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Exercise, relaxation, and fresh air are all fantastic rewards you can receive from gardening. If this is your first time, planting and even designing your first garden can feel like a daunting task. Thankfully though, there are a lot of helpful gardening tips for beginners out there and one of the best ways to educate yourself is to just get started. And if you plant something that doesn’t quite work out this time, it’s fairly easy to adjust things for next year!
Gardening Tips for Beginners
Take the time to get to know your property better before starting a new garden. Take a walk around your yard with a pen and paper, making sure to pay attention to small details.
· Make a rough sketch of existing garden beds and planting areas.
· Take notes about which parts of your yard are shaded, and which are mostly sunny. Be sure to observe them at different times of the day!
· Decide which existing plants you’d like to keep, and which ones you want to replace or remove.
Decide Your Goals
Take the time to decide upon a vision for your garden. Find images and themes that inspire you to create your garden and expand on them to personalize it. Do you prefer a more organized minimalist style garden or a thick lush forest of flowers? Personally, manicured gardens look beautiful in other people’s homes but they aren’t for me. I like the untamed look of wildflower gardens. The possibilities are endless and they are entirely up to you.
When it comes to breaking ground, it is important to know your limitations. The size of your garden determines how much time and energy it will take to maintain it. If you’re looking for something more low maintenance, begin with a small garden. It can always be expanded next year.
Have a Plan
If you are unsure which plants you need to buy, visit a local plant nursery and take some photos of the plants you may want to include in your garden. Make sure that you look at the tags to determine water and sun requirements as these make a huge difference in where they can be planted. Choose plants that bloom at different parts of the year for a little burst of season long colour. You should also pick plants with similar needs to group together in the garden.
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Get the Tools
You will require a few different supplies and tools to keep the garden up and running smoothly. No, you don’t need to buy out the store in one day but having the proper tools will certainly make gardening easier. For some of the bigger tools, check with your local home improvement store. Many of them have tools available for rental.
What you need:
· Gardening gloves – Make sure that you choose a pair that are thick to prevent being pricked by thorns. You also want to ensure that your gloves are comfortable and fit properly.
· Weeding tools – You are certainly going to need something to assist in pulling out the pesky weeds that grow in your garden.
· Shovel – A shovel is incredibly important when it comes to creating a garden. You will want to pick one that will dig holes easily, so choosing one with a pointed tip is your best bet.
· Garden hose and spray nozzle – Make sure that when choosing a garden hose, it will be the correct length to reach all your gardens.
· Metal Rake – A metal rake is great for spreading soil and making sure that the garden is ready for planting.
Annuals and Perennials
If you want to get more than one season out of your garden, purchase a mix of annuals and perennials. Annuals bloom and die in a single season, but perennials will come back year after year, switching things up a bit every year. Think about staggering the maturity and expected “in bloom” dates of the plants you are putting into your garden so you can have something flowering all season long.
Check out community gardens, botanical gardens and plant nurseries for low cost workshops on a large variety of gardening topics. It is a great idea to familiarize yourself with gardening further. Gardening is certainly a learning experience, even people who have been gardening for a long time are learning new things. Here in London, the Garden Club offers classes and assistance through the Civic Garden Complex.
Starting a garden this year is an amazing idea; just remember to take your time and learn as you go. Gardening is a great hobby and a fantastic way to enjoy the spring and summer.