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10 Useful Things You Should Know Before Starting Your First Garden

Published on June 21st 2018
A woman preparing seed trays in a garden istock
Whether you’ve recently acquired a garden or allotment or want to get into gardening, it is always helpful to have some advice from friends or family. So here is a small list of tips I’ve found to be the most useful for gardening.

1. Plan your garden

It's always great to write down what you’d like to achieve. Do you want to grow edibles? If so, think about what sort of fruits, vegetables and herbs you'd like to incorporate. Maybe you want to grow a flower garden. If this is the case, it might be worth searching for different gardening styles. If you have children, it's worth thinking about what trees, shrubs and furniture you'd wish to include.
a garden plan on a table with some pencils

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2. Choose the right plants

As a beginner, you should try to start with plants that are easier to care for and take up less time. It may also be easier to choose plants that are already in pots or plugs rather than growing from seed.

3. Find out your soil type

Is your soil more sandy or clay? You can also test the pH level to see if you have more acid or alkaline soil, giving you a better idea of what sort of plants are best suited.

4. Learn to tell weeds apart from new growth

Know the difference between weeds and your plants. You don’t want to be pulling up the wrong things and wasting money, just like you don't want to be leaving weeds in the ground to take over. Check often and be thorough.

5. Check the spacing before planting

Make sure to read the labels on your plants to see what spacing they recommend, or look it up online. Having good spacing will affect your garden greatly. Too many plants too close together can cause more diseases and means you need water more often.
Explore our range of seeds and bulbs to plant this spring.

6. Research watering needs of plants

By planting plants with similar watering needs near each other, you can prevent overwatering and underwatering. You can usually know when you need to water by poking your finger into the soil to see if it feels moist or not. In summer, you will need to water a lot more often as you would in winter.

7. Label plants

If you’re unfamiliar with plant names, you can leave the labels in pots or hanging on branches to help you remember. This will help you in the future when you need to prune or move plants. Also great for when people ask what it is and you can’t remember.
Find beautifully handcrafted plant labels for your garden here.

8. Feeding

Some plants will need extra help with feeding, especially if you have hanging baskets or potted plants. Check what feeds are suitable and how often it's recommended. Feeding plants can make a big difference with regards to increasing blooms and flowering periods.

9. Protection

During winter, some plants will need extra protection from frosts. Some will also need protection in summer from bird or insects. For example, if you have a cherry tree, it is always good to use netting to protect the cherries from being eaten by birds. Cold frames are a great way to protect young plants throughout the colder months.

10. Be patient and allow for mistakes!

Don’t expect your garden to bloom straight away and give it time to grow and thrive. You will have plants that aren’t successful, but learning by trial and error is the best way when it comes to gardening! Even professional gardeners are still learning new things every day, so make sure to have fun!

Feeling inspired? Get growing this month with the help of our March Planting Guide!

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