If you’ve ever felt that you aren’t quite experienced enough to have your own lush garden, remember, as the saying goes, practice really does make perfect, and gardening is certainly no different. If growing your own vegetables and plants is something that interests you but you’ve always been afraid to try, you’ll want to start out right with the following simple tips for beginner gardening.
A novice gardener is like a kid with a box of eight crayons. You can still draw a lot of things with eight crayons but marigolds end up the same color as sunflowers and forget about coloring a winter sunset. Although it may be tempting to plant many different types of plants and vegetables, an important hint to remember about beginner gardening is to start out with a smaller, more manageable garden at first. Many people make this common mistake, enthused about their very first garden they end up planting more than they can handle, and then aren’t able to tend to it properly. As skills and confidence grow, gradually increase the garden’s size to fit your time and energy commitments. However, one variation that has caught on with even the most novice gardener is referred to as “minigardening”. It involves growing plants in containers, utilizing either a prepared mixture of a soil substitute and fertilizer, or aggregate culture.
While tending to your own garden is a lot of work, the rewards are plentiful. Whether it’s a new adventure in beginner gardening, or the experienced gardener who has grown their own vegetables before, gardening is supposed to be a fun, relaxing task, rather than a dreaded chore that is avoided. What is interesting to me (as a novice gardener) is that what is produced in Spring (especially flowers and flowering shrubs and trees) are the results of planning and preparation that was completed in the Fall and Winter. You can’t plant tulips or a dogwood tree in March and expect them to flower this Spring.
Another helpful hint for beginner gardening is to sow early on in the planting season. If you are growing vegetables rather than flowers, remember to only plant as much as you and your family will need to avoid wasting any of your efforts. Once your gardening skills improve, you may even want to consider growing vegetables for a profit, if of course you have the interest and the time required to begin such a venture.
Yet another common mistake made by beginner gardening enthusiasts is not learning the basics about the plants and vegetables they put into their garden. It’s a smart idea to do plenty of research on the various growing requirements of the individual vegetables you’ll be planting. Not all plants and veggies are equal, as some will need more care and maintenance than others. When starting out, stick with the easiest plants to grow, adding more complex varieties as your gardening experience grows along with your crops.
Vegetables that flourish and grow during the warm, summer months, such as squash, and different varieties of peppers and tomatoes, may be purchased as young plants from nurseries rather than starting from seeds. This way the plants are already started to ensure the best growth until you’re more confident in your gardening skills. These types of vegetables should always be planted after the danger of the last frost is over, usually late in the month of May, or early in June. Late August is yet another prime time for planting before autumn arrives.