The gardening basics everyone should know

UK Home Improvement

The Gardening Basics Everyone Should Know

With seasons forever changing anytime is the best time to dive into learning the gardening basics so you’ll be ready at the beginning of the growing season. Getting out in the garden is easy and you’ll reap more than what you sow. It’s been proven that spending one hour per week in the garden will improve your sleep patterns and mood overall. To keep you in a good mood while you’re gardening, here are our top tips for budding gardeners.

Having the Right Plants for the Right Soil

Do some research before heading to the garden centre to spend your Austins on favourite plants. Something as simple as sticking a trowel into a flower bed will tell you if your soil is sandy, moist, heavy with clay, stony and much more. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to get stellar advice from the garden centre staff, or you could even start your research online.

Plants and Personal Space

Even plants like their own personal space. To flourish and get their fair share of the nutrients in the soil, it’s best that you ignore the displays at the garden centre and plant sparsely. Without the right amount of personal space, your plants will either need more frequent watering or use up other plants’ personal space, meaning they’ll suffer from varying degrees of overcrowding, wilting and root damage. 

Kill those weeds dead

Get ahead in the weed game by nipping them – not in the bud, but in the root. Take a large tarpaulin, or several tarpaulins, and cover the ground immediately surrounding your plants. This will prevent weeds from seeding in the first place. Take note, this will also kill grass, so is only good for mulch and compost covered beds. For grasses, use a targeted weed killer, or cut your losses, embrace nature and declare your lawn a ‘meadow’.

Soak your roots

Like dipping biscuits in tea, roots are always at their best when dipped in a bucket of water before planting. This gives them the best chance of propagating below the surface and tapping into the correct levels of the water table. Break up the root ball and place into a hole that is significantly larger than the roots themselves.

The Humble Garden Shed

There are as many types of shed as there are ways to use them. Potting sheds, solar sheds, small sheds and large sheds. Whatever kind of shed you have, or want to purchase, you can use it year-round to continue gardening no matter what the weather. Make a small, uncluttered area in the shed dedicated to your gardening and you’ll see quick improvements to your gardening practice. If your shed has a window, it’s also the ideal place to bring on seedlings before planting in the outdoors.

Chickens and a Chicken Coop

If you’re going to be rearing chickens at home then you’ll want to build a high quality chicken coop or hen house and you can enjoy the eggs and clucking of chickens for years to come. What’s more, if you employ a movable chicken pen you can change the location of your chickens throughout the garden. This makes weeding and pest control much easier than traditional methods. That’s because chickens are weed-eating, insect-assassinating miniature dinosaurs with a penchant for being a gardener’s best friend.

Use Old Pallets to make a Compost Heap

To give your homemade compost heap a bit more organisation and to improve its composting time, here’s a neat trick. Use old pallets (source them online easily) and nail four of them into a square configuration. Cut holes/remove boards as necessary and add all your green waste into the centre so that the pallets contain the compost heap. After a few months, you’ll notice the compost decomposing and creating a dark mulch at the bottom of the pile. To improve the process even further, add a ‘lid’ to the heap. Either make one from wooden board or use an old offcut of carpet which will work just as well. This will maintain heat in the compost heap and aid decomposition. On cold winter days you’ll notice the heap ‘steaming’.

Terraces aren’t just for sports stadiums

If you happen to have a garden on a noticeable hill or the garden has a rise in the levels of the garden, make a terrace to secure valuable planting space. Again, if you cannot afford virgin wood, use upcycled pallet wood. It’s large, strong and often treated, so are perfect for surviving wet weather and retaining large amounts of soil. You’ll be helping the environment, too, by reusing waste timber.

Water Butts

Having a water butt is a traditional way to waste not a drop of rainwater that falls on your garden. They’re also the perfect compliment to any outdoor garden building. Sheds, coops, hen houses, summer houses and stables can be fitted with guttering and drainpipes that convey water into the butt, ready for watering plants on those dry summer days.

Experiment with your garden

As a new gardener, now is the time to throw caution to the wind and do as you please. If a plant is in the wrong place, uproot it. If you’ve always wanted to try planting a small orchard, go right ahead. The worst you can do is upset the worms. So, to really make the most of your new hobby, get out there and get your hands dirty. It’s the only way! 


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