Many of us will be keen to get into our gardens currently and thinking – where do I start! There are no mistakes in Gardening – should be a joy not a chore – follow our simple top tips to make your growing dream a reality.
1. Right plants for your soil
Before you buy any plants, check your soil type: is it light and sandy, or heavy and clay? Many plants thrive better in one type than the other. If you’re not sure, take a look at what plants are growing in your neighbour’s garden.
2. Give plants space
Try not to place young plants too close together, not all will survive or, if they do, they will need more frequent watering and fertiliser. Crowded plants are also more susceptible to disease. Plant labels tell you how much room they need.
3. Be gentle
Am sure we do not need to tell you not to remove new plants from their pots by pulling their stems! Gently squeeze the pot sides and turn it upside-down, using your other hand to catch the plant as it slides out.
4. Plan your design
Think before you dig! Place all your bulbs and young plants on the soil surface first and move them around until you’re happy with the arrangement. Then plant them.
5. Soak your roots
The last thing you want is dry root balls. Thoroughly soak the roots of a new plant before you put it in soil. Also make sure the hole is bigger than the root ball before you attempt to put it in. A plant’s roots need to be able to spread to get the best chance of moisture and absorbing the soil’s nutrients.
6. What is it?
For first-time gardeners, it can be easy to forget what you’ve planted and where. Be sure to write a label if the purchased plant does not already have one and pop it in the ground next to where you have planted.
7. Water carefully
Plants are designed to live outside and to draw natural moisture without the need for daily artificial irrigation (unless we’re experiencing a drought). As a rough guide, if approx. 2 inches into the soil is very dry, add some water. The exceptions are container plants which, because there are a lot of plants in a restricted amount of soil, will need watering regularly.
8. Weeds be gone
Weeds are a gardener’s nemesis. Weed regularly and make sure you remove all their roots. If there are seeds clinging to the weeds, don’t put them in the compost heap; you’ll end up re-seeding your weeds when you spread the compost.
9. Shrub off
Resist the temptation to plant your shrubs near a fence or wall. They grow outwards (in all directions) as well as upwards, so plan accordingly.
10. Have fun!
Experiment and try new things. If you realise you’ve planted something in the wrong place – either because it’s the wrong height or colour, or because it’s not growing well – you can move it. There are no mistakes in gardening. Don’t be scared about getting something ‘wrong’ as there is so much to learn and it will improve your knowledge.