There are many reasons why people decide to learn gardening. Some of the leading reasons include saving on grocery costs, growing organic vegetables and fruits, while others do it as a hobby. Any of these are exciting for growing enthusiasts.
Regardless of your reason, you’ll need to know some tricks of the trade to master your gardening efforts. Check out this article for 7 cool gardening tips that will turn you into an expert gardener even if this is your first time in the garden.
1. Do Your Research
There is a lot that goes into gardening─ sometimes it may seem overwhelming. Yet, it is possible to start from scratch and make a good harvest if you’re well prepared. Before you decide on the best grow lights, fertilizer, or even plants to grow to talk to an expert.
An expert will help you understand the best type of plants to grow based on the conditions of your environment and your availability to tend to the plants. For example, some plants will require up to eight hours of sunlight while others can survive with limited sunlight.
Watching videos, reading books, and speaking to others with experience will give you a good foundation for the craft.
2. Start Small
One of the mistakes that novice gardeners make is starting too big. As much as you may be excited to share your produce with your family, it’s best to get started with a small portion. This allows you room for mistakes and a chance to learn all the shortcomings you need to conquer.
Starting at a smaller scale also helps you avoid getting too discouraged and overwhelmed by the whole process. You can add more plants as you gain experience.
It’s also advisable to start with plants that do not require too much work. For example, protecting broccoli from pests can be very challenging and requires diligence. On the other hand, growing zucchini is super easy.
3. Remember to Label Your Plants
If you’re planning to plant multiple plants, being able to identify them as they develop may be a challenge for first-time gardeners. To avoid confusion that may result in you providing your plants with the wrong nutrients, consider labeling them.
You can use DIY materials such as popsicle sticks or chopsticks to label them. Also, try a color-coded method for better organization.
4. Save on Costs
To be an expert gardener, one thing you have to learn is cutting on costs when you can. There are plenty of things you can do to reduce your startup costs for your garden. Here are some ideas:
If your water bills are high, gardening can be very expensive. However, you can collect water when it rains and use it during the dry season.
Use Old Jars as Watering Cans
This is an excellent idea if you just started farming and you don’t want to buy a watering can. This is also a great recycling idea.
Get Creative With Your Garden Structure
You may be thinking having a garden is impossible due to your limited space. However, there is a variety of ways to actually structure your plants. Try out different types of methods, such as stacking planted pots in vertical furniture.
5. Bring Dead Plants Back to Life
It can be devastating when your plants that you’ve been working hard to keep alive start to wither away. Unfortunately, you can’t resurrect plants once they’re completely dead but you can bring them back to life if they’re still holding on.
Try some simple steps including trimming the dead stems and leaves and reducing sun exposure by half. You should also water it lightly and monitor it.
6. Protect Your Garden
One of your duties as an expert gardener is to keep your plants safe. Fighting pests and diseases from your garden can be a losing battle if you don’t take care of it the right way.
It’s important to note that you can use both natural and chemical methods for pest control. However, any treatment will take at least two weeks to be effective.
Here are ideas of how to protect your garden:
Practicing cleanliness is the best way to keep your garden free from pests and diseases. Pests won’t have anywhere to hide when there isn’t excess debris around.
Invite good insects
If you realize there are harmful insects, the best way to deter them is by adding insects that are beneficial for the plants. Consider inviting bugs such as hoverfly, honeybee, lacewings, praying mantis, etc.
Eliminate the sickly plants
With time, you may start noticing some sickly plants as a result of being ravaged by disease and insects. The plants aren’t healthy and they don’t have strong roots.
Remove them quickly but don’t compost them. This will ensure the bugs and disease don’t spread. In the process, handpick the big bugs that you can spot easily such as squash bugs, cabbage worms, beetles or slugs.
If you’ve been using insecticides or pesticides with no success or you want to grow your plants organically, try natural options. You can try using things like mineral oil, garlic spray or salt spray.
7. Track Your Progress
Tracking makes everything measurable. It allows you to know whether your plan is working or not. After planting your seedlings, journal what you expect from your garden at every step.
For example, after how long will you move your seedlings from the nursery? This will allow you to know what to expect at every stage. You can also seek guidance and correct any errors before it’s too late.
Start on the Road to Becoming an Expert Gardener Today
Some people were born with a natural green thumb but even if you weren’t there’s no need to worry. You can still become an expert gardener by following some of these tips diligently. The most important part is to start small, be consistent and trust the process.
Gardening is truly an art and takes time and practice. For more tips and tricks, check out our blog.