
Planting your seedlings
Once your soil is prepared, it’s time to start planting. When planting your seeds or seedlings, be sure to follow the instructions on the package and plant them at the correct depth. Additionally, be sure to water your plants immediately after planting and then regularly throughout the growing season.
While you shouldn’t man-handle your seedlings, you needn’t treat them with kid gloves either. Be firm, but gentle. You’ll derive such joy from watching your plants grow, and while you’re at it, you’ll need to pay close attention and identify any issues (such as pests, wilting leaves, or discolouration) and immediately attend to these. Again, Google is a great resource when it comes to identifying various plant issues. There are also countless apps that you can download to help identify plant types, related care, and plant illness. Keep your eye on this page in upcoming issues and we’ll soon provide our top-ranked gardening apps.
The adage ‘weed today or you’ll weed for the rest of your life’ has its place in the gardening world. Keep an eye on your soil to identify weeds as they appear. You’ll do well to remove any sprouts that shouldn’t be there and get those weeds before they seed. Sometimes this can be difficult–especially when you’ve planted seeds. As you become more adept at identifying your plants, you’ll also become more efficient at identifying weeds and be able to stop them in their tracks.
With minimal planning and care, you can derive such joy from the simplest of gardens. Whether you’re planning a colourful wonderland, a simple salad bed, or adding some functional greenery to your environment, gardens can be a source on never-ending pleasure.
We’ll be sharing gardening tips, tricks, hacks, and how-to guidance each month, so be sure to keep watching this space. Until then.