Gardening for Beginners: Get Growing with These Simple Tips

Gardening for Beginners: Get Growing with These Simple Tips

Eyeing your neighbour’s perfectly edged flower garden? You know — the one brimming with lush perennials, stunning hanging baskets, and not a wilted flower in sight? Even if you’re new to the horticultural scene, you can banish garden envy and start your own prized oasis.

Not sure where to start? Well the Good Hands Advice team can help you get growing with these flower garden ideas.

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Look for Garden Design Inspiration

Woman reading gardening magazine

Luckily, gardening inspiration is all around to help you achieve your vision.

You can start by looking at gardening magazines and websites. Stroll through your neighbourhood, taking note (or even snapping a few pics) of garden plants that appeal to you.

Visit local gardening centers and speak to gardening staff for their recommendations on what can work in your space, whether you have a yard for vegetable gardening or balcony (bring photos of your garden bed so they can see what you’re working with).

Gather the Right Gardening Tools

Garden tools

While you may not need to spend a fortune, before you dig in, you’ll need some basic tools. Invest in a shovel a weeder (because it’s almost impossible to grab roots with your hands), a garden hose, gloves, and an edger to give your garden beds those well-defined lines.

Understand That Every Plant Has Different Needs

Garden Centre

You may have your eye on the mother of all hanging baskets brimming with begonias and fuchsia, however, take a good look to see if it will do better in the sun or shade.

Plants can be very sensitive to where they are being grown. You can’t assume flowers will grow just like the picture on the plant tag; do your research to understand what they need to flourish. There may be apps that you can download that will provide you with an understanding of your specific plant, or simply speak with whomever sold you your plant.

How familiar are you with Canada’s plant hardiness zone maps? This indicates the climate in your region, which will help you to choose the plants, shrubs and flowers that will do best in your garden.

Start Small

Flower basket

Instead of undertaking both the front and backyards (with grandiose ideas of instant blooms and emerald-green foliage), start small.

Pick an area under a front window or at the side of your house. Start with a few hanging baskets and a garden planter. Then, work your way up. If you live in an apartment or condo, make sure you check to see if your building allows you to grow flowers or plants on your balcony.

Also consider the heaviness of the pots you choose – ceramic and terracotta pots are quite heavy so you should consider sticking to fiberglass containers.

Love ’Em; Don’t Leave ’Em

Watering Basket

Now that you’ve planted your perky perennials, awe-inspiring annuals and head-turning hanging baskets, some basic maintenance is required. A great way to keep the weeds away is to spread a 5 cm layer of shredded mulch over the soil surface to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.  Also, water deeply once a week allowing the top 2” of soil to dry between watering.

Gardening is a journey; it’s about testing and learning to see what will flourish in your region. You’ll try. You’ll fail. You’ll try again and then you’ll succeed, especially if you’re willing to learn. It may take a while, so be generous with the TLC (to yourself and your plants), nurture your green thumb and get growing!

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