Gardening is an incredibly therapeutic, rewarding hobby to take up. You can watch plants, vegetables and fruits blossom under your care, and transform a once boring garden into a lively, colorful, flower-filled space. However, before you start, there’s a few things you need to be aware of. Due to the nature of the work, you need to have the right protection and the right tools – else you could end up with annoying minor injuries. Likewise, you should have some basic knowledge: enough to tell the difference between a weed and a plant! If you’re not sure what to do with your garden, look at books and blogs and put a plan into action. You might not be able to start right away, as different planting seasons begin at different parts of the year, but you’ll at least be able to prepare the land.
Before you start
Get the right equipment
You can’t do your garden justice if you’re not using the right equipment. While you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune on top class shovels and forks, you should make sure you have everything you need to do a good job. This includes everything from wheelbarrows and tubs, to protective gloves and a trowel. If you’re not sure what to get, try asking in your local garden center. They might even have a pack that contains everything you need to get started. Plus, you should get a mini first aid kit: gardening is very low risk, but you’ll still get insect bites and possibly even sprained wrists!
Know what you want to plant
Knowing what you want to plant is one of the hardest but most enjoyable parts of gardening. It might take you a few seasons to get the balance right, and to understand what will thrive in your garden, and what will struggle to develop. Luckily there are many blogs and books on the subject, so you can find plants that will suit your garden and what you want. Plus, you should look at growing your own fruits and vegetables. Depending on the climate of your state, either choose robust veggies that can survive in tough seasons, or invest in building a greenhouse, to keep your delicate fruits warm. Once you start growing your own produce, you’ll never go back to shop-bought again.
Understand what your soil is like
Understanding your soil type is another key factor to getting your garden right. Some soil is too acidic or dry to let certain flowers and plants flourish. If that’s the case, then you should look at treating your soil with products, or adding fertilizer to your flower beds and plant pots. Soil can be improved over time, and if you’ve never gardened before, it’s likely that once you start planting and treating it, it’ll begin to improve of its own accord.
Prepare your garden
Preparing your garden is key before starting any actual work. You need to get together any flower beds or plant pots, and arrange them where you want them. You need to do the strenuous job of hacking back any overgrown hedges or bushes, and getting it into a respectable state. You should also look a mowing the lawn and pulling up any weeds, so your plants have the best chance of surviving. Knowing how to identify weeds is important, but there’s plenty of resources to help you learn. While preparing your garden, you should also look at where you can store equipment, or where you could possibly put up your own shed or greenhouse. If you want to plant young trees, make sure you have the space, so choose these areas first, as they’ll take up the most room.
Once you’ve started
Know infestation warning signs
Once you’ve started gardening, you’ll have another task on your hands – keeping infestations away. These don’t just affect your yard, but your home too. With a rise of food, in the form of flowers and plants, insects will find your home a lovely new place to stay. From ants and wasps to mice and rats, you need to get on top of any infestations fast. Depending on where you are in the country, try speaking to local pest removal companies, such as Go-Forth Pest Control of Salisbury. They’ll be able to come straight out and offer you the assistance you need to take control back over your home. Plus, infestation removal companies will be able to give you some good advice to stop any pests returning. One good idea is to keep your gardening away from your home: don’t let any foliage creep towards your house.
Treat your plants to protect them from bugs
Not only do you need to keep your home safe, but you need to make sure your plants and flowers aren’t being eaten up. You need to be careful what sort of treatment you use, as you still want insects like bees and butterflies to visit your garden. So, speak to your local gardening center or club, and see what they can suggest. A few natural remedies include scattering old egg shells in your garden to stop deer snacking on your plants; sprinkling cayenne pepper on your shoots will stop dogs, cats, bugs and especially ants from getting into your beds; and using a dish soap and water solution will ward off any aphids.
Discourage pests, both insects and animals
Once you’ve treated your plants, you need to know how to keep the pests away. If you’re struggling with birds attacking your produce, try hanging up fluttering pieces of fabric, so the movement will scare them away. Putting copper pipes down will make sure the slugs stay away, and using old coffee grounds and beans will put off many bugs and animals. Plus, coffee grounds are great for healthy soil – and some coffee chains like Starbucks will give away their old grounds for you to use for free. If you’re having no luck with this, then you could try planting more resistant plants – but this means turning all your plans upside down.