Gardening is becoming more popular, and we couldn’t be happier about it. For a long time, it’s been seen by many as a hobby for retirees, but young adults and children finally realise how gardening can reduce stress and reconnect people with the outdoors.
Whether you’re a green-fingered marvel or an amateur gardener, there are some vital gardening skills you should learn. In this post, we’ll look at a range of tools and techniques that will turn you into a landscape gardener in no time.
Before you attempt to grow tropical plants, it’s essential to understand the basic skills needed in gardening. To do any kind of work in your garden, you need to own the right equipment. Once you purchase gardening accessories, they’ll last a long time, so it’s an excellent investment to make.
You can view our list of essential gardening accessories here.
There are also a set of words you should learn to follow planting instructions correctly.
- Hardy: Plants that survive in all seasons
- Perennials: Die in cold seasons but thrive in the warmth
- Shrub: It looks similar to a tree, but it’s smaller
- Climbers: Ideal for creating garden walls
- Evergreens: Plants that retain their leaves during winter
- Bedding Plants: Variety of plant types, used for aesthetic appeal
Understanding the basic plant terminology and buying essential tools is the first step to becoming a skilled gardener. Foundational knowledge like this will help you know which plants suit your needs, saving a lot of time and money.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your garden is; you should never plant anything until you have a comprehensive plan in place. For example, where will you grow your flowers and vegetables? What kind of space do you have to work with?
By taking the time to look at your garden, you can allocate areas for play, eating and growing vegetables.
Perhaps the most important aspect of gardening is knowing how to analyse the health of your soil. While many people think that plants can grow in any soil, the PH levels directly impact what you can plant and whether it will flourish.
Ideally, your soil should have a neutral PH level because too much acid or alkaline will restrict plants from absorbing the minerals and nutrients they need. You can send a soil sample off for testing, but the RHS has some effective methods to try at home.
Soil structure is another factor you should take into consideration. If there’s too much clay, the soil will fail to absorb water and oxygen, which suffocates the plant. Excessively sandy soil is unable to hold vital nutrients, so the earth should be somewhere in between.
Most households have sub-standard soil, so gardeners add different substances to improve soil PH levels and texture, eliminating the issue.
If you’re planning to grow vegetables, it’s a great way to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. But vegetables need adequate levels of sunlight to thrive, and some will grow better than others in your garden.
You can use a sunlight tracking app to determine which vegetables to grow, which is easier than manual tracking and takes less time.
Composting is essential if you want to improve the health of your soil. It’s like a conditioner for the earth because it makes the texture easier to manage and brings out vital nutrients plants need to survive.
You can make your compost at home by combining household waste. Popular additions to homemade compost include:
- Food waste
- Coffee grounds
- Grass clippings
- Shredded paper
- Dead leaves
- Pine needles
Food waste, coffee grounds and grass clippings are known as green waste, and you should add a higher amount of them to make sure your compost breaks down. Of course, you can order some from your local gardening centre, but using household waste aides in recycling efforts and saves money.
In an ideal world, we’d all have an outdoor space to grow plants and relax in. Unfortunately, it’s not always a possibility, and if you live in an urban area, you probably don’t have as much garden space as you’d like. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy indoor gardening.
Containers make it possible for anyone to get their fingers green, and you’ve probably got plenty of unused items lying around the house. Even old takeaway containers and drinks bottles are ideal for growing a variety of plants and vegetables.
We should mention that people with plenty of outdoors space can still use containers to keep their garden tidy and make maintenance easier. For example, if you have issues with your legs or back, then getting on the ground to tend to your plants isn’t going to be feasible, but raised beds to allow you to have a colourful garden regardless of how mobile you are.
It should be the easiest part of gardening, but believe it or not, watering the plants is where a lot of people go wrong. While it’s common knowledge that underwatering your plants can cause them to wilt and die, many people don’t know that overwatering is the leading cause of plant death.
If you’ve had a lot of rain, then you most likely won’t need to water your plants, but it’s not always easy to tell. Instead of scratching your head and watering them anyway, you can use the spade technique to look at how wet your soil is.
All you need to do is feel the soil around the same depth as the length of your spade and see if it’s damp or dry. You should water dry soil immediately. While this might seem like a lot of effort, it’s quicker than watering your whole garden.
Designing Your Garden
Garden design is complicated because there are so many things to consider. If you have children, pets and like to host BBQ’s, then it can feel like there isn’t enough space. Hiring a specialist garden design company can make the process easier and reveal some innovative ways to get the most out of a small garden.
So there you have it. Those were some vital gardening skills you should learn. Remember, planting flowers and vegetables is supposed to be a fun activity, so don’t take your failures too seriously.
Get to know your garden, and don’t be afraid to try new things. We have tons of helpful guides, including The Beginners Guide to Square Foot Gardening.