6 Must Know Gardening Tips for Everyday People

Jayde Ferguson

Looking after a garden cultivates much more than just pretty flowers. The art of gardening is a refreshing way to not only grow your own healthy foods, but also to exercise and clear your mind out in the fresh air. When it’s done properly, gardening is an excellent way to transform your outdoor space into your own amazingly awesome backyard retreat.

It doesn’t matter though, whether you’ve been gardening for years or if it’s your first time getting your hands dirty – creating the ultimate garden can be hard work. Whilst it’s definitely rewarding, there’s some must-know tips everyone should know.

1. Understand Your Climate and Hardiness Zone

Before you go out and spend all your money at Bunnings or your local plant store, you need to have a good understanding about how they’ll work with your location. If you don’t choose the right plants for your climate, then it’s only a matter of time before your beautiful looking garden will be a waste of space – and money.

Depending on your location, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone will help to determine which plants will thrive in what climate across America, and explore the climate zones throughout Australia.  BY understanding your climate and hardiness zone, you’ll be able to find the right plants for your garden and how you should be taking care of them. It’s important you don’t plant any trees, shrubs or flowers that won’t survive in the conditions of your area – as pretty or as perfect as they may seem, it just won’t work.

2. Define What Garden You Want to Build

There’s a huge variety of gardens out there – some are created for a sense of atmosphere and an appealing space, whereas others are there to grow your own source of fresh produce and herbs. Before you begin, think carefully about what you want to achieve with your garden and how this will work with your current space.

Plan before you plant by mapping out where different plans will thrive in your garden. If you want to create a vegie patch, a one-by-one-metre plot of land is a good place to start. If you want to add flower beds, consider where you’ll be digging these in before you put shovel to soil, and if you want to have the raised or not.

3. Create Your Own Compost

The most important part of gardening is the soil you’re planting your foliage into. Most soil types are naturally enriched with compost but by adding the right amount of mulch and other nutrients, your soil (and garden) will be fertile – ensuring an even more successful bloom.

Regardless of whether you’re a serious gardener or not, creating your own compost is the best way to give your plants a healthy start. It’s also a super important part of doing your bit for the environment – and it’s very easy to do. The three most common techniques for creating compost at home include hot composting (closed tubs or bins), hot composting (open bins) and cold composting (which is the easiest way). If you’re unsure about which one is right for you, check out this infographic and compost technique breakdown.

You can build your own compost crate or head to the local gardening supply shop for a compost bin or tumbler. After you’ve finished, you’ll have access to your very own (free) soil conditioner that’ll keep your plants healthy and ward of any plant diseases.

4. Get Familiar with Your Growing Season

As crucial as the hardiness zone is to the success of your plants, the same applies with the growing season. Every flower, shrub, tree, herb, vegetable and plant thrives best at different times in different growing seasons. Thus, it’s important you check what applies to your chosen plants to determine what season you should be planting them.

By getting familiar with the different growing seasons, you’ll get a good understanding about what exactly will make your plants bloom best. Vegetables, for example require 8 hours of direct sunlight every day in order to survive.

Growing times will act as an essential guide to planting dates so be sure to check the information card attached to plants or ask your local garden shop. From here, you can make a seasonal plan that’ll ensure you space looks lush all year round.

5. Consider Erecting a Fence

Depending on what type of garden you plan to grow, adequate fencing can play an important role in looking after it. Especially important if you’re considering vegetables, the right fencing will shield your new blooms from rabbits or other animals that may enjoy the taste of your new produce!

It doesn’t matter how fond of furry creatures you may be, most animals can be an absolute nuisance when it comes to caring for your garden. Not only that, but if you have a dog or pet of your own keeping them fenced out of the area can ensure any weed and pest control sprays and pellets can’t harm them. This is also a huge safety consideration if you have a baby or young toddlers around the area too.

If the primary purpose of your fence is to deter animal pests, make sure you determine what ‘pests’ they are first. This will make sure you build the right fence for the job.

6. Control Pests, Weeds and Growth

Pests and weeds are the biggest contributions to destroying your garden – but a little maintenance and planning will go a long way. Hand weeding and hoeing are the best ways to control the growth of weeds, but be careful not bring their seeds to the soil’s surface. To keep your garden looking super lush and free of weeds – you need to keep on top of it. Early weeding and often will ensure the weeds don’t go to seed, and cutting off the tops of weeds will prevent them from seeding too. To help smother and prevent annual weeds, add mulch to you garden’s soil.  

To control pests and bugs eating away at your plants, the best way is to actually attract beneficial insects to your garden first. Small wasps are good for preying on pesky caterpillars and thrive on flat-topped floral landing platforms like Queen Anne’s Lace, carrots, parsley, sweet alyssum and mint. There’s also a lot of options out there as far as pest-sprays go – but it’s best to opt for the natural versions for safety considerations – just in case. When handling any pesticides and chemicals, remember to wear gloves and read the instructions carefully.

To promote new, healthier growth of your plants make sure you remove any dead branches or faded flowers. Deadheading, as it’s called encourages your plants to have stronger roots and leaves. By removing the old blooms, you’re telling your plants it’s time to produce more flowers that are fresher. This will leave your garden looking pretty all year round.

The art of gardening doesn’t have to be hard. Little bits more often will not only ensure you space looks fantastic, but it’ll help you learn more about what’s working in your garden and what isn’t.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who recommends Beacon Equipment – a Perth based company with quality garden equipment and tools to keep your blooms looking lush.