When people are just starting out in gardening, it can seem as if there’s a lot to know, and hundreds of questions that need answering. The more time you spend gardening, the more you will learn about what doesn’t work and what does. For now, use our list of gardening tips to help you answer some of the common questions that beginners often come up with.

Getting to know the garden

Before starting, it’s always a good idea to properly get to know your garden. Checking the aspect (north-facing or south-facing) to know where the sun is hitting the ground will allow you to know where to grow your stuff for the best results. Also worth knowing is the type of soil that you have. Start by taking a look at what’s growing – magnolias, Pieris, and camellias will all tell you that the soil there is acidic, while the absence of these tends to suggest more of an alkaline soil.

Planning

Planning out your garden is always advised. This allows you to work out what you want to grow and where you want to grow it, rather than getting carried away and ending up with a load of plants that don’t look aesthetically pleasing when put together. Planning also enables you to use structure and colour wisely, making your garden look great all year through.

Learning to plant

Planting your plants in a proper way will ensure that they live for a long time and grow well. It’s important to make sure that you take time to prepare the soil and weed before planting, while adding fertiliser or mulch whenever necessary. If you are unsure of how to plant something in particular, you can always look online for instructions instead of just hoping for the best.

Water and feed plants frequently

Knowing how and when to water your plants can make the difference between them dying and living. A general rule is to water the root ball instead of the leaves themselves, as the roots will absorb the water. Making sure the root ball is soaked weekly is typically better than watering a small amount every single day. Feeding your plants is also important, and you should ideally be feeding them every fortnight while it’s growing season (summer and spring).

Starting small

When starting a new allotment or vegetable patch, it is often tempting to take on everything in one go. However, it is far better to do a small amount at a time, so that things are easier to cope with. You can quite easily cover certain areas that you don’t want to cultivate, for example, with black plastic or cardboard, and to stop weeds growing while you work on another area.

Pests

Most pests that you find in your garden don’t tend to do a whole lot of harm to plants and can often be left alone, especially since there are plenty of nature’s predators to keep them in check. Despite this, sometimes pests can become a serious infestation, and you will need to act fast. Keep an eye out for an increasing number of pests such as snails, slugs, and aphids, as this will help in keeping your plants safe, and save you a lot of time and energy!

Garden Supplies are a family run business delivering sustainable garden supplies right to your door. We have been serving clients in and around Gloucester since 1991. Based in North Nibley, we specialise in supplying and delivering sustainable products for Horticultural, Agricultural and Domestic use, combined with selective associated services. If you want more information about our products and services, take a look at our website www.gardensuppliesglos.co.uk or give us a call on 01453 547299 – we’d be happy to hear from you!