5 Helpful Tips for Beginning Gardeners
After getting a part-time summer job as a cashier at a nursery when I was 16 years old, I never thought that gardening would turn into a life-long passion and hobby. After getting a promotion from cashier to Horticultural Assistant, I learned a lot about how plants react to different soil, what they thrive on and how much sun they would need. I loved watching “my” plants at the nursery grow. Over the years I’ve heard many people tell me how they wished they had a “green thumb”. Well, anyone can take care of plants. It’s really not that hard. These 5 simple beginner gardening tips will show you how easy it can be!
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Make the Internet Your Friend
The internet is full of information about any plant you can imagine. Some plants may not grow properly in your region, so you should always know your climate and temperatures and if the plant or vegetable you want to grow will thrive where you live. Before you order and spend money on exotic plants and flowers, use the internet to search for the types of plants that are native to your area and go from there. Want to grow a Night-blooming Cereus? Just Google it! Find out if it is a fit for your soil and climate. The material you will find on the web is endless.
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You should always test your soil before starting your gardening project. You can go to any nursery or home improvement store in your area and purchase a soil testing kit. They are fairly inexpensive and can give you’re the PH levels in the ground. Depending on the PH level in your soil, some plants may thrive better than others. Most gardens have a PH level that ranges from 5.5 to 8.0. If your soil is too acidic, (below a 6) you can add ground limestone. Any soil above 7.5, you should add soil sulfur. Before taking on this task all alone, see #3 below and ask an expert to help you.
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Get to know the people working at your local nursery
Wherever it is that you purchase your seeds, bulbs, and plants from, the staff at a nursery can also give you a lot of tips on what plants will thrive where you live. Since they are experts and of course would like for you to make a purchase with them, they are probably more than happy to give you tips and advice on the type of plants you should buy. They will most likely recommend you to start off with the plants that are easy to care for and maintain as in step #4.
Keep it simple
Don’t go crazy buying every plant that you fancy. Take your time and start with the plants that are easiest to take care of. For instance, I love working with ivy. Ivy looks great and doesn’t need much attention for it to thrive and grow. You can even start growing it in a vase and work from there. Most vegetables are also easy to grow and maintain. Start practicing on the easy stuff and then as you learn more, you can add to your garden.
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Water is the most vital element of plant-life in your garden, however, be careful as not to overwater your plants. Many people make the mistake of watering their plants every day. 2 to 3 times per week should be sufficient. Once you get to know your plants you can gauge if they need water by just looking at them. If you see your plants wilting, it’s a pretty good indication that they may be thirsty! When watering in a garden, aim towards the root instead of just on top of the plant for maximum absorption of nutrients.