If you’re a beginner gardener, it can be a little intimidating to get started.
Which plants should I grow? What kind of soil do I need? How often should I water my garden?
These are just some of the questions that might plague your mind as you start to plan your garden’s layout.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources out there for beginners like us!
Try not to get too bogged down if you have recently discovered weeds that are growing out of control in your garden, there is lots of things that you can do now to prevent this getting out of hand in the future.
We’ve put together this list of the best gardening tips for beginners so you’ll have everything you need to make sure you keep those pesky garden weeds under control.
Table of Contents
Choose the right plants for your soil, sun and style
Certain plants need specific soil types, such as succulents that require well-drained clay. If you are unsure ask your local garden centre or look online for the information.
When choosing which direction to plant in, consider the amount of sunlight each area gets during different times of the day. Planting towards the south or west will ensure your garden receives plenty of rays while being shaded from strong winds by taller buildings.
Learn how long your growing season is
The length of your growing season will determine when to plant and what you can grow. Make sure you know when the last expected frost date is in your region and again when it starts in Autumn/Winter.
Prepare your soil with good compost
Making sure your soil is fertile and well-drained will help any plants grow. A good way to do this is by adding a layer of compost on top before planting anything or if you are starting from scratch turn over the garden bed with some more organic material like garden waste, leaves and manure.
Fresh manures tend to be too high in nitrogen content and can “burn” plants; they may also contain pathogens or parasites which could put gardeners at risk of infection. Pig-, dog- and cat-manure should never be used for composting because it might have toxins such as roundworms, salmonella or Ecoli. If you are thinking of using fresh manure should be rested for at least 6 months before use.
Understand your soil's drainage.
Soils with wetness are not ideal for plant growth. Plants prefer well-drained soil so it is important to add organic materials that will improve soil quality.
Avoid digging or planting in wet soil as this will damage the structure of dirt, wait until the dirt is dry and crumbly before you start your gardening.
Get a selection of good tools for your garden
Garden Tools are an essential part of any garden and there is a wide range to choose from. You will need something for digging, cutting, weeding etc., so have a look around and select carefully they do not need to be expensive
Give plants enough space
Give plants enough space to grow into. If you plant a row of tall, thin garden beds there will be no room for any other types of vegetation and your garden will quickly become unruly and overgrown.
Plant at least 30cm (12inches) away from the edge of buildings or structures such as fences that could block sunlight if they are later built closer to them. Leave some space on all sides so that air can flow around each leaf or branch freely without touching anything else, this makes it easier for leaves to photosynthesize and produce oxygen!
Be gentle with new plants
The best way to remove a plant from its pot is not by pulling its stem, which will likely break or bruise it. Instead, gently squeeze the pot’s sides and turn it upside-down until the plant slides out. Alternatively, lay your pot on top of a hard a surface and press down on the sides as you rotate; this should push out the root ball so that when you upend your pot again there is nothing left in it but soil.
The last thing you want when planting is a dry root ball. Make sure the roots are well-moist before inserting them into the soil. When planting, make sure to dig up a hole bigger than the root system to give it an opportunity for optimal growth.
Know what you have planted
First-time gardeners are often faced with the challenge of remembering what they have planted. To help them out, take an extra minute to mark each plant and label it so you’ll know where everything is.
Learn how your plants behave
It’s important for gardeners to take note of how their plants behave. What you want is a garden that has an abundance of flowering plants, which will attract insects and pollinators.
Perennials usually take three years to reach their full size. They sleep for the first year, creep up in height during the second year and “leap” by sprinting straight up during year three of growth.
Transplanting or splitting
When transplanting container-grown plants, dig a hole twice as wide as the soil ball of the plant. Ensure that you place it at the same depth in the ground and use some of your own dirt to fill in around it instead of using bagged dirt.
Water with care
Plants do best outdoors because they can draw naturally from the ground for their daily water requirements.
To avoid overwatering, wait until the soil is dry before watering your plants. This typically occurs when the top of the soil is dry to a depth of two inches. The exception to this rule would be pot plants that are watered less regularly because they are in a limited space with more plants vying for water.
Weeds are not your friends
So many gardeners feel proud of their ability to grow plants and vegetables, but at the same time, they are frustrated by weeds.
It’s important to learn early on that weeds are the worst enemies of gardeners. Weeding should be done regularly, and all roots should be uprooted. If there are seeds clinging to the weed, they shouldn’t go into your compost heap as you’ll just end up re-seeding them with new weed growth when you spread the compost.
Pruning is good for your plants
You should prune large-flower climbing roses and spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilacs after they’ve bloomed. If you wait until fall or winter to prune them, flower buds for next year will be removed before they can develop fully.
Deadheading is a good practice for perennials and annuals. Because the goal of annual plants is to flower, set seed, and die, removing the old blooms tells annual plants to produce more flowers. Removing spent flowers also encourages plants to use their energy to grow stronger leaves and roots instead of seed production. Avoid deadheading plants grown especially for their decorative fruits or pods.
Get your bulbs in
If you’re new to gardening, it is best to start in the spring. Planting bulbs such as tulips, fritillarias, ornamental alliums and crocuses should be done before or after the ground freezes – usually from March through October. The depth of your planting hole for bulbs should range anywhere from two to three times high up on their stem (leaving lots of dirt around them).
Vegetable gardening tip
The perfect temperature for ripening is between 68-77°F. But when it goes up to over 85, plants stop producing lycopene and carotene, better known as the pigments responsible for fruit colour. Once temperatures below 50°F began to be more common, green-dyed fruits will not be able to become ripe outside anymore.
Enjoy your garden
You’ve done it! If you have followed our tips, then you are on your way to having a great looking garden and an area where you get huge pleasure with family and friends.
Our last tip is to take care of the plants that are struggling and maybe add some new ones for variety. For a more detailed guide on how to create a beautiful garden from scratch, check out more of our articles.