So you’ve decided to dedicate some time to your garden this year. Awesome! We love seeing people take up gardening as a hobby. It can be a great way to center yourself and care for living things that also happen to make your home look even better. You might not know where to get started, so here are a few tips to get you going with your wonderful new interest.
One of the most basic principles of gardening is that plants need sunlight. You probably already knew that. What you might not have knows is that most plants need about 6 hours of sunlight each day. Of course, this varies by plant species, so when you’re getting to know your plants, do research about what each specific plant needs. Before you plant anything be strategic about where you place things. Plants that need more sun, such as any sort of pepper, should be placed in areas that get the most sun. Plants that need less sun, such as hydrangeas should be placed in shady spots so that they don’t crisp up.
A good idea before you start planting is to make sure the soil has the nutrients your plants need from it. The best way to do this is by purchasing a pH testing kit. This will tell you which plants are ideal for which areas, and which minerals are missing. If you find the soil low in any minerals, you should add them before planting anything. Even if you have the perfect soil to plant in, most plants will benefit from adding some extra nutrients while they adjust to their new home. You can add a soil booster, fertilizer or organic material such as manure or compost to give you plants the jump start they need.
Figuring out where to put your plants can be fun, but be careful about picking the right spots. Make sure that you don’t crowd any of your plants. Each plant should have a spacing recommendation on it’s tag, so pay careful attention to those. Placing plants too close to each other can cause them to steal nutrients, water and sunlight from each other. They also create humidity, so placing them too close to each other can cause them to suffer from each other’s “heat”.
One of the most important tools you can buy for your garden is a hose attachment. Using a hose without a “shower” type attachment can cause your plants to get too much water pressure and damage them. If any plants require hand watering, use one hand to gently hold back its leaves and water only the roots. Look to each plant’s tag for instructions about how much water it needs. Too much water can cause funguses to grow which will eat away at your plants and steal their nutrients.