Spring is here! It’s a great time to put your hand to gardening. Be it growing from seed, nursing plug plants or planting established shrubs, I’ve put together some information a gardener of any skill set may find useful.
Get to know your space
If you’re new to gardening it might be a good idea to assess and understand your area before you decide to add plants. Sit back and assess your garden over time and pay close attention to where the sun sits in your outdoor space at different times of the year. Having an in depth understanding of your garden means you can ensure plants can thrive when positioned in the best locations. Your soil can vary throughout the garden too, so check key areas around your space to understand what you’re working with. Some plants prefer acidic soil, some need a lot of drainage and some can thrive in clay! Introducing plants to their desired soils gives us gardeners a great advantage – you can sit back and watch your garden do all of the hard work for you!
Appreciate the seasons
A common failure gardeners face is losing plants to harsh weather conditions. The biggest challenge being pesky frost. Plant out too early and you may lose all of your precious hard work, plant out too late and you could limit your harvests. You can help protect your plants from frost by covering them with fleece or by keeping them inside a greenhouse/cold frame. It’s also important to know that greenhouses and cold frames can become too hot for plants in the summer, so make sure you let them breathe every once in a while. If you find your plants are affected by the elements, don’t lose hope – you may be able to nurse them back to health with some good old TLC. Finding the sweet spot isn’t often easy but with practice you’ll gain an understanding of how your plants react to the weather in your particular space.
Understand your plants and their needs
You’ve bought your plant from a local garden centre and placed it in the perfect position. Now what? It’s all well and good to buy a pretty plant and hope it survives the seasons in your garden, but all efforts to maintain a plant are wasted if the conditions aren’t suitable in the first place. Understand your plant’s needs. It may need clay soil, climbing support, ericaceous feed or it may enjoy full shade. It’s important to understand that a plant can only thrive if you give it the right conditions to do so. If you notice that after time, your plant begins to look a little worse for wear, then mix things up a little – see what you can change to help it flourish.
I think the most valuable piece of advice I can give to any gardener is to learn from your mistakes, and don’t give up! If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying until you do. Or just choose another plant instead! Understand that gardening isn’t always easy and consider it an experiment. Plants can surprise us, they can grow in the most unlikely places and conditions. Give it a go and see what happens!
If you’re struggling understanding your outdoor space and what to do with your garden, then I can help! Click here to read all about how you can book one of my personalised gardening consultations.