If you have just started out as a gardener, you probably have visions of a beautiful, bountiful garden and lots of enjoyable hours tilling the soil and reaping the fruits of your labors. While this can surely be the case, very often, gardening is lots of hard work followed by baffled disappointment – at least until you know what you are doing! Here are some ideas to help you cultivate your green thumb as quickly as possible.
Plant vegetables and flowers that are native to your local area. These plants will grow better with less work than plants that are not native. Also, native plants won’t require much extra watering, as they will generally adapt to the amount of rain typical to that area. This will also reduce your need for pesticides and fertilizers, since the plants will be able to handle the soil and pests in your area.
Fertilize the soil you are going to plant in three weeks before planting. By doing this, you are helping the soil improve its ability to retain nutrients and water, which are especially important for new plants. There are many fertilizers from which to choose at your local gardening store.
If your green thumb starts to wilt during those long winter months when your garden is buried beneath a foot of snow, learn how to grow microgreens to provide yourself with fresh, healthy salads, sandwich toppings and garnishes all year round. Microgreens require very little sunlight and are easy to grow indoors. Some common microgreens include kale, dill, basil, spinach, and chard.
During hot weather, water your plants more frequently and deeply. When your plants do not get enough water, their roots work themselves up close to the surface, which means they will dry out quicker. If you water deeply, the roots will stay well underground to get to the water down below.
If you want your garden to be successful, focus on your soil. In order to protect your plants from unwanted pests, it is essential to have healthy soil. It will nourish your vegetation and help them grow into strong plants that are able to fight off disease and damage from bugs.
The use of natural plants can make a garden without any work. Many plants will self seed and grow a perpetual crop without any work at all. Butternut squash, pumpkins, and cilantro will grow and self seed growing new crops year after year with almost no work and become a permanent garden feature. Grow them in areas such as the compost pile or along fences for maximum results.
Don’t try to remove low lying weeds by hand. Instead get a small shovel and flip them over so their leaves are under the dirt. You will kill the weed and the leaves will rot creating a fresh mulch like material for you to use. It is green and nourishing for the other plants.
Use your leftover pasta water in your garden! Plants are big starch fans and thrive with water that contains higher levels of starch, like the water left over after you boil pasta or potatoes. Make sure, though, that you let the water sit until it reaches room temperature prior to watering your plants with it!
By following these tips, you should be able to get a good start on your gardening hobby. Keep in mind that container gardening is a very easy and controllable method of gardening that is just great for beginners. You can plant almost anything in a container garden, and if you are a renter, you can easily take your garden with you if you move. Just remember to keep your container garden well watered since it will have no resources to draw on other than what you give it.