So you’ve just moved into a new property, you might be renting, or you might be taking your first steps on the property ladder, or maybe you’re helping a relative with their garden – whatever the scenario, if you’re reading this, then chances are gardening might as well be a foreign language. Soil types, using a lawnmower, knowing what to plant and when to plant it, how to keep things alive…these are all questions that you’ve never had to ask yourself before. But don’t worry, in this compact, quick and easy gardening guide for beginners, we’ll take you through the most basic steps on your gardening journey.
The good news is, that gardening isn’t an exact science. Even those with years of experience make mistakes or have things that just don’t work out. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Let’s look at the lawn. As a rule of thumb only mow the lawn when the grass is dry and cool and don’t mow the lawn when it’s wet – you won’t get the best result and it’s just dangerous and a waste of time and energy. If you want to keep your lawn looking healthy then you’re going to need to fertilise it – check out this handy grass seed calculator if you need a little more guidance.
Choosing the right plants
Choosing the right plants means checking what kind of soil you have in your garden. Is it light and sandy? Or heavier, clumpy and clay like? Certain plants thrive better in some soils than they do in others. If you’re unsure then have a look at your neighbours garden – they’ll have the same soil type as you.
Plan your design
Before you start digging and pruning and planting, it’s best to have at least a vague idea of what is going to be planted where. You need to be wary of planting certain plants next to others, you need to make sure each plant has plenty of room to grow, you might even need to think about the colour scheme or design you’re going for. So don’t just plant randomly, do a little research first.
Don’t plant too close together
As mentioned above, planting your new plants or bulbs too close together leaves them susceptible to disease, or they just simply won’t make it. Or if they do, you’re going to need to water and fertilise them more than usual. Don’t be fooled by the colourful displays at the garden centre that a bursting at the seams with different plants – space everything out evenly and give each plant a chance.
Put a label on it
It’ll be disappointing if you’re neighbour compliments you on your plants and you can’t remember it’s name…! While you’re getting used to the new world of plants and perennials, bulbs and bushes, you might as well keep the plant labels that come with your plants and stick them in the ground, so you have them for future reference.
You’ll have green fingers in no time!