“Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.”
- Oscar de la Renta
For many, growing flowers, herbs, fruits and all can be so rewarding but it takes a lot of love and care as well. But if you’re reading this clearly it means you’re ready. So let’s take a small dive into some basic Gardening 101 tips!
It can be pretty confusing when it comes to starting a garden so we suggest that you first decide what you plan to grow: many decide between flowers or food. Also see how the weather fares in your area. Frost and summer haze can affect your garden. This decision will help you decide where to discover your best gardening zone near or in your home.
When deciding location, think about the surrounding elements such as wildlife, walking traffic, children and pets play area all can affect growth of your garden. Depending on space, plan your garden beds. Do you want rows, grid, rectangle patterns or would you like to grow what you like with a bit of scatter vibes.
Next up are garden tools, believe it or not it’s not as common for us to all own a garden shovel so let’s start with that. Other important tools depending on your plants: rake, garden hoe, pruners and gardening gloves are great items for beginners. When shopping for garden tools, select quality metal tools. Not only are these likely to stand up to the tough gardening jobs, but they are more likely to last.
Testing and preparing your soil. Soil is the foundation of your garden, as plants get their nutrients from the soil. Knowing your soil's characteristics and pH will give you an indication if the soil is suitable for your plants. Once soil is set you can choose your seeds to feed it. When selecting plants for your garden, choose varieties that are easy to grow. Zinnias, marigolds and pansies are some of the easiest flowers to grow, while lettuce, radishes and green beans are easy vegetables to grow. Many herbs are also easy to grow. If buying plants from the nursery, they should look healthy and free from insects or signs of disease (yellow or brown leaves may be a sign of disease).
Let’s get ready to plant: Gardens are usually planted in the spring or the fall, depending on the plant varieties. Some cool season vegetables, such as lettuce, radishes and peas, are planted in early spring and late summer. Bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils and garlic, are planted in the fall. Many perennials are planted in the spring and fall.
While watering rates will depend on the plants, the soil type and weather, the general rule of thumb is that garden plants need about 1 inch of rainfall weekly during the growing season. If you do not receive that, plan on watering. Be sure to check soil though before watering the garden. If soil is wet/damp you can likely skip watering that day. You don’t want to overwater your plant or garden.
The annoying green aka weeds. Weeds and pests are part of gardening. While mulching and updating soil helps with suppressing weed growth, you'll also want to weed weekly. Healthy plants are less susceptible to pests.
This all may sound a bit intense but trust us it’ll be the best decision. Once your garden grows you’ll never want to go back. Best of luck!