If you’re new to the world of gardening, it’s important to follow a few tips prior to planting your first shrubs, vegetables or flowers.
We’ve listed a few handy gardening tips for beginners to help you get started…
Start with an idea
Before planting anything in your garden, you need to decide on a plan of action.
Ask yourself a few questions such as ‘is this going to be a herb garden, a vegetable garden or a flower garden?’
Once you’ve decided on a theme, you can then decide on a colour scheme and plants. A good piece of advice is to start small.
Pick a location
The majority of flowers and vegetables require around six hours of full sunlight each day.
If your garden is mostly in the shade, choose plants that are able to tolerate these conditions.
When buying plants, check plant tags or research how much sun a plant requires.
Clear the ground
When it comes to gardening tips for beginners in the UK, your chosen spot must be prepped prior to planting.
This requires you to remove all weeds from the ground and ensure the soil is of good quality.
To improve the condition of the soil, you can add organic matter, in the shape of a two to three inch layer of compost, dry grass clippings, decayed leaves or old manure.
Picking your plants
There are a number of plants available, however not all are suited to the same conditions.
A key gardening tip for beginners in the UK, is that instead of buying what you like the look of, choose plants that suit your area’s climate, the amount of sunlight in your garden and the soil you have available.
Easy plants to grow for beginners in the UK include:
- Vegetables: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
- Annual: cosmos, impatiens, geraniums, marigolds, sunflowers, Calendula and zinnias.
- Perennials: Russian sage, black-eyed Susans, lamb’s-ears purple coneflowers, pansies, phlox and daylilies.
When to plant
Certain plants, including the likes of kale and pansies, are able to withstand cold temperatures, which means you can plant them in autumn or late winter.
The majority of annual flowers and tomatoes on the other hand prefer warmer climates and only tend to thrive after the danger of frost has passed.
Mid-spring and mid-autumn is the best time to plant perennial flowers.
Growing from seed
A number of plants, including sunflowers and lettuce, are extremely easy to grow from seed.
The majority can be sowed directly in the garden.
To ensure you’re sowing them at the correct time, it’s important to read the instructions on the seed packet.
This will tell you when to sow the seeds, how deep to plant them and how far apart they should be placed.
If you want to get a head start, you can sow seeds indoors and place on a sunny windowsill before the last frost date.
For best results, use containers designed specifically for seedlings. Alternatively, buy young plants, dig a hole and place them directly in the ground.
When to water plants
This again depends on the types of plants you have decided to grow.
Most species require more water in the initial stages and in warmer weather, and less as they become more established.
Of all the gardening tips for beginners in the UK, one of the most important is to speak to staff at your local garden centre or online (if you’ve decided to purchase plants in this way) to learn more about each individual species’ care requirements.
If you look after your plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs correctly, you’ll prolong their life and ensure your garden flourishes all year round.
Additional tips: Not all plants, herbs and flowers work together.
Some require more space than others, whilst certain types of plants will suck the life out of others if planted in the same space.
Another thing to keep in mind is colour, as not all shades work together, which is why it’s wise to choose a theme before picking the contents for your garden.
Sources: bhg.com, bbc.co.uk