Gardening 101 - Basics and Beyond
If you've decided this is the year you're going to till the soil, you'll soon find that just about everyone has gardening tips for you − your nosy neighbor, your grandparents, your mother-in-law…everyone. While these well-wishers certainly have a lot of good advice learned through years of experience, it can be nearly impossible to keep all their tips and pointers straight.
Instead, be systematic in your approach…and that means starting with what you need to consider before you dig your spade into the soil. A lot of the gardening strategies you'll need to think about at this initial stage have to do with where you live. The climate in your area, for one thing, has an all-powerful influence on your gardening efforts. It determines which plants will thrive and which will not; it determines your region's growing season, and it determines what type of natural pests you'll have to deal with. Learn as much as you can about all three of these things, ideally from experienced gardeners.
Next, you'll need to figure out your soil type and where to position your plants within your garden design to get the ideal amount of sunlight every day. Create an optimal balance of sun and shade; too much sun is not a good thing, and the optimal amount depends on the specific type of plant you're growing. You'll also have to think about drainage if water tends to collect near the place where you want to put your new garden.
Thinking about these basics will naturally narrow down your list of flower, plant, fruit and vegetable choices. Next, you'll need to visit a garden center to get seeds or plants from the nursery and all the garden tools you'll need to plant and care for them.
Long sessions in the garden can take a toll on your body, but there are gardening supplies you can get that will ease the strain, support good posture and help you stay comfortable. At your local gardening store, you can get ergonomic gardening tools that are specially designed for ease of use along with protective braces, pads, kneelers, seats and supports. Experts highly recommend ergonomic gardening supplies for gardeners of all ages.
The green gardening movement is gaining a lot of momentum, and it's simpler than you think to be ecological in your efforts. One of the easiest things you can do is set up barrels to collect rain water, then use the rain you collect to water your garden. Organic soil treatments and chemical-free alternatives to conventional pesticides are all easier on Mother Nature, and can actually create a healthier environment for your plants to blossom. When it comes to gardening, experience is the best teacher. The single most important tip for the new gardener is this: don't be afraid to make mistakes! You'll learn from them, and soon enough, your garden will be sending green shoots skyward from every direction.