Tips for beginner gardeners

Anything that is new can be overwhelming at the start and that is true for gardening as well. Whether you want to start a vegetable garden or an ornamental garden, here are some tips to make it work.

1.    Start small. Choose a small area of you yard, maybe close to your entrance, where you can start a border. When you opt for vegetables, you may have some room close to your kitchen. When this works for you, you can expand from there or just keep it small.

2.    Realize it will take some work. The plants you plant need care: watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading, transplanting, thinning, fertilizing etc. are things that need to be done regularly.

3.    Improve the soil before you plant by adding hummus (compost, composted manure, leaves etc.). Hummus is organic matter that will improve any soil type: dry sandy soils will retain water better and clay soils will drain more easily with added hummus.4.    Choose the right plant for the area you want to plant. Things like hardiness zone, sun, shade, height, spread and drought tolerance are important factors when it comes to choosing the right plants. Our plant database and your local garden centre can help you with that.

5.    Start planting after the last frost day in your area. This is best for both vegetable and ornamental gardens and saves you the work of having to protect your plants. Newly planted plants are not established yet and are more susceptible to frost damage, even if they are hardy for you area.

6.    When planting your new plants, make sure to level the root ball with the soil in your garden. When the plant goes in deeper, it wil rot, because the stem is partly covered by soil. When it is planted too shallow, the roots stick out and the plant will dry out.

7.    Inspect your plants regularly. This way you notice problems at an early stage when it is easy to deal with: a few aphids are easier to get rid of than when the entire plant is covered. It is also a great way to see your plants grow, bloom and attract pollinators.

8.    Gardening often goes by trial and error. What does not work one year, may go well the following year or the other way around! Plants are living things and can give a great feeling of accomplishment when they grow. Also many things happen beyond a gardeners control and that is something we have to live with.

9.    Enjoy the plants you grow. Whether they are the fruits and vegetables you eat and/or flowers to look at. It may take some time and patience, but it will pay off the effort you put in.Happy Gardening!

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