It seems like years ago when I started gardening. Boy, did I make a ton of mistakes. I still do. But that is the fun of gardening since there is always another year. So, I tapped into my Green Talk readers and asked what advice would you give to beginner gardeners.
So, here are some of their gardening tips for beginners
Garden Tips for Beginners #1 Tip –Patience is a Virtue
I am sure you have heard this saying for many different occasions but it is true with gardening. Sometimes you have failures and sometimes you have successes. There is a lot of learning on the way. So, don’t be afraid to try.
Choose Heirlooms Over Hybrids
- “Consider heirlooms over hybrids.” Here are some of my favorite heirloom companies and why I love heirlooms and where to buy heirloom tomato plants.
- “Watch the video, The world according to Monsanto.” (It is a free two hour movie.)
- “If you have children in the family, consider what grows the fastest such as radishes and sweet peas. Carrots take forever, but they might enjoy purple carrots.” (Lettuce is another fun fast growing plant.)
- “Teach them about the good bugs and earth worms.” (In fact earthworms love coffee grounds. Learn how to use them.)
- “Make sure to not plant zucchini next to pumpkin or other squash.” (Zucchini takes up a lot of room but I have planted near each other. They both have issues with squash bugs and powdery mildew. Here’s how I handle squash bugs and powdery mildew. Oh, I dislike both of them intensely.)
- “Make friends with neighbors who have a garden.”
- ” Not everything you read in books may work in your garden.” (Been there.)
- “Learn from your mistakes. Be patient. There is always next year.” (And the year, after…)
Prepare Your Soil
Lynn and Terressa both agree that preparing your soil is key. Lynn writes
“My one piece of advice is to spend the time and money to prepare the soil. Once the soil is ready, the rest is easy.”
“The best and most basic advise would be to amend your soil. Healthy Soil=Healthy Plants.”
My friend, Susan, is a master gardener and created a wonderful e-book on how to build your soil. The book is beautifully illustrated with many “how to’s” to building a beautiful and productive garden.
How Cardboard Is So Effective in the Garden:
“I’d advise new gardeners to use cardboard- any kind, but corrugated is especially effective- in between garden rows (if they’re doing row-crops), for lasagna bedding, and in areas that they want to smother weeds in general, such as in the bottoms of raised beds. It’s effective, and many businesses have a TON of it that they would be delighted to share! I use this on the pathways between my tractor-tread raised beds (wanna see a picture sometime? It’s a work in progress, LOL!), and on areas that I’m rehabilitating in my backyard, and it snuffs out even the worst weeds, like buffalo burr, goatheads, and thistles. And when it breaks down, I just put down another layer.”
Cardboard is my best friend. Seriously. Like Heather, I use it in my pathways and to create new beds. See here on how I use it to make new beds in my garden.
Eggshell +Garden=Lovely Vegetables
- “put eggshells in the soil when planting tomatoes and peppers to help fend off “Blossom End Rot” (worked for me beautifully last year).” (Read here 7 ways to reuse your eggshells)
- “Compost, Compost, Compost. Enough said! 🙂 “
Leslie’s tips are right on the money. Here is my favorite compost delivered from the county every spring. I also compost myself, but can never make as much as I need. (Read here the best way to create compost.)
Join a Garden Club
“Joining a gardening club will help you learn the basics. I have personally found though, that I have much more pleasure in my gardening efforts when I simply dive in. When I encounter a problem I research or investigate it, talk to others,and then move on in my efforts.
Half the fun of gardening to me is figuring out what I may be doing wrong and correcting it, and I talk to others about a specific subject I want input on, hear their comments, and then I figure how I want to proceed. I enjoy solving a gardening problem and seeing my efforts blossom.”
Honestly between you and me, I LOVE to talk about gardening and really enjoy talking about it with avid gardeners. Be forewarned. Your loved ones may not find the conversation as stimulating. Okay, they might just walk away when you bring the “G” subject up. So, find your gardening tribe.
My best advice if you are new to gardening–start small. Don’t decide to garden in five beds. Choose one bed or planters and see how you like it. I started with five tomato plants and loved it. Easy crops to grow are lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs especially basil. If you decide to grow herbs, heed my advice. Some can be real Tony Soprano like thugs.
PS Don’t forget to water your plants. Been there.
Join the Conversation:
- Are you starting your garden this year?
- Do you have any garden tips for beginners?
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Susan’s book. She wrote a wonderful book and I am proud to support her. Any monies earned helps Green Talk to keep pumping out amazing content.