Plant and Garden Tips for Beginners

Posted on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Plants on a table

With the days getting longer and the weather warmer, now is the perfect time to start a garden or add greenery to your indoor space! Although it can seem a daunting task, here are some tips to get you started. We’ll begin with indoor plants and balcony planters.

1. Don’t water too often

Contrary to popular belief, a major cause of plant death is over-watering: when spaces in the soil fill with water, the plant’s roots are deprived of air.  Before watering, make sure to check that the soil is dry about two inches down, not just on the surface. Consider bottom-watering your plants as well!

2. Keep your leafy plants clean

In order to accommodate low light levels, make sure to clean the leaves of your plants. Dust blocks the light available for photosynthesis, the process that feeds the plant. Use a rag and clean warm water to clean off the leaves and keep your windows clean to bring in as much light, sunshine, and heat as possible.

3. Increase the humidity

Indoor air is usually dry, so to help raise the humidity of a room to benefit your plants, put rocks or pebbles in a saucer and fill it with water.

4. Cut away old growth

Prune your houseplants to encourage new growth.

Thinking of putting in a garden for the coming spring and summer? Here are some tips specifically for larger-scale gardening in outdoor spaces.

1. Pick the right location

Place your garden in a part of your yard that observe regularly: you’re more likely to spend time in your garden, and water it as required, if you can see it.

2. Let your plants see the sun

Beginner gardeners often make the common mistake of not positioning their plants in areas of optimal sunlight. It’s important to keep in mind that many vegetables, herbs, and fruiting plants need at least six hours of sun a day in order to thrive.

3. Keep them hydrated

Plan your garden near a water source. Make sure that you can run a hose to your garden to make it easier to water your plants. You can tell that your plants need watering when the soil is dry one inch down (around one knuckle deep).

4. Start your garden with great soil

When starting a garden, beginners are often advised to invest nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. The best soil to ensure optimum growth is sandy loam, which you can purchase at your local garden centre.

5. Add some mulch

Add a two-to-three-inch layer of mulch around each plant. This will deprive nearby weeds from sunshine and minimize loss of moisture through evaporation, reducing the need for watering. Alternatively, you can put down straw, shredded leaves, pine clippings, or some other locally available material.

6. Choose the right plants

It’s important to select plants that match your growing conditions. For example, you should put sun-loving plants in a sunny spot and give plants with a lot of vines plenty of room to spread. Make sure you do your research and pick varieties that will grow well where you live given the space you have. You could also try using young plants from the store rather than trying to grow them from seed.

7. Use fertilizer

You can nourish gardens and containers with time-release fertilizers that continue feeding for long periods of time. This makes it easier to remember to fertilize regularly.

8. Track your growing season

Planting too early (or late) in the season can spell disaster for your garden. It’s crucial to know the last average spring frost date for your area so that you don’t accidentally kill your plants. Similarly, it’s important to know your fall frost date so that you can harvest your plants or move them indoors before they freeze.

Hopefully these tips will help you get growing. Happy gardening!

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