We completed DIY raised garden beds Last summer, now that I’m deep into my second crop, I’m basically a horticulturist. mix! I’m still a relative newbie, but… will I will say that I have learned a lot over the past year as I have witnessed some great triumphs and failures in the field of gardening. Yesterday, I was in my backyard cutting tomato vines and pruning branches, and I realized just how far I’d come in my gardening journey.
Since you guys have been along for the ride, I thought I’d share the best beginner gardening tips I’ve learned so far. These have been the key to my success and, I must say – my summer crop on POINT. I’d love to hear if you guys are planting a garden this year, or if you have tips to share that I might have missed. Send me a DM Please let me know! And now, read on for six tips every gardening beginner should know.
1. Give your plants more space than you think they need
Before you start planting, research each of your plants to find out exactly how big they are and how much space you should leave between plants. Space them accordingly to avoid crowding.
This was my first major failure when I planted my initial crop last fall. At first, I made my plan using Square foot gardening method And I mapped out exactly where everything will go. Of course, it was not entirely clear. I bought a lot more plants at the nursery than I had planned (they were all so pretty!) and I ended up with a little free design to make them all fit. By the time my butternut squash reached “Little Shop of Horrors” status, it was too late, and the huge plants were choking out the sweet pepper plants I had planted in the same bed.
In contrast this spring, I planted just five tomato plants in my 8-by-4-foot bed, and they had room to stretch out, grow, and really thrive.
2. Make sure you have good soil
This is one of the basic gardening tips for beginners that makes all the difference. If your soil is hard or clay-like, your plants may not be able to develop roots. If this is the case, add fresh soil, mulch, and compost before planting, and be sure to aerate as deeply as you can.
We filled each of our vegetable beds with 16-20 bags of healthy, nutrient-rich potting soil.
3. Know your planting area
Do a quick internet search to see what planting zone your city falls under, then talk to someone at a local plant nursery to find out what are the best native plants for your area. These are the plants that will really thrive. Sure, you can find all of this online, however, I’ve learned from experience that nothing beats asking a seasoned gardener all your questions and listening to beginners’ hard-earned gardening advice.
I’ve been reading a lot about what it will thrive in Austin District 8knowing that our climate swings from unbelievably hot to severe frosts in the winter.
I decided to dedicate each of my raised beds to a different purpose: one for flowers, one for herbs, and one for vegetables. This helped me organize my mind to choose different varieties of each that could thrive in Zone 8. However, as I became a more experienced gardener, I would start to mix up what goes in each bed because many plants like to be surrounded by different types.
4. Create a gardening calendar
After doing my research, I created calendar appointments to remind me of the correct timing for all my upcoming garden preparation tasks. This could be fertilizing every eight weeks, sowing seeds at the beginning of spring, or cutting back/pruning my plants at the end of their growing season. It helps me stick to the schedule, plus I can set calendar tasks to repeat year after year and make notes about specific things I want to remember for next time.
5. Stay on top of the watering can
My whole family used to make fun of my “brown thumb” – in the past I would kill every plant I bought. My obvious problem? I simply forgot to water! Making sure to water frequently enough is key to keeping plants thriving, especially with new plants. Make sure the water penetrates the soil – rather than just sitting on the surface. You want it to soak deeply into the roots.
For our current garden, we have installed drip sprinklers so that in the height of the Texas summer our plants will be constantly watered at their roots. Drip sprayers are also a more environmentally friendly option as less water evaporates into the air.
6. Enjoy the process
One thing that surprised me about this gardening excursion? I really enjoy the garden maintenance phase, and it requires less work than I expected. Taking the time to deadhead, weed, and tidy gives me a chance to get my flow state in and see which plants thrive. In addition, I address potential issues before they become major issues. That day, I headed to the garden and within 48 hours, two heads of lettuce had been wiped out by caterpillars. I did my speed Pest prevention research Treat the lettuce with a solution of vinegar and water to repel further larval infestations.
And remember: nothing goes wrong with a garden! It’s nature, which means there are a lot of elements out of your control (pests, weather, disease…). Enjoy the process. I do my best not to sweat the small stuff, and instead refer to what I’ve learned so I can keep getting better and dump my experience into my next crop.