So you’re searching for some gardening wisdom. Perhaps you are just starting out in the garden, or maybe you have years of experience and are always seeking out new ways to improve. Either way, you’re here to get some gardening tips, and we’re happy to help!
When I first started gardening, I was not very good at it. I thought I was doing everything right. I watered my plants every day, rotated them in the sun, and tried to re-pot them when they got too big. But things still went wrong in my garden. The leaves yellowed, sprouts withered, and some plants just dropped dead after months of healthiness. It took me some time to get the hang of it, but eventually, with time and practice, my garden flourished.
There is so much to know about gardening, and I still have things to learn. So don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by trying to absorb all the information about plants. It’s a diverse and varied world of ecology. Each plant you place in your garden has unique needs for care and propagation.
Below are five gardening tips that you may not have heard before to help improve your garden’s well-being.
Tip #1: Plan it Out
Before you plant your garden, plan it out. Your garden placement is important for the health of your plants.
The spacing, lighting, and moisture absorption are all important factors when considering where you place your garden.
Draw out your garden to plan where it will best go, and how your plants will get their sun. Different plants require different sun exposure throughout the day, so this is an important tip to keep in mind.
Tip #2: Take Notes
Keep a journal of all the plants in your garden. Create a journal entry for each, to keep all the information and tips you gather, organized in one place. Take pictures or even take clippings of each plant in your garden. Underneath the name of this plant, you can describe all you currently know about it, and leave space for what you will learn in the future.
Organizing your garden tips in one spot will help you remember how to care for each plant. It can also help you plan out next season’s garden. Describe the watering schedule and sunlight needed, soil drainage, and the best weather conditions of each plant.
By keeping this journal year after year, you can create a detailed history of your garden. Write about any troubles each plant has and how you solved it, so you can consult your own gardening tips later when another issue arises.
Tip #3: A Little Mess is Best
In the fall, you don’t have to clean up everything that looks dead or dried out. Mums are hardy fall flowers that can survive a cold winter if you don’t cut them back. This rule applies to most hardy perennial flowers in the winter.
Let your dead leaves stay on the ground for a while to decompose and nourish the soil over the winter. Refrain from cutting away all the leaves on your plants over the winter, as they store nutrients needed to bloom again in the spring.
Tip #4: Dead-Heading
Flowering plants are so beautiful in full bloom, but when the flowers start to wilt and die off, you begin to worry. But don’t! Mainly, for spring blooming flowers, deadheading will come in handy.
To keep your plant just as vibrant as it was before, make a habit of routinely checking for wilted or spent blossoms. Take your pruning shears and trim the dead flower off. This process is known as deadheading, and it helps the plant focus its energy on making more fresh blossoms rather than expending effort on creating seeds.
The plant needs its leaves to store enough energy for the next blooming season, so don’t remove the leaves until they turn brown and take little effort to pull off the plant.
Tip #5: Watering Schedule
Watering your plants is one of the most important parts of caring for them. Of course, I’m sure you knew that. I’m sure you also know how difficult it is to remember which plants you watered, and when, and how much they need.
As a rule of thumb, most in-ground plants require 1-2 inches of water per week. If there isn’t much rain, instead of watering them lightly every day, give them a generous watering once a week. This helps to soak the soil all the way through, rather than just the top layer. Deep watering encourages the roots to grow downwards, rather than shallow.
Make a habit of checking the soil’s moisture before watering each plant. Write down if it was moist or dry, and note which day it was. This will help you develop a personal schedule for watering your garden. Taking notes will help organize personal gardening tips and keep track of each plant’s heath.
Tip #6: Get Down to the Root Problem
Often when buying a full-grown plant from the store or nursery, it has been growing in a plastic pot for quite some time. The roots have had little space to stretch out and must circle back on themselves to continue growing. These plants are root-bound, meaning that they are tightly wound around themselves, which will hinder them from absorbing the proper amounts of water and nutrients.
When re-potting your root-bound plants, help them along by loosening the tangle. Use your fingers to untangle, as if combing your fingers through a knot of hair, gently wiggle your fingers through the knots and soil. The goal is to get some space between the tightly bound roots, so if you are struggling, use a sharp spade or box cutter to make several vertical cuts in the root structure.
After you have released the plant’s roots from this state, proceed to plant in the ground or re-pot into a larger container. Make sure to water it thoroughly, generous amounts for the next several days to establish the roots.
Tip #7: Start With Healthy Soil
Soil is the base of your garden and the source of your plant’s nutrients. Test your soil before you plant anything. This will tell you if your soil is nutrient deficient and in need of supplements. After you test your soil, it will be easier to decide which fertilizer to use.
If you don’t want to perform a soil test or don’t have access to one, I recommend mixing a general fertilizer into your garden for good measure.
Tip #8: Composting Like a Pro
Composting is a great way to add nutrients to your garden, while reusing food waste from your house. Place your banana peels, eggshells and even leftovers into a compost bin to break down over time, forming a nutrient rich fertilizer.
Keep in mind that compost needs time to integrate into your soil, so apply it about two to three weeks before you plant your seeds.
Waste nothing. For the parts that you do clean up like leaves raked up from trees, use these as mulch. Cut up the leaves by running a lawnmower over a leafy lawn, then rake up the leaf bits for compost ingredients.
Use this mulch to spread over your yard in the middle of winter, when all the plants have gone dormant. It will help nourish and restore the soil nutrients, so when spring comes around, you can remove the mulch for a renewed, healthy garden.
Tip #9: Know Your Hardiness Zone
Understanding where you are geographically is important for your garden’s health. USDA Hardiness Zones are geographic locations based on the coldest temperatures in the winter. Looking at this map will help you plan out which plants will grow best in each season.
Planting hardiness zones especially are important to know if you are starting your garden in early spring or late fall. Depending on your zone there could still be snow covering the ground or it may already be warming up.
Tip #10: Weeding
Pesky plants that overgrow your garden are always an annoyance that gardeners must put up with. Hand pulling weeds is the best way to get rid of them. Pull them up all the way, roots included, then dispose of them in a closed container. This is important so that you avoid the seeds from spreading again.
After you have pulled the weeds, lay down a layer of corn meal to keep them from growing again. If you plan to use this method, make sure the surrounding plants have already developed and germinated, as it keeps seeds from germinating.
Frequently Asked Questions: 10 Gardening Tips
Where can I find more gardening tips?
If you’re looking for a group of people to share their gardening tips, consider joining a gardening club. Gardening club members often enjoy sharing and exchanging information that they have learned themselves. It is a perfect place for both novice and experienced gardeners.
How do I know if I over-watered?
If your leaves are wilted with a brown/yellow hue, but the soil is still wet, then it is likely you’re giving your plant a bit too much hydration. Try to set a watering schedule so you remember how often you have watered each plant. Research how much each species needs, as their requirements differ.
How do I know which flowers to remove?
After a flower is spent, meaning that the petals have fallen off or turned brown, it is time to remove them. You can simply pinch where the flower was connected to and it should pop off easily.