Gardening For Beginners: How To Cultivate Your Green Thumb

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By Cormac Reynolds / Published by Cormac Reynolds
Gardening is a great way to spend your time. You get to be in the great outdoors, you stay active, and you eventually get to see the fruits of your labor. It doesn't matter whether you want to plant flowers or grow fruits and vegetables; the tips that follow will help you learn the basics of gardening and get off to a great start.

1. Get Started

 The best way to begin is with a container garden. When you do this, you don't have to worry about figuring out a spot to garden in your yard. You also don't have to worry about the quality of the soil. In addition, it is easy to keep weeds out of your container garden! It is a good idea to put it next to a door or window that you open frequently. Don't be too ambitious; you can always grow your garden as time goes on.

2. Think About Location

The plants that you want in your garden will determine its location. Some plants need a lot of light. Other plants need light for part of the day but then need shade. Make sure you pay attention to the description for each plant that you put down in your garden! One idea is to add wheels to your container garden. This allows you to switch the location of the garden as needed, so you can ensure that your plants thrive. Read this piece on Gardening Know How if you wish to shine some light on what's best.

3. Soil Is Important

 Use the best soil in your container garden. Also, make sure there is a way for it to drain. You should be able to do this without any problems. Just put holes under the container garden and add rocks to the bottom. Finally, you need compost. Compost is essential to the gardening process, and it isn't very difficult to do. Simply keep your food waste; items like apple cores, egg shells and coffee grinds are very useful. There is an excellent article that's well worth a read on Gardener's Path about soil and nutrient balances. Getting this right is pivotal to success.

4. Think About Your Choices

If you want your garden to flourish, you have to choose plants that will grow in your climate. You also have to plant them at the correct time of the year. The plant hardiness zone map, a tool from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will come in handy. After you figure out what plants you want to grow, check to ensure that you are planting them when you are supposed to. Most plants need to be put in the soil in either summer or spring.

5. Select Easy Plants

Go with the easy plants in the beginning. There are some that don't require as much effort or nurturing to grow. For example, bush beans, basil, chard, onions, peppers and tomatoes all fall into this category. Certain flowers do as well, like sunflowers, roses, dahlia's, and foxglove. Speak to a local nursery and ask them for their opinion on what you should plant. 

6. Organic Is Best

Go organic whenever possible. Produce will have a more appealing taste and your plants will be stronger as a result. 

7. Water Your Plants

You want to make sure that your plants get enough water, but stay away from the leaves! If you let them get wet, the plant may develop rot or mold. For the most part, each plant should get about an inch of water over the course of seven days. This shouldn't be too much of a hardship. Remember, if the leaves turn yellow, you are over-watering!