Gardening can be one of the most rewarding things you can do and everyone can get involved! Spring is a time for growing and planting, Summer is spent watering, weeding and watching your plants grow, and Autumn is the best time to plant trees, bulbs and shrubs.
You do not have to have a degree in horticulture or acres of land to bring your garden to life. We have top tips to help you first-time gardeners on your way to having a colourful and delicious garden at your fingertips.
Top Tips For Beginners!
Right Plant, Right Soil
Check your soil type: is it light and sandy or heavy with clay? This is really important as different plants thrive better in different types of soil. If you’re unsure you can always pop in and one of our team members will be able to advise you. This also goes for different types of compost whether you are planting in pots or if you are improving the soil in your vegetable patch.
Try not to place young plants too close together; they may not all survive and, if they do, they will need more watering and fertiliser throughout the summer. Crowded plants are also more susceptible to disease. When it comes to planting check the back of the label to find out what the recommended space is that you should leave between the plants.
Top tip if you’ve brought young plants in a pot! If you remove new plants from their pot by their stem you are more likely to bruise or break them. To get around this a great trick is to gently squeeze the pots sides while holding it upside-down, using your other hand to guide the plant as it slides out of the pot.
sOAK yOUR rOOTS
A plants root is able to spread so it can trap moisture and absorb the soil’s nutrients in the surrounding area. Before you plant, make sure the root ball has been thoroughly soaked and the hole you are placing the plant into is bigger than the ball. This will avoid the root being damaged when planted.
tHE bIGGER PICTURE
Before planting have a look at your garden and make a plan for where you would like everything to go and how it will look. Remember some plants will need more light than others! A great way to arrange your garden is by laying out all your plants/ bulbs on the soil before you plant them, so you can move them around to exactly where you would like them.
This is really important and for first-timers this can be easy to forget. Whether you are sowing seeds or planting young plants take a minute to write a label to pop it into the ground next to your seeds, bulbs or young plants to identify what you have planted. Most plants you buy will come with one or you can buy labels separately. You can also get creative by making your own labels. This can be fun especially if you are gardening with kids!
Plants are designed to live outside and have adapted to draw moisture from the soil without the need of daily watering from us, unless there is a drought. So how do you judge if they need watering? A great tip is to poke your fingers about two inches into the soil around the plant, if it is very dry you will need to help them out by giving them some water. The exception to this rule is plants in a pot, due to the small amount of soil they have, these will need watering on a more regular basis.
Give Them Some Breathing Room
Try not to plant your shrubs near a fence or wall. Plants grow in an outward direction as well as upwards, so make sure you plan in advance.
Don’t Be Shy With Weeds
Weed’s are a gardeners worst enemy. This is a very important lesson to learn early on. Weeding should be done regularly making sure you remove them with their roots so they can not grow back! It’s also important to understand not to put them on your compost heap, especially weeds that have seeded. You will end up re-seeding the weeds that you pulled out last season when you spread the compost.
Have fun with it
Don’t be scared to try new things and make mistakes! Most things can be moved and replanted. Be creative and get your hands dirty this summer and bring you garden to life.
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