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Amateur Gardener? Here’s What You Need to Get Started

by | Oct 13, 2021

A professional gardener will know everything there is to know about plants and will have the right tools and techniques for them to grow healthy. However, as an amateur gardener, you might not know how to get started. Don’t worry because we have a quick guide for you to keep you on the right track. 

1. Determine Your Area’s Average Frost Date

A mistake that many gardeners do is planting things before the season’s last frost. Spring fools people with warm weather before the last frost, encouraging amateur gardeners to start planting. However, once the frost falls, it will compromise any frost-sensitive plants you may have added to your garden. This is why you need to familiarize yourself with the average frost dates of the season, and only start planting after that.

2. Get the Right Tools

Even if you are just starting with gardening, you need to make sure that you have all the tools to make your job easier. Every local garden center should be able to provide a basic gardening toolkit. This usually includes tools such as trowels, transplanters, gardening gloves, cultivators, and sheers for pruning. If the provided kit does not have all of these tools, you might want to get the items separately. 

3. Test the Soil

If the soil is not appropriate for plant growth, all that digging and planting you’ll do will be for nothing. This is why it is essential to test the acidity level or pH level of the soil. Ideally, it should be somewhere between 6.0 and 7.0 for the plants to grow nice and healthy. You should also test your soil for potassium and phosphorus, as plants usually need high levels of these nutrients to grow. You can find soil testing kits at your local garden center, so you may grab one while you are out there buying the tools. 

4. Get the Right Plants

Not every plant will be able to grow in the space that you have. For instance, certain plants such as ferns might require limited sunlight, whereas others such as dahlias or peonies will need to bask in sunlight every year. Also, if you live in an area that is typically cold, tropical plants might not thrive as easily in the garden. Make sure you choose your plants wisely. 

5. Stock on Mulch

Many gardeners make the mistake of not adding mulch to their gardens, causing the plants to die before their time. Mulch prevents the growth of weeds while retaining moisture, which will protect your garden in the long run. You can also go for compost instead of mulch, using kitchen and garden waste that has broken down for at least a year. This compost will also provide the necessary nutrients to the soil. 

Final Thoughts

Gardening should not be that difficult, provided you take the proper steps. Make sure you get the right tools, buy the right plants and choose the right time of the season for them. With practice, you’ll become a pro at gardening.