Thinking of starting gardening? Read this first

Do you have new year’s resolutions to try to get out in the air more that’s been scuppered by Covid restrictions? Did you want to really appreciate the nature beauty spots in your area, only to realise they’re now outside your 5k?

Us too.

But there is another way to try to get out more without leaving your own little casa.

Gardening! Rewarding and a great excuse to get out in the fresh air, you may just uncover a hidden talent. Find out if you have a green thumb by trying out our easy tips and tricks for beginner gardeners.

Check out your garden before you start

woman in brown coat sitting on green grass field

Don’t buy or start digging anything before you complete this little check list;

  • Check the aspect – is it north or south facing? Where is there the most sun?
  • Do a soil test - camellias, magnolias and pieris will tell you the soil is acidic, while absence of these suggests a more alkaline soil.
  • Windy or sheltered – how exposed your garden is will affect what plants will grow there

Make a plan

Green-leaved Plants

Now that you know the lay of the land (literally), it’s best to plan what you want to grow in each section and how much of each you’ll need. Grabbing wildly at all the pretty colours and interesting shapes at the garden centre could leave you will too much or not enough room to plant everything and make them all work together. Also research what plants suit your garden’s conditions, to ensure what you buy can actually grow there.

Tidy up

man in black t-shirt and blue denim jeans holding shovel

It’s as simple as it sounds. A clean slate is perfect for turning your garden vision into a reality. Move the lawn, trim the edges, clean up the beds, pull the weeds. Get it into as good a position as possible to be as productive as possible.

Learn how to plant things

green leafed seedlings on black plastic pots

Sounds basic right? But planting a tree is different from planting flowers or vegetables. If you’re unsure, look it up online, or a tutorial on YouTube before damaging the plant.

To water or not to water?

Person Holding Green Hose

Many first-time gardeners are overenthusiastic in their application of water and plant food. The logic that the more it feeds, the more it grows does not apply here. You run the risk of drowning your plant if it is being watered every day and starving it if it is not done regularly enough. A good rule of thumb is to do one good proper soaking once a week, rather than a little every day. Make sure your pouring the water on the roots and not the leaves, as it’s the roots that feed the plant.

Start composting

Red and Green Fruits on Brown Wooden Bench

If you don’t already compost, this is great excuse to start. Allow it to build up for a year before harvesting it, so that your plants will have lots of nutrient rich soil to grow in.

Take care of wildlife

Shallow Focus Photography of Gray and Orange Bird

Often, wildlife is there to help your planting journey on its way. Bees, birds and butterflies are all key players in your garden’s habitat and life force. When there is an infestation of course, of harmful pests like persistent slugs or larvae that are eating your garden to bits, then it’s time to step in. But mostly, the animals and insects are there to enjoy it just as much as you are.

Happy planting!

 

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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