1 Know your region
It may sound obvious, but not everything grows everywhere, so what you plant is determined by where you live. Take a look at the characteristics of your garden – from climate to sun. This is the most important place to start, because you will want to understand your limits and possibilities. Talk to someone who works at your local garden center about the best native plants for your area.
2 Check your soil
For a detailed determination of soil pH and nutrient levels, send a sample to your local nursery (there are also home testing kits available at any gardening store). The results will tell you how acidic or alkaline your soil is, which affects how plants absorb nutrients. Since different plants are best for different pH levels, this test can help you decide what to plant or indicate how you should treat the soil.
Examine soil texture. It should be easy to rake and crumble in your hands. If your soil is super-hard or clayey, most plants will have a hard time growing. Add fresh soil, mulch and compost, and thoroughly clean as much as you can before planting.
3 Start with “light” plants
Growing vegetables is an interesting introduction to gardening. They don’t take that long to grow, so if you make a mistake, you don’t waste many months. Sunflowers are also a good option as they grow fast and tall, or try easy-growing ferns. Early success is inspiring. This can force you to move on to more complex plants.
4 Create plan
To avoid crowding, it is suggested that you research your plants first so you know exactly how large they will be and how to open them. Usually perennials, plants that live for more than two years, should be spaced about 40 cm apart. This gives them ample room for new growth and will generally make the garden look full right away.
It’s also important to know how tall your plants will grow. Lower and creepers should be planted towards the front and edges of the flower bed with taller plants at the back. It’s also helpful to be aware of sun exposure – be aware of taller plants that may block lower ones, or varieties that prefer a lot of sun or shade.
5 Keep a journal
Write down your garden dreams or inspiration in a journal (notebook). This is a great way to keep track of garden activities. You can also use it to keep notes on interesting plants that you encounter elsewhere, so you can make a reminder to include them in your garden next year.
6 Keep a calendar
In the spring, fertilization of all plants begins and is done every six to eight weeks during the growing season, which usually ends in autumn. There are some plants that should not be planted in summer. In the fall, after the severe heat has passed, trees and large bushes are pruned. If you want to add bulbs or any new plants for next year, you can add them at this time, but you can also plant them in early spring.
7 Thorough watering
Give consistent and sufficient water. Constant means you do this on a regular basis, and sufficient means the amount of water you need, which varies from plant to plant. Make sure the water is getting into the soil and not just applying a little to the surface. New plants will need to be watered more frequently because their root systems are not fully developed. As for the best time of the day, early morning is suggested before it gets too warm so the plant can actually absorb water. If you water in the evening, your plants may be more prone to fungus and other diseases.
8 Keep up the good work!
You may not have to work hard every day, but proper maintenance is the greatest thing you can give your garden and the most rewarding for it. “By taking the time to get rid of weeds, pruning and harvesting, you get your plants to thrive. You will inevitably see how each species reacts differently to changes in the weather, and how to fix problems like infestation before they become too problematic. If you notice stunted growth, check what is happening to the roots of the plant by carefully examining and digging out the underlying soil. Sometimes they need to be carefully opened or loosened so that they can grow in the soil.
9 Try to be patient
Gardening is not a one-day process – it takes time. Sometimes impatience will make you fuss too much about plants in the hope that they will grow faster. Monitor them regularly and follow all of the above rules.