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Gardening doesn’t have to be challenging - in fact, it can quickly become a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. We have compiled a few essential gardening tips to help you transform your outdoor space into a thriving green oasis.
27 Sep 2021
You don’t have to have a green thumb or an enormous amount of space to garden successfully. Whether you have a tiny plot or acreage, you can quickly transform the space into a flourishing green expanse with a bit of dedication and know-how of the gardening basics- that’s where Mail Online Best Buys comes in.
The garden that you create is for your enjoyment. You can plant whatever you like; flowers, vegetables, berries, or fruits. Some people enjoy attracting feathered friends to the landscape, or they hope to create a mecca for bees or butterflies. Others want to live a sustainable lifestyle by growing their own foods.
However, some people just like to soak up the beauty of Mother Nature with a bountiful yard filled with plants. Whatever your goal, you can succeed with a few essential gardening tips.
Tip 1: Start small
The first step to creating your home garden is to decide what to grow. If you want to cultivate foods for your family, then think about your favourite fruits, vegetables, or herbs that your family enjoys. If you are planning a vegetable garden, you can also plant a few flowers to encourage pollinators.
Always make sure that your top plant choices will grow in your area. You’ll want to determine your region’s gardening zone while estimating the first and last frost dates. Typically, you can locate such local information on the internet or talk to gardeners around you to determine the best crops to cultivate.
Ideally, you should start small the first season until you become familiar with gardening. The following season you can continually expand to grow even more plants. Initially, you don’t want to feel overwhelmed.
Tip 2: Check your soil type, and plant accordingly
One of the most overlooked aspects of gardening is soil testing. Plant growth depends on soil pH. Some plants thrive in an acidic environment, such as blueberries and azaleas, and others, such as cabbage, cucumbers, and cauliflower, prefer alkaline soil. A soil test kit measures the soil pH using test strips that provide a scale that will range from 1 to 14. Soil that rates below a 7 is acidic, and soil above a 7 is alkaline.
Typically, the majority of plants prefer numbers right in the middle from 6.2 to 7.2 for optimum growth.
In addition to pH, a soil test also indicates any missing elements in the soil, so you can add amendments to remedy the problem. There is a wide assortment of soil tests available under a variety of brands. A soil test provides analysis results immediately. You can also purchase soil testing meters that measure the soil’s pH and moisture, and light.
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Tip 4: Make your own compost
Home composting is remarkably easy, and your plants will reward your efforts with vibrant growth. Many misconceptions surrounding composting exist, such as its messy and smells. However, composting done right does not smell bad, but has a robust earthy aroma.
You no longer have to have a messy compost pile hidden in the corner of your yard. Nowadays, you can purchase easy-to-use, affordable compost bins and tumblers that you can roll around your landscape. Some compost bins affix in the ground to double as a garden bench. You can even buy compost bins to promote vermiculture which is the natural breakdown of waste using worms to create rich vermicompost.
To make your own compost, you’ll simply layer organic materials into the compost bin and let nature take cover. Use kitchen scraps such as vegetable and fruit peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, grass clippings, or leaves. Never use bones or cooked foods. Composting is a great way to recycle yard and home waste in an earth-friendly way. You can then use the valuable nutrients of the decomposing ingredients to nourish your garden plants in an organic and wholesome way.
Check out our full explainer on making your own compost.
Tip 5: Keep track of what is growing every season
Every season gardening is a time of discovery. You’ll want to keep a record using a garden journal. Garden journals let you keep your garden successes organized for future reference. The handy book provides you with a full year summary typically organized by month or broken down into the four gardening seasons - winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Here are some notes to include in a gardening journal:
Record the plants and their various characteristics
Enter the seed types planted
Make a note of any pests, weather changes, or diseases
Add cultivation steps and propagation
Note bloom and harvest times
Keep a detailed list of all perennials, fruits, bulbs, vegetables, herbs, vines, shrubs, and trees growing in the garden.
The purpose of a garden guide is to reminisce about a successful crop and expand your knowledge so you can improve your horticulture practices for future years. Gardening involves studying the world around you and noting the impact on the plants you are growing. With a garden journal, you’ll have all of the handy information at your fingertips for future reference.
Tip 6: Make sure you’ve got all the basic equipment on hand
The pastime of gardening does require a few basic tools. Below are seven top gardening tools that you’ll want to have on-hand to make any landscape chore easier.
Gloves: One of the most important to have in any gardener’s arsenal is a good pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands and nails from rocks, thorns, insects, and other abrasive things. Also, the prolonged use of garden tools can damage your bare hands from pressure and friction.
Shovel and/or Spade: Whether you pick both or one, a shovel and spade are great gardening tools to have on hand. You’ll use them to transplant, plant, and weed. Most are designed for comfort with ergonomic handles that are easy to grasp.
Weeder: A weeder is a handy little hand device that features a forked end to dig up individual weeds and roots easily.
Shears: A pair of sharp pruning shears give you the power to cut broken or damaged canes and limbs. You can also prune shrubs such as rose bushes. Shears deliver a clean and concise cut.
Wheelbarrow: You can transport tools, compost, soil, and plants around the yard using a wheelbarrow.
Rake: Clean up grass clippings, leaves, and trimmings using a rake. You can also level out seedling beds with this garden tool.
Soil Knife: The versatile soil knife makes planting herbs, flowers, bulbs, and vegetables a breeze. You can also use it to cut through roots, twine, ties, and remove rocks. One side of the device is a serrated blade, and the other side is smooth and sharp.
So there you go! With so many easy-to-implement tips, learning to garden has never been easier. And with summer in full swing (even if the weather doesn’t seem to be in agreement right now), there’s never been a better time to get to grips with gardening 101.
Recommended reading: Where to buy compost
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