Gardening tips for beginners

This is the perfect season to start your own garden. Summer. Just the thought of starting your own garden can be daunting and quite stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. You can make it a fun project and even get the kids to help you. You’re probably asking yourself why you should start a garden, while the real question is, why shouldn’t you?

Gardening isn’t just there for the beauty effect, it also has a way of clearing your mind and making you at peace. However, getting ready and in the zone can sometimes be a challenge. Therefore you have to plan first. Where to begin? What to garden? You need to choose a good site with the right type of ground first. The sun and water are also factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Another good place to start your garden is with the soil. This may not be the most fun part of gardening, but as the saying goes, “Feed the soil and the plants will take care of themselves.”

Before you kick-off and get your hands dirty, make sure you have all the necessary essentials: spade, garden fork, rake, hand trowel, pruners, dutch hoe, shears, garden hoses and the list goes on. Here are a few tips and ideas to bear in mind when starting your own garden.

Decide on what you want

You need to get an idea of what you want to garden. Whether it’s flowers or vegetables – the options are limited and totally up to you. If you decide to grow flowers or plants, then you need to think of its water usage and sun exposure. Different plants and flowers have different sunlight needs, depending on their type. The same principle counts for fruit and vegetables, however, they just need eight hours of sun daily. Start small. It’s better to succeed just a little than to fail. You have to put a plan in place if you want to succeed and reach your gardening goals. As the saying goes, planning makes perfect.

Clean up and select an area

Pick up any brush, twigs, branches, rocks or other waste and get them all out of your way before starting your garden. When you’re done cleaning, the ground where you’re planning to garden should be a level, flat and clean area. Mark off your garden space by using rocks or any other identifiable items. That way you can clearly see your available space. Select an area for the garden where you can always have a look on it. It should be near a tap so that you don’t have to drag the hose pipe far. However, it’s also important to save water when gardening. How can you save water? You can start by gardening flowers, plants or vegetables that need less water. Collect rainwater and reuse that old water. Water on a daily basis, or every second day if it’s not that dry, but be aware of when to water. Moisten your garden slowly and deeply, so the water soaks in instead of running off into the street.

Mulch

Making use of the right mulch can help you improve the soil, protect the plant roots from extreme temperature, conserve water and prevent the growth of weeds. Mulching is an easy process, but it’ll help to know a few extra details to make the most of its benefits. If you got a bare patch of soil, get some mulch on it. The soil should never be left uncovered. From pine needles to cocoa hulls and bark chips, there is a variety of mulch that you can choose from.

Building a deck

While planning for your garden, you can also consider building a deck. This can be a great way to extend your living space into your garden. It’ll be beneficial in a few months time as you and your family can relax on your deck and watch over your garden. This is also perfect for socialising, outdoor dining or as an addition to your pool area (assuming your garden is nearby). Check out various hardware stores or even online on how to install a wood decking in your yard. Planning the style of the decking is as important as planning the inside of your home. If you have a well-designed deck, it’ll connect the indoor with the outdoor space. This is something that can involve your whole family as kids love getting their hands dirty. It’ll also keep them busy during the summer holidays.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun and heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. A garden requires patient labour and attention. Cultivate your garden and get your hands dirty this summer.