Gardening might seem like a chill, laidback hobby, until you actually try it and realize it requires pure dedication and hard work. However, the fulfillment that comes with successfully growing your own home garden is simply worth the effort.
So don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed about everything you have to do at first. Here are 8 tips to get you started on your first ever attempt at maintaining a garden:
- Take care of the soil
Before you even try to grow any seedlings, make sure your soil is good enough for cultivation. You need light soil that can hold water well, so you want to mix a couple of different materials like topsoil, peat moss, and other amendments that will make it a more suitable home for your future plant babies.
Since this is your first time gardening, you can also buy premixed soil to lessen the hassle on your part.
- Pick your first batch carefully
The next step you have to do is find the best places to buy outdoor plants online. Note that we don’t really recommend growing seedlings for first-time gardeners, precisely because you need to practice taking care of grown plants first to avoid the absolute heartbreak of losing your entire seedling batch due to lack of practice.
Once you have successfully grown and cultivated your outdoor plants, then you can try growing your own batch from seedlings.
- Have a sensible watering schedule
Some multipurpose plants can go several days without watering, while certain vegetables require a daily drink. To come up with a watering schedule that makes sense, you have to research just how much water each of your plants needs. Keep in mind that both underwatering and overwatering can severely damage plants, so you have to be mindful of your watering style.
- Encourage strong root growth
Outdoor plants are only as strong as their root systems. Some of the ways you can encourage root growth is by watering from the bottom (in potted plants) or trying out self-watering wicks that allow roots to ‘seek’ the water source instead of directly feeding it to them.
Of course, natural fertilizers can also help boost your plant’s roots by keeping them healthy and well-nourished.
- Know how much sunshine your plants need
As with water, there is no hard-and-fast rule as to how many hours of sunshine your plants might need. It will depend on the kind of plant, so you have to do your research. As a general rule, though, refrain from planting anything in permanently shaded areas of your garden. Even though some plants only need 1-2 hours of sunshine everyday, they can’t exactly survive where it’s perpetually dark.
- Transplant carefully
If you’ve never heard of transplanting, then you should start learning all about it as soon as you can. When you grow plants from seeds, you are going to let them germinate in small containers first. However, as they grow bigger, you literally have to transfer them into a bigger space, which could be a raised bed or a soil ground.
Either way, transplanting plants might just be the hardest and trickiest part for new gardeners. When you transfer plants from one container to another bed, you can easily damage its roots, causing it to die soon after the transplant. There are a lot of Youtube videos that will help you successfully transplant your plant babies, though. Just remember that your goal is to not damage any of the roots while moving the plants.
- Make your own compost
A lot of people who complain that gardening is an expensive hobby to keep must be buying commercial compost all the time. However, if you learn how to make compost right at home, you can avoid all these unnecessary spending. Furthermore, when you make your own compost, you can be assured that its quality will be topnotch.
- Tend to your garden proactively
Finally, being a successful gardener requires that you proactively care and tend to your garden. Do not wait until plants are showing signs of neglect before you do something. Take out weeds, mulch the soil, and add natural fertilizers (like your homemade compost) to keep your plants healthy and strong.
There’s nothing that compares to the feeling of seeing your own plants thrive under your care. It may be overwhelming at first, but as long as you put your heart into caring for your plants and keep these 8 tips in mind, you will surely be rewarded with a bountiful garden.