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Gardening tips for newbie gardeners

Want to get gardening but not quite sure where or how to begin? I have some handy tips for you to successfully plant, grow and nurture a...

Gardening tips for newbie gardeners

Want to get gardening but not quite sure where or how to begin? I have some handy tips for you to successfully plant, grow and nurture a garden.

Gardening is a lot of fun and a rewarding hobby but it can also be overwhelming if you have no idea of the basics. But if you get the basics right, it can become a lifelong hobby that you enjoy.

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The Location

The first and foremost criteria when starting a garden is to get the location right. Ideally your garden location should receive ample sunlight (at least 6-8 hours every day), be close to a water source and have well-draining, fertile soil. I also believe that the garden must be close to the house so that you can easily access it. This way you can take better care of the garden and are more likely to spend time there.

The Soil

There are three different types of soil - sandy, silt and clay. And according to the experts, the best type of soil for most plants is a sandy loam. You should however choose the soil for the garden beds based on what plants you plan to grow. For e.g. Gaillardia (Blanket Flower) grows well in sandy soil while Geranium prefers clay soil. So, planting them both together would not make sense.

For a healthy garden you need to have healthy garden soil and the selection of soil should be based on the plants you wish to grow. It is mostly a combination soil and with some research you will be able to get the best mix for your desired plants.

The Plants

The plants that you choose to grow should be suited for the location of your garden and the space you have available. For e.g. don't plant sun-loving plants in areas that do not receive enough sunlight. Similarly, think about the plant/tree's height, suitability to the climate where you live, how much maintenance and care it needs and so on. If you want a green garden all year round, consider having some evergreens. And then add some deciduous plants/trees for variety and colour.

Garden plants

Plant Feed and Mulch

As mentioned earlier, healthy soil is a must for healthy plants. So, even if you start with great soil, it makes sense to regularly boost the soil with high quality plant nutrition. This could be in the form of manure, slow release fertiliser granules or liquid food feed.

Another important point is to add a layer of mulch around the plants. Not only does this prevent weeds from growing, it also prevents evaporation of water thus keeping the soil moist for longer.

Design and placement

Now this one depends on your personal choice and on how much time you can dedicate to taking care of your garden. Keeping in mind all the points discussed above, you could go for a gravel and rock garden that works well when space is restricted or go for a modern garden where the focus is divided between the plants and the architectural aspects or opt for a traditional garden with expanses of lawn are complemented by beautiful perennial borders and/or flowering plants in containers.

I have seen many of my friends shy away from having lawns and prefer paved areas instead, because of the effort and time needed for mowing the lawns. Some enjoy mowing, some don't. If you fall into the latter category but still want to have a lawn, then you could consider artificial grass for your garden. Yes, they have an upfront installation cost but the plus point is that the lawn remains green whatever the season/weather. And once it has been set up, it requires very little maintenance. And nowadays we have artificial grasses that look almost like the real one and offer a luxurious feel underfoot!

So, those are some of my tips for beginner gardeners. I hope it helps you on your gardening journey. If you have any tips that you would love to share with us, please do so using the comments section below.

Happy gardening!

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