Essential Tips for the New Gardener
We were all new gardeners once
The garden can be a daunting place with all its weird and wonderful surprises, especially if you’ve never gardened before. Gardening is a fantastic and rewarding hobby that has loads of great benefits, so even though it might seem intimidating at first, getting stuck in is worth it in the end. Whether you’re a complete novice, or want to get back into an old hobby, here are a few tips to help you get into the swing of things.
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment. Using the wrong tools for the job can make long work of easy tasks, which can be very off-putting. You may feel a little bewildered at the vast range of garden tools available. My advice is always to start with the basics. Pick yourself up a good quality garden Fork and Spade, as well as a hand-held Trowel and Fork, for work in containers. Once you’ve got your garden growing, you’ll also need a pair of sharp and dependable Secateurs to keep your plants in check. Your collection of garden tools will grow as your gardening confidence does, so don’t worry about any other fancy bits of kit at the moment.
Perhaps you’ve just moved into a place that has an outdoor space, or you want to give a sad looking patch a complete overhaul. Whatever the case, you’ll certainly need to buy some plants. Before you do though, take a look at the space you have and make a few notes. Is it generally sunny throughout the day or shaded? Is it very exposed to the elements, or quite sheltered? Buying plants that fit the conditions of your space will save you a lot of time and money, and you can easily ask for help at your local garden centre or research online for help with this.
Try not to get overexcited and buy and unmanageable amount of plants, stick to a select few that you will have the time to care for. You can always start with some low maintenance varieties like Buddleia, Flowering Currant or Euonymus. Why not try planting in a few containers to begin with? Herbs are great easy plants to start off with, they do really well in pots and you’ll soon get a taste for the rewarding nature of growing your own produce to cook with. Sage, Thyme, Parsley and Chives are great plants to start with.
Once you’ve got your plants and you know where you want them to go, the fun really begins! Make sure you don’t attempt to overcrowd the space you have– young plants need plenty of room to establish themselves and cramming too many in one place may cause them all to suffer.
You also need to learn how to handle plants carefully to avoid damage. Never pull a plant from its pot by the stem, always squeeze the pot gently with one hand and tip the pot, catching the plant with your other hand as it slides out. Always remember to give a new plant a good thorough watering before planting and dig your planting hole slightly larger than the root ball of the plant so that it has plenty of room to spread.
Once you’ve done your planting, don’t forget to label what has gone in where. It might seem a superfluous task at the time, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is after a few weeks to forget which plants are which.
It can also be tempting to fuss over your plants once you have first planted them but beware that plants can die from overwatering, especially at this early stage before they have properly rooted into the soil. Just always remember to water during dry spells.
The satisfaction you’ll feel when your plants start to produce beautiful flowers or lovely fresh fruit is second to none, so stick with it and before you know it you’ll be reaping the rewards of this wonderful hobby.