Gardening beginners

So, you’d like to start gardening – but you don’t know the first thing about it. Relax. Anyone who gardens will be more than happy to give you great advice – but here are a few basic tips to get you started.

First, decide where you’re garden is going to be. Any sunny, fairly flat space in your yard is fine. You can plant on hills, but you have to be more careful about plant spacing and how you water. For water quality go to water softener San Antonio company.

Next, find out what kind of soil you have. You can get complex with this, sending samples to county extension offices for testing, or you can simply get a shovel and turn over a good shovelful. If the dirt is moist, brown, and crumbles easily, well, I envy you, because you have a good topsoil. If it’s sandy, or like mine, clay, you’re going to have to either amend the soil, build raised beds or use containers, or cheat and just plant “in the bag.” The only caution I have here is that if your lawn has been one of those which was “weed & feed” treated, a lot of the chemicals stay in the ground for a long time and depending what you’re planting, that could be a problem. Amending the soil basically means mixing in things like compost, humus, or peat moss to help. Planting “in the bag” is just what it sounds like – you buy a bag of dirt, poke holes on one side, lay it flat on the ground with the holes down, cut a hole in the other side, and plant something in it and mulch with straw. The plastic helps hold moisture, and when you’ve done this one year you can till the contents of the bags into your garden area to have richer soil the next year.

When planting, choose things your family will eat or enjoy. Don’t plant something just because you’re supposed to – if you hate zucchini, why plant it? Another caution here – if you have small children, always check whether flowers, seeds, or foliage of a plant are poisonous. For instance, many “wildflower mixes” contain foxglove seeds, which is a plant that is toxic if ingested. Seeds are so inexpensive and tempting, but if you are a true beginner, starts will probably be easier and a little more satisfying. If you do decide to start from seed, remember that nothing will kill your seedlings faster than under- or overwatering. Try splitting a six-pack of starts with a friend.

The best resource you can have is a local gardener – so if you’ve been admiring your neighbor’s garden, pop your head over the fence and start asking questions. Odds are he or she will be happy to share plenty of tips about what grows best in your area. Happy gardening!
If you get stuck in a decision making process, try visiting Household tips.

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