Gardening is a great way to spend your time it is relaxing and relatively simple and makes a good hobby. You will burn a few calories and get some fresh air away from the computers and ipads. Even better you will get the sense of achievement in watching your crop grow, plant some veggies and you will be able to taste some truly fresh food. Here is our simple but effective selection of tips to get you going in the right direction.
1- How to start
Gardening doesn't need to be difficult your not aiming for the Chelsea flower show just some bright and vibrant plants. Don't worry if you haven't much of a garden just get started. Use simple container available from garden centres or use old food containers from butter and ice cream etc. Give them a quick wash out fill with soil and presto mini garden.
2- Good base
Make sure you start with a good base which is decent growing medium and adequate drainage. The drainage is easy simply ensure your container has holes in the bottom and place some small stones over the base first off. This will ensure that the water will run through and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. As for compost/soil, All you need to do is keep some of your organic waste from the kitchen in a separate container. It will take around 3 months to make the compost but this can be sped up by turning every week or so. But a quicker way would be to go to your local garden centre or supermarket and buy the ready-made stuff in bags.
Different plants need different locations some like shade some thrive in the sun but most plants prefer part of each. Always pay attention to the labels provided with your plants for a care guide alternatively Google can be your best friend. Don't be afraid to move your mini gardens around if needed. Plants generally grow in all conditions but if you want them to thrive then follow the care guide.
4- What and when?
Depending on the type of plant you want to grow and what your growing location is like it is important to do a little homework on your potential flowers. Here is a great guide to flowers needs and demands. Always be sure to follow the needs of the plants and some are more difficult to cultivate than others so try not to run before you can walk.
5- Beginner plants
As this guide is aimed at novice gardeners here are some great plants to get started on. A lot of vegetable plants are good and you get to eat them try tomatoes, peppers, peas and basil. If you are after some good looking flowers go for sunflowers, petunias, clematis and pansies. Some fragrant ones are honeysuckle, lavender and rosemary. the key is to find plants that are classed as hardy your local garden centre employees will guide you to those styles.
It is important that your plants get the water they need as without it they are doomed to fail. One tip is to try to avoid wetting the leaves as this will end in mould growth on them and in term will create rot equaling dead plants. Always water the base of the plant this will give the roots a good drink as the purpose of the roots is to suck it up whereas the leaves are for collecting sunlight to create photosynthesis (a process used by plants to convert light energy). The leaves on the plant should never go yellow if they do then you are watering them too much so back it off a little and they will recover.
7- Stay organic
Try to always go organic if you can that means natural fertilizing and pest control. If you use man-made chemicals it can make your plants weaker that organic ones and less resistant to disease. Also, it will give your edible growth a full flavour like no other shop bought varieties available.
8- Time to prune
Pruning doesn't have to be difficult or daunting I know that cutting your plants may seem drastic but it is necessary to great growth. As valuable resources of the plant will be wasted and spread ti thin over its entirety. It also means better air circulation and flows as well as not so many leaves to get wet. The idea of the prune is to control the growth of a plant if it looks like its getting out of control give it a snip just don't go over the top. Late winter to early spring is the best time to prune as the plants prefer to be dormant when the pruning takes place.
A great tip to get a head start with your seeds is to start them off in a protective environment like in a tray on the windowsill simply line the tray with kitchen roll and make sure it is always damp then sprinkle you seeds on o the kitchen towel and let them do there thing you should see small green shoots leaving the seeds that is how you know they are growing then transfer them to soil once the growth slows on the tray.
10- Have fun.........