Trees are blooming, the days are longer, the air is warmer... Springtime is here! Have you wanted to start a garden, but are overwhelmed by the idea? We have a few tips for all the newbie and wannabe green-thumbs out there! Looking for more help and maybe a bit of inspiration? Be sure to check out our "Gardens and Outdoor Spaces" Pinterest page!
Top Ten Tips For Beginner Gardeners
1) Know your zone- Did you know that there are different plant hardiness zones? Virginia is in zone 7. Not sure what the heck that means? Check out this map.
2) Some plants play well with others- They are called companion plants. For instance, marigolds help repel cabbage moths. Be sure to plant them near broccoli and cauliflower. Here’s a list of more plant besties.
3) Try alternatives to herbicides and pesticides- It’s so easy to spray poison to repel pests and weeds. However, those insecticides can be deadly to our pollinators. Try an environmentally friendly solution first. You may be surprised at the results!
4) Not all dirt is the same- Do you know the ph of your soil, or if it’s been well fertilized? What about drainage? There’s a lot that goes into the dirt you need to grow flowers and food. Be sure you know the details before you start digging!
5) Not all plants love the sun- Plant can sunburn like people can. Even cacti can get too much sun! Know how many hours of direct sunlight your plants need and be sure to place them in your yard or windowsill accordingly.
6) Plants can drown- Remember what we just said about sunlight? The same can be said for water. Some plants seem to always be thirsty while others drown very easily. Be sure to research how often to water your plants before going crazy with the watering can.
7) Pots may not work- While container gardens are easy to set up, break down, move around, and look really cute several plants HATE being in a pot. Strawberries, for example, can do alright in a container, but really thrive planted directly in the ground.
8) Involve the kiddos – It’s so important for kids to understand where their food comes from. Bonus points: Many parents claim that their children are more willing to eat veggies that they have planted themselves.
9) Be sure you are compliant with your HOA before digging in – Many neighborhoods have restrictions on garden size and where they can be planted. Have an HOA? Check with them before you invest time, money, and sweat into a garden they may ask you to tear down later.
10) Have fun! Gardening is a relaxing, FUN hobby. Enjoy your time playing in the dirt!