Whether you have a vast expanse of land or a simple windowsill, it’s always fun to grow and harvest your own vegetables and flowers. But if you’re a little green, here are 5 great tips to get you started:
1. Start small and simple. Containers are a great way to begin gardening because you have better control over the elements. You can start with quality soil, keep it moist, and avoid most weeds by containing your plants in a pot or container. Stick to easy-growing plants or flowers for best results: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, beans, and radishes.
2. Get soil wet and then let it dry. Most plants do best when their soil is watered and then allowed to get mostly dry before re-wetting. The best way to test soil is sticking your finger straight down. Similar to sticking a toothpick into a baking cake for doneness, your finger should come out mostly dry. If it’s wet, don’t water yet.
3. Sunlight, sunlight, sunlight. Pay attention to the sunlight needs on your plant or seed packages and adhere to them as best you can, but keep in mind that every plant needs access to some sunlight. Turn or rotate plants if necessary.
4. Give them space. Plants, like people, need space to thrive. Read the recommended spacing on your plant/seed packaging, but a good rule of thumb is to imagine the plant or vegetable in full size and allow about that much space. Over-crowding will suffocate the plants, so give them room to grow.
5. Dead-heading brings flowers to life. To a beginning gardner, it seems counter-intuitive to pick the blossoms off of your flowers, but it’s the absolute best way to make your flowers thrive. As soon as the blooms start to wilt, trim them off at the next bud or set of leaves for best results. Try it and watch them thrive.
Do you like to garden? What are your best tips for beginners?