Starting your First Garden? Read our Gardening Tips for Beginners
Spring is here and right now is the perfect time to start your first garden. Gardening is a relaxing activity, but it can go wrong if you don’t use correct practices. Here are some basic gardening tips for beginners to get your garden off to a healthy start this spring.
Choose Easy Plants to Grow
One of the most important gardening tips for beginners is to start off with plants that are easy to grow and hard to kill. Different types of plants require different climates, soil pH, and varying amounts of sunlight. There are so many factors involved, so it’s best to choose some of the easiest plants to grow when you are just starting out. Some flowers that grow well in North Carolina include sunflowers, pansies, and marigolds.
Growing flowers alongside vegetables can attract beneficial insects like native bees that will help yield a bigger crop. Start out planting lettuces and peas from seed in early spring and then put your tomato, pepper, and squash plants in the ground a bit later when the last frost is behind you. Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower have specific pH requirements for the soil, so they should be left to the more advanced gardener.
Find the Perfect Spot for Your Garden
Look at your yard at different times of day, and take note of how much sun different areas get. Pick an area that gets about six hours of direct sunlight each day while also not being in the way of the path to your shed. If you are having trouble finding an appropriate spot then perhaps a container garden is right for you. This could be a collection of pots on your porch or an area boxed off for your plants. When using containers, make sure there are drainage holes. Excess water that stays on the bottom can saturate the roots and drown your plants.
Make Heavy Pots Lighter
If you decide to go with a container garden, you will love the next one of our gardening tips for beginners. There may be times when you want to move the pots around to adjust the amount of sunlight they are getting. If the planters are very large, then they may be difficult to easily move when filled. You want to make sure that the soil reaches the top of the pot, but soil alone can be very heavy. Instead, get some packing peanuts and fill the lower half or one-third of the pot with them rather than potting soil. Take some landscape fabric and cover the top of the packing peanuts. You can then fill the rest with soil and your plant. Now carrying around your large pot will be no large feat.
Fertilize your Soil
In order to grow a thriving garden, you should mix compost into your soil. Compost is organic matter made up of decomposing material. You can either purchase compost at your local garden store or make your own by collecting scraps of vegetables, leaves, fruit, coffee grinds, and even egg shells in a contained compost pile outdoors. It can take up to a year for the organic matter to compost, so start this practice now for use in your garden next year.
Watering Your Plants
While you should be watering your garden every day if it doesn’t rain, the amount depends on how hot and sunny it is and how recently it rained. The best way you can gauge how much to water them is to stick a finger in the soil. If the top of the soil is wet, but underneath is still dry, then you should water for longer. A simple garden sprinkler that you can buy for under $10 at a garden store and a hose are all you need to water your garden. Try leaving the sprinkler on for 15 minutes and then check the soil.
Make Your Shovel Sticky-Proof
When digging, clumps of soil and dirt can get stuck on your shovel. To prevent this, coat the surface of your clean shovel with silicone or a Teflon lubricant spray. Once dried, you can shovel without your shovel getting too dirty; the dirt will slide right off.
Gardening takes time and effort but is worth it when you have fresh produce grown right in your own backyard. It is also known to be a stress-relieving activity. Refer to our gardening tips for beginners when you are starting your first garden and you will find that the process is easier and more successful.
Whether you are buying a home or selling a home this spring, or are a homeowner in need of home inspection services in Coastal North Carolina, contact Inspect One to schedule our professional inspection services.