Each species has a special set of sun, water and soil requirements, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Needless to say, taking on an entire garden when you’ve never thought of yourself as a green-thumb is just as intimidating as any renovation or overhaul. Here are six pieces of advice that will set any beginner gardener up for success. But don’t forget – a lush garden won’t appear overnight, keep at it.
1. Understand your land
Get to know your garden before you go ahead and plant anything in it. You need to know how much sun your garden gets, and at what time of the day. Take note of any spots that are in constant shade, and understand the climate you live in. Know if your garden will b prone to frosts in winter or drying out in summer.
2. Know your soil
Spend some time checking out your soil. If you think it’s in need of an overhaul turn some compost and manure through it. This will add body to sandy soils and help them retain water and nutrients. Gypsum will help break up heavy soil.
3. Start simple
When picking out the first plants to rehome into your garden, start with simple varieties that don’t require specific growing conditions, such as silverbeet, lettuce, carrots, sunflowers, marigolds or lavender
4. Know what you’re looking for
When purchasing your new plants ensure you pick ones that are already green, lush and healthy. You want to keep your eyes peeled for a plant that is root bound, has signs of insects or fungus, and avoid them. A plant nursery is the ideal place for your first shopping trip as the staff will be able to help you choose a plant and give you advice on how to care for it.
5. Size matters
You absolutely need to know exactly how big the plant you choose can grow before you plant it in your garden. If it’s a very large variety, you need to be sure you have the space. When picking seedling pick varieties that aren’t too big, aren’t too small.
6. Follow the instructions
Read the label that comes with your plant carefully and make a note of the sun and water requirements somewhere safe so you can refer to it later down the track.
- Full Sun means the plant requires 6 hours of direct sunlight a day
- Part Sun means your plant will thrive with 3 to 6 hours of direct sun a day
- Part Shade means your plant needs between 3 and 6 hours of sun a day, but protection from the intense midday sun
- Full Shade means your plant will thrive with less than 3 hours of sunlight a day
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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