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5 Things You Should to Know Before Starting a Garden

Before you start gardening, take these advices for happy and productive gardening sessions.

Binita Kumari
5 Things You Should to Know Before Starting a Garden
5 Things You Should to Know Before Starting a Garden

If you garden for a long time, you'll eventually forget how much you've learned. But if I could go back in time and give my much younger self some advice and encouragement, this is what I would say.

  • One of the (nearly) unbreakable rules of good gardening is "the right plant at the right place." If you put a sun-loving plant that requires crumbly, free-draining soil in a moist bed in the shadow, it will almost surely perish. Or, even worse, it may cling desperately to life, always on the verge of dying but never quite doing so.

  • Our world is home to a diverse range of plant species, as well as a wide variety of soil types, each with its own distinct characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. For example, damp, thick, sticky clays that is vulnerable to winter moisture and water logging yet hardy in the face of scorching summer droughts. Sandy soils that are light, porous, and free-draining are easy to deal with, but they are always hungry for organic matter and nutrients.

  • You'll kill a lot of plants and seedlings throughout your gardening career, most of them because you didn't know what they required to be happy and healthy. You'll mollycoddle young baby transplants who would rather be outside, but you'll forget to safeguard vulnerable specimens from a late-spring frost.

  • You'll overwater and underwater some plants, overfeed and underfeed others, and plant them in the wrong spot or at the wrong time of year. Even if you do everything correctly, some people will still die. You'll be angry, enraged, frustrated, perplexed, and sorry, but most of all, curious as to what went wrong. It's the latter that will make you a better gardener over time.

  • A garden created and nurtured with love and passion will always win out over one planned as a show of riches and status or as an expression of good taste. In this way, you'll find that gardening is wonderfully democratic in a way that few other things are. All you need is some seed, a few cuttings, and enough space for a few large pots to flourish.

  • As you learn to balance the necessity for weed management/control with the awareness that nature knows best, your attitude about "weeds" will drastically change. 

With time, you'll come to recognize them as displaced garden plants and/or hardy wildlings that are an expression of a plot's lengthy history of cultivation and soil, as well as crucial gears in the wheels of biodiversity.

As a result, your attitude about garden "tidiness" will be forever changed.

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