Whether you’re new to gardening or an experienced gardener, there are a few things you should know before planting anything. Keeping on top of things will make the entire process much easier and ensure your plants thrive.
So we rounded up some of our top gardening tips to help you get started. These tips include tips on how to keep your soil healthy, collecting rain water and making your own compost, plus more!
1. Know Your Plants
One of the top gardening tips is to know your plants and what they need to thrive. Knowing their water needs, light preferences, and more will help you keep them healthy and happy.
Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced gardener, it’s important to know your plants and what they need to survive. Plants that aren’t getting enough sunlight, for instance, won’t produce as well as those that get ample exposure.
Apps like PictureThis and Florish are great tools for this, as they offer a camera-enabled plant identifier along with detailed plant care guides. They also have AIs that can diagnose sick plants and help you set up watering reminders and schedules.
2. Know Your Soil
Soil is the foundation of your garden and it determines what plants will thrive. It also provides water and nutrients, so knowing its needs is critical to your gardening success.
There are a number of simple tests you can do to learn more about your soil. Start with the ribbon test:
Add a handful of damp soil to a clear jar and roll it between your hands until you form a ribbon. Sandy soil will feel gritty, while silty soil feels smooth.
3. Know Your Watering Schedule
Watering plants is a critical step in keeping the green parts of the plant healthy. Too little water can lead to a plant that is stunted or sickly, while too much can make it grow faster but weaken its roots.
The key to a water-friendly garden is to know your plant’s needs and the weather conditions of your area. Then adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
The best time to water is early in the morning, when soil is cool and the water has a better chance of soaking deeply into the ground before it evaporates. This also gives the water an opportunity to reach the roots of plants, instead of sitting on leaves and stems and causing mildew and mold to form.
4. Know Your Weeds
Weeds are a common problem that gardeners face. They compete with plants for nutrients, sunlight, and space. They can also hide pests and diseases that could damage your crops.
Invasive weeds are especially troublesome and need to be removed as soon as they appear. But, if you know your weeds and their needs, you can keep them at bay by planting desirable crops in the spaces they occupy.
5. Know Your Pests
There are several important things to keep in mind when it comes to managing pests. First, you need to know your specific garden type and the insect pests that typically infest it.
For example, a vegetable garden with cucurbits will have different pest problems than an ornamental garden.
To help control pests in your garden, you may want to add plants that attract beneficial insects. These include green lacewings and lady beetles, both of which can eat harmful garden pests like aphids.
6. Know Your Tools
Whether you’re an avid gardener or just getting started, it’s important to know your tools and their needs. This way, you can keep them clean and in tip-top shape, and ensure they are safe to use in your garden.
Cleaning and sharpening are essential tasks, but so is keeping your tools stored properly after each use. This can help extend their lifespans and prevent them from rusting and damaging the wood handles.
7. Know Your Time
The amount of time it takes to manage a garden is going to depend on the size and type of your space. A small garden might take only 15 minutes a day to maintain, but a large one might be in need of around 6 hours a week. This is because your garden needs constant attention to keep it producing healthy food, as well as a neat, tidy appearance.
The best way to know your time is to write down the various tasks that need to be done in your garden so you can plan and prioritize what needs to be completed first. This can help you avoid wasting valuable time by deciding what to do first and focusing on those tasks that are easier to accomplish.