7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners
We are officially into Spring, but mother nature keeps throwing a touch of winter back into the game. Regardless, I have started flipping through seed magazines and planning the layout for my garden this year. Each garden takes a bit of planning and although I wouldn’t say I’m a professional, I do have a list of 7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners to get your first garden kicked off on the right foot.
7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners- 1) Start Simple
If this is your first time planting a garden, start simple. Don’t try to be Martha Stewart or Joanna Gaines in one summer. Start with just a few plants that you feel comfortable with.
It will give you a good gauge to see if gardening is something you want to expand on. If you jump off the deep end, dig up your whole lawn and plant 12 tomato for a family of 4, you’ll regret it as the summer drags on. And you’ll run the risk of getting burnt out on gardening before you even get started.
7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners- 2) Know Your Space
How much space do you have for your garden?
Trying your hand at a windowsill herb garden? Or plowing up an acre to put in a pumpkin patch?
Know what space you can dedicate to a garden. Plants like melons have vines that expand and take over gardens, where as plants like carrots or onions take up relatively less space.
Again start small, you can always expand next spring.
7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners- 3) Soil Is King
Garden soil is different across the country. Know what type of soil you have and what kind of plants grow best in your area.
Also (being a farmer’s daughter) I understand the importance of fertilizing. Look into a vegetable crop rotation around your garden to aid in putting nutrients back into the soil as well as keeping diseases and pests at bay.
Being on a farm is helpful in another area. There is plenty of shi*
I mean… there is plenty of fertilizer around that we can till into the ground each spring. Giving the soil added “go-go” juice.
7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners- 4) Do Your Research
There are so many great resources out there for gardening.
Talk to neighbors who garden and see what they are loving. What type of plants are their go to for your region. Word of mouth is some of the best advice you can be given. Also, go to a local nursery. Mom and Pop shops are going to provide you with great expertise. They, most of the time, live and breathe plants year round and have great information. The local nursery may be a bit more expensive than the garden center at major supply/chain stores, but you will get great follow up customer service.
Jump onto Pinterest and check out all the great posts and blogs dedicated to gardening how-tos. There is some great information and ideas on the web that I love to reference when needed.
7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners- 5) Easy To Grow
Some plants and veggies are a tricky beast. The general guide is the smaller the seed the more difficult the plant is to grow.
Some of my favorite easy seeds to get going are the following:
Sweet Corn: Gurney’s Gotta Have It– I will stand behind this variety for all of time. The best sweet corn you will ever taste, great germination, and a family favorite year after year. It will make you feel like a super gardener without even trying.
Cucumbers: Gurney’s Perfect Pickle Hybrid– We tried this variety last year and I say it really is the best cucumber we had in the garden. We love eating cucumbers fresh and can plenty of pickles each year, this seed was great for both. Such great yields, too… be prepared to find friends who equally love cukes, because we had a solid supply of cucumbers from late July through October’s first frost and were sending our extra supply home with anyone who stopped by the farm.
Other Veggies: Other garden staples like tomatoes and green peppers are (for first timers) best bought from a local garden center. These veggies need a jump start on life and perform better when they are planted as seedlings, rather than as a seed straight into a garden.
7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners- 6) Read The Instructions
All types of produce are slightly different when it comes to their planting and growing conditions.
The best advice- read the instructions on your packet of seeds.
Some plants need full sun (tomatoes), others are good with partial shade (lettuce).
Some can be planted early in the spring (peas) and others cannot be planted until after any threat of frost has passed (corn).
Check (and follow) any instructions listed on a seed or plants package.
7 Tips For Beginner Gardeners- 7) Plant What You’ll Eat
This is a big one.
Only plant fruit or veggies your family actually enjoys eating!
You won’t find me trying to make a go at putting brussel sprouts in my garden. Pass.
Regardless, if you are a first time gardener or pro, working at growing your own food is a great way to bond with family and friends. There is something for everyone to enjoy about gardening. And the best part is each spring you begin with a fresh slate. Maybe a certain type of plant didn’t work in the past. Try it again. Gardening is an organic process. Trial and error is life’s best teacher.