Gardening involves active participation in the growth of plants. It is the practice of cultivating and growing plants as part of horticulture, which tends to be labor-intensive. This differentiates gardening from farming and forestry. Since it involves arranging plants harmoniously in their surroundings, we can say that gardening can be considered an art form. And since being familiar with the principles and techniques of plant cultivation is a must, we can say that gardening is a science as well.
Steps you should follow
If you decide to try out gardening as your new hobby, there are several steps to follow in order to make your garden blossom: decide whether you want to plant a vegetable, herb, or a flower garden. Second thing – choose the correct spot. As we all know, all plants need 6-8 hours of full sun each day. Make sure you observe your garden throughout the day to determine which spots get full sun, and which ones get full shade. This is important as your plants must have their light requirements so they can thrive. In addition, improve the soil – the more fertile soil, the better your vegetables or flowers will grow.
Work on that soil!
Working the soil is the most important as it allows roots to penetrate the soil more easily to access water and nutrients. You can do this by either tilling or digging. The next step is picking plants: you can either check some catalogs or just head to the garden center and buy what you like the most. As long as you choose plants adapted to your climate, soil, and sunlight, either method is fine.
Must have (tools)?
And probably the most important thing is picking the correct gardening tool. When it comes to this, most beginners in gardening have the same questions: how much money should I spend? How do I choose the right style or size? Which ones do I really need? The answer to those questions is that most gardeners have a few tools for gardening they use on a regular basis, so for starters, some basic tools such as a shovel, garden scissors, hand towel and pruning shears should suffice.
Four seasons to bare in mind
Now that you have picked your plants, it’s time for the next step: plant your picks. Some plants tolerate cold weather, so you can plant them in autumn or late winter. On the other hand, some prefer warm temperatures, so don’t plant them until the danger of frost has passed. Mid Spring and mid-autumn are good times to plant these types of plants.
Water, water, water!
Make sure to water daily as seedlings should never be allowed to dry out. As the plants get larger, increase the amount of water you are using. The frequency of watering depends on your soil, humidity, and rainfall, so make sure you take all these factors into consideration. Sun and wind dry out soil more quickly than cool, cloudy weather. If you are not sure if you should water a plant or not, touch the soil, and if it feels dry, it’s time to water. To minimize evaporation, water in the early morning.
Some useful advice
Another useful thing is to cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch. By preventing the sunlight from directly hitting the soil, you will prevent weed seeds from germinating. If you use organic mulch, it will nourish the soil as it decomposes.
Make sure that you pull weeds often enough before they get big, get rid of the dead and dying vegetation and destructive insects by picking them off the plant. There are a couple of ways to get rid of these pests: wash plants with strong spray or water; when feasible, cover plants with floating row covers; spray plants with hot-pepper or garlic repellent sprays. For severe problems, apply insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Garden as a house jewelry
If your garden has a more decorative purpose, try growing plants in decorative pots, hanging baskets, and windows. Just as with traditional gardens, keeping a gardening container requires good drainage, rich soil, and regular maintenance. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to transform your garden is to cut the lawn into a defined shape – a circle, a square or an oblong. The first thing that your visitors will notice is definitely the front yard. Fill it out with unique planters with vivid-colored flowers. You can always play around with your favorite colors and mix and match yellow, pink, red and white roses. Rocks can also be useful here – paint them in different colors and place them around the flower garden to act as a border. This would be a nice, decorative touch, and will also act as a stabilizer for the soil and will prevent erosion.
Gardening = feeling better and being healthier
In the end, gardening isn’t just about making your house look good. It also does wonders to both your psychical and mental health. By gardening, you will burn calories and the exercise will contribute to a healthy weight and blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that men and women who participated in a community gardening program also had significantly lower BMIs (body mass indexes), and just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity, such as gardening, can prevent and control high blood pressure. There is also a great benefit of spending a day outdoors – the vitamin D that you get by being exposed to the sun is crucial for absorbing calcium that is essential for bone formation. Gardening is being related to a significant reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms. Some hospitals and hospices even use planting and gardening as a type of rehabilitation for people suffering from mental illnesses and dementia or recovering from injuries, strokes or surgeries. Besides all this, a productive plot can also promote a better diet by supplying fresh, healthy produce. Gardening helps people develop a habit of eating enough fruits and vegetables.
With all this in mind, and knowing that growing plants may also help boost your mood and increase the quality of life, being a beginner in the miraculous word of gardening shouldn’t prevent anyone from getting a pair of gardening gloves, and planting the first seed.