I can remember when I was first starting out gardening that I had a lot of questions, and at times even felt like I was in over my head. After all, there’s a lot more to it than simply digging a hole, plopping some seeds in the ground, and waiting for nature to take care of the rest. Some things I had to learn the hard way, but I also had some help along the way. I’d be more than happy to do the same for you. Here are 13 of the best gardening tips ever. This is where I buy my garden seeds: SeedsNow
13 of the Best Gardening Tips Ever
1. Know What Your USDA Hardiness Zone Is
The USDA Hardiness Zone Map is a guide to help you understand which plants, trees, and perennials will do well in your area. Knowing your zone is important for a few reasons. This will keep you from growing plants that won’t survive the winter in your region, as well as give you a rough idea of when the last frost will be so that you know when to get started in your garden in the spring.
2. Choose to Plant Native Plants
I know that it may be tempting for you to grow plants from all over the world, but it’s better to focus more on native species that will thrive in your area. That doesn’t mean that you can’t grow species from elsewhere, but keep in mind that your local pollinators are accustomed to what usually grows in your region.
3. Pay Close Attention to Sunlight Requirements
Keep in mind that if you’re growing vegetables, most of them are going to need a lot of direct sunlight each day. Make sure that you follow the sunlight requirements for each plant before you choose a spot for them in your garden. You can do this by paying attention to the label directions on each of their packages and plan your garden accordingly.
You will want to plant them where they get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight, but if your backyard is mostly shaded, you may want to consider planting crops such as cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and radishes.
4. Avoid Planting in Wet Soil
Instead of digging or planting when your garden soil is wet, wait until it’s dryer and more crumbly. It doesn’t need to be completely dry though. This keeps you from messing up the soil structure in your garden.
5. Add Organic Material to Your Soil
You may think that fertilizer is what makes your plants do so well, but it’s actually the soil quality that is the most important. Improve your garden’s soil structure by adding organic amendments to the mix. But when you do decide to use a fertilizer, make sure that you are going with an organic one that contains nitrogen, potash, and phosphate.
6. Only Use Composted Manure
You should avoid using fresh manure on your garden plants because it may contain parasites or other pathogens that could do harm to you and your plants. That, and fresh manure contains too much nitrogen that can “burn” your plants. You also shouldn’t use manure from your dog or your cat, because it too can contain parasites that can make you sick. Only use composted manure on your garden that has cured and rotted for at least 6 months.
7. Water Deeply Instead of So Frequently
Most of the plants in your garden need about 1 to 2 inches of water every week. When your area is experiencing a lack of rainfall, you should consider watering them deeply versus lightly on a daily basis. If you only water lightly, the moisture might not get down far enough to the roots which then forces the roots of your plant to move upwards instead of growing down deep.
8. Stay On Top of Your Weed Situation
Hoeing and pulling weeds by-hand are the best ways to control weeds in your garden. But you don’t want to hoe too deeply in the soil because you could wind up bringing their seeds to the surface where they will start to germinate. Then you’ll have a real mess on your hands. Mulching will also help limit the amount of weeds that spring up in your garden.
9. Know When to Prune
As soon as your buds from your spring flowering shrubs begin to fade away, that’s when you want to prune them back. Avoid pruning your plants during the fall or winter because that’s when they are setting up their buds for the following spring. If you do, you’ll be disappointed with the lack of buds that you have the following spring.
10. Practice Deadheading
Your annuals’ main purposes are to flower, set their seed, and then they will eventually die. But when you remove their old blooms, that tells the plant to produce even more flowers. This also encourages your plants to grow stronger roots and leaves instead of focusing on seed production.
11. Dividing Hostas
You don’t necessarily have to divide your Hostas if you don’t want to, but you will if you prefer single plants or want to increase production. The best time to divide your hostas is during the spring when their shoots start to appear, (don’t wait for their leaves to unfurl) and also during the fall about a month before the soil freezes. This holds true for the other perennials in your garden, including your daylilies, irises, and peonies.
12. Don’t Get Rid of All Your Fall Leaves
Though they may be dead, fallen leaves still contain several nutrients that your garden and compost will appreciate during the winter. Once your area has experienced a few hard freezes and your perennials have gone dormant, cover them with 3 to 6 inches of chopped-up leaves. Then you can remove the mulch once spring arrives. Now, this is one of the best gardening tips ever!
13. Gardening Tip for Your Vegetables
The ideal temperature for your tomatoes to ripen is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets too hot out, like 85 degrees or hotter, your tomatoes may have a hard time changing to their desired color. If temperatures fall to less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your tomatoes will no longer ripen. It’s best in those conditions to bring your fruit inside where they can finish ripening.
13 of the Best Gardening Tips Ever
Gardening isn’t necessarily rocket science, but it does take knowledge and a few skills so that you will experience success. I guarantee that these 13 gardening skills will reward you with a healthier and more vibrant garden than you ever thought possible. For all my gardener readers out there, what are some other gardening tips that would greatly benefit a beginner? What are some of the best gardening tips you’d like to share? May God Bless this world, Linda.