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Tips for learning to garden

Gardening can be very therapeutic, it certainly is for me, it is my escape.  I discovered an interest in gardening about 10 years ago when we moved into our current house.  It took me a long time to progress out of the beginner stage because I wanted sun-loving plants in my shade garden.  

Once I became aware of the below tips my success with gardening improved.

Feed your soil

You need to feed your soil so it will feed your plants. You may already be doing this, but if not, here are some tips that won’t break the bank. 

  1. At the end of the season, I empty the potting soil from my garden pots onto my garden beds, as topsoil.
  2. I pile the leaves from the garden onto my flowers beds to act as a mulch over the winter, most break down into the soil by the summer
  3. Add compost to your soil in the spring and fall.

How many hours of sun

The number of hours of direct sunlight your garden gets will dictate the type of plants you can grow successfully.  You can’t force a square peg into a round hole.  Being aware of how much sunlight you get, will set you up for success with the right plants for your garden.  It doesn’t have to be exact and if you don’t get quite as much sunlight as your neighbour, you maybe able to grow some of the same plants, but maybe yours won’t get as big or may bloom later with fewer blooms.

Don’t just focus on flowers, look for texture, heights and colours

When I first started gardening, I was all about the flowers, but I soon realized that flowers are like the candles on a birthday cake, they don’t hang around for long.  Flowers are the cherry on top, as most flowers only bloom for a couple of weeks and if a storm comes through they could be gone within days.  So it’s important to think about how that plant will look the rest of the year.  That is where texture, height and leaf colour comes in.. 

Watering 

Learn to enjoy watering your garden. This is my favourite part of gardening because you get to take everything in, be present and admire your work, normally with a drink in hand, could be my morning coffee, or evening drink!  My motto is water, sip, inspect, repeat.  

Take your time watering, so the plants get a good soak.  This encourages the roots to grow down to absorb all the water, rather than stay close to the surface.  I sip my drink in between watering and inspect my plants.  This allows me to cherish new blooms and growth, and identify any problems with pests or disease before they become issues.   After inspection, I continue with watering another part of the garden.  Water, sip, inspect, repeat until the garden watered.

Plant more

Everyone thinks those who have a green thumb have success all the time in the garden, that is not the case.  We just plant more so you don’t notice what doesn’t make it!

Happy gardening.

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