Gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it’s critical to set yourself up for success by planning ahead and learning as much as you can before you start your garden! It’s all too easy to plant your seeds and wait for the flowers to grow without thinking about how you’ll manage them after they sprout up! Gardeners often find themselves overwhelmed, their garden overtaken by weeds or worse yet, pests. To help you get started off on the right foot with a healthy garden that stands a good chance of surviving into next year (and beyond), I have put together this guide of helpful tips for new gardeners.
12 Tips for new gardeners
Find out your Plant Zone
First things first: you need to know your plant zone. this is obviously the first tip for new gardeners! This is important because it will tell you what plants are recommended for your area and which ones are likely to thrive or fail. There are several websites that offer this information, including the US Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The USDA map is a great resource for all plant zones in the United States. It tells you what plants grow best in your area and explains why some plants don’t survive in certain areas. The website also offers tips for growing each plant, along with helpful information about pests and diseases that might affect your garden.
Find your Frost date.
Frost dates are important to know because they tell you when your area might experience frost. These dates vary by region. . If you want to grow plants that need a certain amount of cold weather in order to mature, then this is an important factor for you. The USDA website lists the last frost date in your area, which is the first fall day when temperatures don’t go below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) for 24 hours. The first frost date is the date when you can expect to see frost.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
This is probably one of the most important tips not just for new gardeners but for all gardeners out there. Never hesitate to ask for help. You can learn so much from the experts in gardening. There are experts out there who have been gardening for decades, and they’re happy to share their knowledge. So don’t be afraid to ask questions, or even get some hands-on experience at an educational garden or farm. It’s all about learning as much as possible so that you can make informed decisions about your growing practices
Test your soil.
When you’re just starting out, it’s important to get your garden soil tested so that you know what nutrients (if any) are lacking. This will help you choose the right fertilizer for your garden and plants. You can buy soil test kits at most garden stores or online, and they’re easy to use. Just follow the instructions and send off your sample for testing. Once you have your soil test results, you can figure out what needs to be added. If your soil is lacking in nitrogen, for example, you’ll know that adding manure or compost will help. You may also see that there’s a need for potassium or iron, which can be easily taken care of with the right fertilizer.
For new gardeners, it is important to start small. As a new gardener, this tip will ensure your long-term success! It is best to start with a small area and see how that goes before adding more plants. Start with something manageable like a container garden or an herb garden if you don’t have much space in your yard.
You can always add more plants later on but once they are established. It’s also easier to maintain a smaller garden than manage one that’s larger in size and has more varieties of plants. You can use small space to learn and slowly expand your garden in terms of the size and variety of plants you grow.
Choose easy-to-grow plants.
You want to make sure that the plants you choose are easy to grow and won’t require too much maintenance. Look for ones that don’t need a lot of water or fertilizer and aren’t susceptible to diseases or pests.
Choose plants that require little maintenance. You’ll have more success with your garden if you start with plants that don’t need any special care or attention—and then move on to more complicated plants once you’ve gotten the hang of things!
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Give your plants some space to grow
Plants need room to grow, and you should leave enough space between each plant. This will allow for optimal air circulation and sunlight to reach each plant, which is essential for their growth. Your plants should have plenty of room to grow. If you crowd them together and they don’t have adequate space to spread out, they’ll compete with one another for nutrients in the soil and water from rainfall or irrigation.
Choose the right plants for your climate.
Choosing the right plants is the first step in creating a garden that you’ll enjoy for many years. You want to choose plants that will thrive in your climate and soil conditions, but also ones that are suited to your growing season.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of Sun, you may want to choose plants that can handle this type of environment. However, if you live in an area that is cooler or has more shade than the sun, then consider getting some shade-loving plants for your garden.
Plan an irrigation system.
You’ll want to factor in how much water your garden will need and how often you can get out there to water it.
When planning your garden’s irrigation system, it’s important to make sure that you include a few key components. First, you’ll want to lay out the space for your garden and decide where you’re going to plant each plant. Next, you’ll need to decide what kind of watering system you want. You can choose drip irrigation or overhead sprinklers—both have their advantages.
Choose the right tools for the job
When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to know what tools to buy. New gardeners in particular need tips to help start their collection of tools before they can start digging and planting!
One of the best things you can do for your new garden is to choose the right tools for the job. That means getting a good pair of gardening gloves and a sturdy shovel—and if you’re digging up rocks or moving dirt from one place to another, a wheelbarrow will come in handy too.
You’ll also want a good pair of clippers that won’t break when you’re cutting down bushes or trimming branches of trees. And don’t forget about sunscreen!
Don’t over-fertilize your plants
One of the most common mistakes new gardeners make is over-fertilizing their plants. This can lead to a whole host of issues, including plant burn, nutrient toxicity, and even death. So how do you avoid it?
First, understand that your plants will tell you when they need fertilizer. When they’re young and growing rapidly, they’ll need more frequent fertilization than when they’re mature and growing slowly.
Second, don’t rely solely on instructions from the fertilizer package. Instead, use a soil test kit to determine how much fertilizer your soil needs in order to achieve optimal growth for your type of plant (fruit tree vs. vegetable garden).
This is probably one of the most obvious tips for new gardeners! Patience is a virtue! As in all things worth our time and effort, new gardeners will have to be patient to enjoy the fruits of their labor!
It’s important to understand that gardening is a mix of art and science. You can’t follow a recipe for growing a beautiful garden just by reading—you have to learn how your plants like it best, and then give them what they need. This means that you have to be patient as you observe your plants and figure out what kind of care they need. You’ll get better at it with time, so don’t worry if you can’t grow a perfect garden on your first try.
It’s important to remember that gardening is a lifelong process—you don’t have to get it right the first time! The more you practice and learn about your garden, the better your experience will be.
You’re going to make mistakes—and that’s O.K.! You’re going to plant seeds and they might not come up or you going to water the wrong plant and kill it, or put something in the wrong place and waste your time replanting it. It happens, and it’s totally normal! The key is to think about the bigger picture of why you’re gardening, what you want to do with your garden, and how much joy it brings you.
So, yes it can be overwhelming to get started with a new hobby of gardening. As a new gardener, you might benefit from some of the tips I have shared but you might also find your own unique way of gardening that works for you and your garden. One thing is for sure, you will discover that the more time you spend in your garden, the more you will enjoy it and the better you become at it!