Starting a garden can be both fun and rewarding. Not sure how to begin or what type of garden to grow? AHS can help with these beginner gardening tips!
Considered one of the greatest combinations of art and science, gardening has long been a favorite pastime for many. Perhaps it’s the harmonious arrangement of beautiful flowers that’s so attractive. Or the sheer feeling of accomplishment that comes with providing your own sustenance. Regardless, the love for the act never seems to cease.
Thinking of joining the club and starting a garden? Now’s the best time. Read below for some “gardening for beginners” ideas and tips, and you’ll be reaping what you sow (literally) in no time.
Gardening Ideas: Factors to Consider
Spring is an excellent time to begin starting a garden. You’re almost “out of the weeds” when it comes to the last frost of the season. It’s the time of year when new buds begin to pop up. And, best of all, if the gardening is all said and done in the spring, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor for potentially the rest of the year. Don’t hit the ground running yet, though. First, consider the following factors:
1. Determine which type of garden is right for your home.
Are you more of a flower person? Do you prefer herbs? Or do you desire fruits and vegetables? First things first, decide what you want to grow.
2. Assess your space and resources.
Next, determine how much space and money you have to work with. Gardens can be as small as a few pots or as large as…well, as large as you want them to be. Likewise, you can end up spending hundreds of dollars preparing them. The good news? If you take care of your garden, it’s certainly worth the investment.
3. Consider how much sunlight the area receives.
Some plants require several hours of sunlight each day, while others prefer shadier climates. Which does your proposed area fall under?
4. Decide how much work you want to initially put into it.
Do you want to really get your hands dirty by removing any necessary sod, rocks, etc., and preparing the existing soil? Or do you prefer to simply build an above-ground box and mix your own store-bought dirt, conditioner, fertilizer, etc.? Either way, you’re going to be working hard. It’s just a matter of how hard.
5. Then, decide how much time you want to spend on upkeep.
Do you want to go the wildflower route and just watch your garden grow, with little to no maintenance? Or do you want to ensure no weed stands a chance? Bonus Tip: Consider that you may have to take precautions for garden pests and other pesky wildlife that may be interested in your crops, as well.
Gardening Tips: How to Choose Your Plants
Once you’ve determined the type of garden you’re creating, it’s time to decide on the specific plants. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Do you want to incorporate plants for all seasons?
Perhaps you want to see color all year. Or maybe you want to mix it up and have plants that peak at different times. Consider this when creating the layout of your garden. Likewise, determine if you want plants that will have a life cycle that only lasts this year (annuals) versus plants that come back every year (perennials).
2. Do you want to start with seeds or buy plants that have already started to mature?
Here’s the real question: How patient are you? Do you think of seedlings as little babies that need to be nurtured and loved, possibly well before they’re even in the ground? Or do you want results as quickly as possible?
3. How large will the plants grow to be?
Don’t leave the store without finding out what kind of footprint your plants will leave. If one plant will take up your entire garden, reconsider your purchase to ensure you can grow a combination of plants.
4. Will they spread out?
Similar to how large your plants will become, determine if they like to spread their wings (or roots, rather). You certainly don’t want to be stuck with a bully plant and several tiny plants that can’t compete (i.e., produce) in your garden.