Gardening is a passion that brings you close to nature in a way that only a few other activities can match. No matter what the size of your garden, the right level of commitment and involvement are the first requirements for pursuing this passion. If you are planning to take up gardening as a hobby, here are a few tips that will help you to take the right steps.
The right timing
The right time to start planting will determine your success as a gardener. No matter the type of plant you fancy, your climate zone plays a very important role in determining the type of plants that you will be able to grow. At the same time certain plants need to be planted in a specific season to ensure the best possible results. So once you have chosen the plants you want to grow, you need to pick the right season for planting. Also, the best planting time vary depending on the weather. In sunny days, the late afternoon is the ideal time, whereas on cold and cloudy days, the morning hours are more suitable.
Know the soil type
The soil type in your garden can be loamy, clayey or sandy and depending on that your gardening practices will vary. A soil testing will also help you to know about the pH level and micro-nutrients present in soil. There are soil testing kits available which can help you to test the soil on your own. Some plants that prefer to grow in specific soil types and hence you may need to modify your soil to suit their needs. There are plenty of online resources that can guide you about the various soil types and how to identify them. Depending on the soil type, you can chose the most suitable plants.
Basic gardening tools
While gardening does not require many tools, some tools are essential. The first item that you need is a pair of pruning scissors that will help you to cut off all unnecessary areas of a plant or bush. To start planting, you also need some digging tools like a spade, a trowel and a garden fork. These will be helpful in breaking up soil and removing unnecessary materials like dead roots from it. A watering can is also an essential tool and with special attachments, it can be used for delicate plants. For larger areas, a garden hose is a better choice.
The best time to water the plants is during the early morning hours when water loss during evaporation is less. This will also allow the leaves to dry up before evening and prevent the growth of mealybugs and fungus. Make sure that the water reaches deep into the soil which will help in the growth of healthy roots. Also, use the drained vegetable water to water plants in a pot. This water will be rich in nutrients and you will also help in conserving water.
Improve the soil
A soil rich with nutrients is helpful for the growth of the plants. Organic matter acts as the best fertilizers and hence you can add compost to the top layer of the soil. This is generally between 8 to 12 inches in depth. This compost will need a few months to break down, so it is best to do it a few months before the growing season. Good soil will also need the right air spaces that will be beneficial for the plants without being too porous or too compact.
With the right level of planning and by using the right knowledge base, you can make your garden thrive within a short period.