Gardening tips for beginners

Gardening is a labour of love for many Australians, but for others it’s not something that comes naturally. Maybe you’ve planted a veggie patch that is frustratingly bare, or perhaps you want to perk up your façade with some colourful flowers but can’t figure out how to keep them alive. Read on – this helpful gardening guide for beginners will share some key tips to help you on your way to achieving your dream garden and the knowledge needed to maintain it.

Start with the basics

Before you even slip on those gardening gloves, you’ll need to figure out what you can grow as opposed to what you want to grow. Planning is therefore essential, even if you only want to get started with a few pot plants or vegetable seedlings.

It all depends on where you live. Find out your climate, the average rainfall, type of soil around your home, and measure the amount of sunlight your chosen garden area gets every day. From there you’ll be able to find out whether you can plant a garden full of delicate plants, or if you will need more drought-resistant plants.

Lilies, pansies and geraniums do well in winter, while petunias, dahlias and sunflowers bloom well in summer. Lavender is a sturdy plant that will grow well despite dry weather.

Acquire the right equipment for the job

Next it’s off to the store to pick up suitable gardening equipment. Depending on the type of plants you want to grow, you may need a hoe, pruning shears, shovel and of course a pair of good-quality gloves to protect your hands.

It’s worth planting near a water source, or if not then you’ll need to pick up a portable watering can. Also make sure you’re happy for the clothes you wear to become your ‘permanent’ gardening attire – that is, you can expect to get plenty of dirt, water and clippings on them!

Pick the perfect spot

If you don’t already have your heart set on a spot, now’s the time to find it. Plants are only as good as the places they grow, which means your ideal spot needs to get plenty of natural sunlight, have good-quality soil and have easy access to water – whether that’s via a hose or sprinkler system, or a manual watering can.

If you don’t have much room to grow plants around your home, you can still make do with other things. Pot plants are fantastic for smaller homes and apartments, plus you can move them around to collect more sunlight or rain if they are portable enough. Just be aware that some plants, especially those that bear fruit, may be attractive to birds and other wildlife, so invest in bird netting if you need to.

Sun, soil and feeding

The final step is arguably the most important. Anyone can plant something in the ground, but only a competent gardener can keep it alive and help it thrive. You already know that every good garden needs plenty of sunlight, so ensure the location is right from the start.

You’ll also want to buy high-quality soil or potting mix that’s packed with the nutrients your plantings will love. Soil is the foundation upon which your plants will grow, so choose the right one for the job as every plant has different needs, and make adjustments as necessary for things like pot plants.

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to feed your plants! You will want to keep adding good nutritional soil and plant food throughout your garden’s growth cycle. Each plant will have a different feeding cycle, so keep a helpful gardening calendar that tells you when your growing plants need a little extra food.

Just because you don’t have a natural green thumb doesn’t mean you can’t master the art of gardening. Whether you are doing more around the house in retirement or you simply want to take up a healthy hobby, you will end up loving your garden because you worked so hard for it. Beginners and experts alike have one thing in common: they simply love to be out in nature and surrounded by the beauty of plants and flowers.

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