The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the return of so many things. Amazingly, one of these is gardening. The favorite hobby of your grandparents is making a comeback among the young and spry, and with good reason.
With movement restricted, people now have more time at home and many have picked up home-based activities. People are also increasingly seeing the benefits of having a kitchen garden to provide some of their food. Plus, gardeners swear by its restorative powers.
Given all these benefits you may be wondering how to get your garden. Also if you’re already involved, how do you improve at it. Follow these 4 tips and see your garden and skills blossom.
1. Talk To Other Gardeners
Is there a yard you walk past in your neighborhood that you admire? Several yards? Chances are there is a skilled gardening enthusiast living there. These are people that love to talk about their gardens, so the next time you see them working outside, stop and have a chat.
You can ask them questions about their plant choices, their garden themes and design, how they get their seeds, and the like. You can benefit from the sum of their years and experience, even their mistakes. As an added bonus, if they are amenable, you can ask them to come over and have a look at your garden and possibly make a few recommendations.
This isn’t the only way you can “talk” to gardeners. There are lots of great ways to meet like-minded folks. Social media is one. There are literally thousands of groups for plant and garden lovers and general advice. There are whole groups dedicated to a single plant. Pick one, or many according to your interests and join. You’ll get thousands of tips and good advice this way.
You can also talk to sales reps at your local gardening goods store. Look at channels that deal with gardening to see what show hosts recommend. You can also read books and magazines. With access to so many people and opinions, you can’t go wrong.
2. Know What You Want
Take a look at your yard. How much space do you have to dedicate to a garden? What type of garden do you want and what plants do you intend to cultivate in it? Do you plan to grow special plants? Maybe you can consider greenhouses, which are ideal for recreating climatic conditions not found in your area. These questions are just to get you started thinking about design and themes for your own garden. You’ll be much better at gardening if you understand what is required for your particular type of garden.
For example, you can’t live in a hot and dry climate and want a garden full of plants that need gallons of water and little sunlight. That’s just setting yourself up for failure. The plants won’t grow well, and you’ll blame yourself for it. It will be best to stick to cacti, desert shrubbery, and hardscape for such a garden.
Part of acquiring skills as a gardener is understanding what is realistic, given the limitations you are working with.
3. Know Your Soil
If you listened to all those gardeners you spoke to, you will realize that you can’t be a great gardener alone. The weather has to cooperate. The plants have to cooperate, and the soil has to cooperate.
This is because everything starts with the soil. It’s what nourishes the plant. If you want to have great plants, you have to feed the soil, and the best gardeners know what their soil needs.
The best soil is loam. Loamy soil is that naturally dark, rich soil that you see on garden shows on TV. It also has a neutral pH, drains well, holds nutrients, and has enough oxygen. The other soils are sand, clay, and silt. If your yard has any of the last three, you have more work to do to grow healthy plants.
4. Cultivate Patience
No one can develop gardening as a skill without building their overall patience. This is why gardeners are such relaxed people. Plants take time to be coaxed to their best and no matter what you do as a gardener, no matter your skill level, you can’t make them reach there before their time.
Allow gardening to teach you patience and funnel this back into your gardening practice and your daily life. Given the speed of modern life and how quickly it forces us to move, perhaps everyone should pick up gardening.
Your path as a gardener will take many turns. As you seek to become a better one, these 4 tips are a great place for you to start.