It’s Gardening Month, but we can’t all be expert horticulturists. Here at Preloved, we’ve put together a few of our top tips for anyone who wants get stuck into gardening but they’re not sure where to start. Gardening has multiple benefits for both yourself and the natural environment, it can be stress- busting whilst also creating a small paradise for wildlife.
Plan your plants
It’s important before you start planting to consider your options in terms of what to grow. Do you want a vegetable garden or a flower garden? As well as the aesthetic and aromatic appeal of growing plants, its important to understand your soil type; light and sandy or heavy and clay? This will have an impact on how well the plant grow, if you’re unsure it’s a good idea to have a little look at what your neighbour is growing!
2. Choose the right site.
Once you have decided which type of plants will thrive in your garden, it’s important to pick the right site to give your seedlings the best chance of blooming. Misjudging sunlight is a common pitfall when you’re starting out in gardening, it’s important that plants get 6-8 hours of full sun each day. We recommend observing your garden for a couple of days before planting to figure out how the sunlight plays throughout the day.
Another super tip is to try and plan your new garden in reach of a water source, it’ll save a lot of time and effort if you can run a hose to your garden site, rather than lug a can of water.
3. Make the ground ready
Once you have found your perfect site to plant, it may be necessary to improve the soil. Often soil is too wet, infertile, too acidic or alkaline, but the solution is often simple: to add organic matter. This organic matter can be compost, manure or decayed leaves which needs to be added to the soil in a 2 to 3 inch layer before planting.
4. Time to plant
Its time to plant! Don’t be tempted to cram your bed full of plants, if you place young plants too close together they are less likely to survive. Always check the plant or seed label to understand the right conditions the plant needs to flourish. If you are starting your garden with young plants, make sure you’re gentle when removing them from the pot. We recommend slightly squeezing the sides and pushing from the bottom, turn the plant upside down for even easier removal- but be ready to catch!
5. When to water?
Seedlings should not be allowed to dry out, they need to be watered daily. Young plants also require regular watering every other day, until they become established. Following from this, one useful tip is to feel the soil 3 to 4 inches below the surface, if it feels dry the plants need to be watered.