Make Sure Your Plants Are Right For Your Soil
There are a number of things to look for when scouting a good place to start a garden. But before any of that, you’ll need to check the pH of the soil you’re planning on planting in. Different plants need different climates and soil compositions in order to grow, so make sure the soil you’ll be planting in is compatible with what you want to grow. If you’re not sure what your pH is, and you don’t have access to a pH soil testing kit, then there are a few ways to get a rough estimation of how alkaline or acidic your soil is. Simply take a cup of soil samples from your yard, break up the larger clumps and remove any debris. Add one-half of a cup of vinegar to it. If you get a reaction, your soil is alkaline. Repeat the same process with a half-cup of baking soda if not. If the mixture of soil and baking soda bubbles or fizzles, your soil is acidic.
Pick The Right Location
Much like in real estate, gardening is all about location. You’ll also need a place with regular access to sunlight and water. Make sure there’s a hosepipe nearby or that your sprinkler system has an easy reach to the place where you’ll be planting things– you don’t want to be lugging buckets of water every time your plants need to be watered! It helps if you have easy access to your garden as well. It pays to have it in a place well within eyesight so that you can check up your plants easily and so you won’t be tempted to leave it out of sight, out of mind.
Getting the Right Supplies
There are a number of tools that can aid you in your journey to becoming an expert gardener. A hand trowel should be among the first of the tools you’ll need, for ease of digging and planting– two of gardening’s most common activities. Plastic trowels might be cheaper but look for one with a non-plastic handle, such as wood, for sturdiness. A spade is mandatory in order to shovel holes with. Many spades these days have handles that are made of rot-resistant materials, such as fiberglass, but wood is still good material for your spade’s handle. You may have to check it for pests, such as wood rot or termites every now and then.
For thicker plants, such as tree branches or for shrubbery, hedge clippers are necessary for the pruning of diseased or the otherwise unappealing parts of plants. As you’ll be using these quite a bit in one sitting, make sure to get one with a comfortable grip. And remember, when pruning, cut closest to the root. This is to prevent the spread of diseases or pests that might have contributed to the afflicted parts being pruned. For smaller plants, get gardening shears.
Dig a hole in the ground deep enough to comfortably sit your plant in, but not too deep that it covers the leaves of your plant. You want to make sure all the roots are completely submerged. If you’re buying a potted plant from a store, the roots may be packed tight and will need to be loosened first. You can do this by gently pinching the soil in and around where the roots are. If the situation calls for it, mix mulch in with the soil being used. Give your plants enough space– if placed too close together, plants will compete with each other for resources, and you may end up with dead plants on your hands. But if done right, and given enough space and the right soil, you should have a beautiful garden growing soon.