How to Start a Garden: Gardening Tips for Beginners

By Maria Rogerson

March 26, 2021House & Garden

Gardening is a fun and rewarding activity that you can do in your spare time. If you’re interested in gardening but don’t know where to start, don’t worry, we got you covered. Once you master the basics you can proceed to grow plants with confidence and enjoy the results of your labour whether it’s amazing fruits and vegetables to taste or lovely flowers to admire.

Plant in hand
source: pexels.com

Get Good Living Soil That Will Feed the Plants

One of the most important factors to help a garden thrive is the choice of soil. You want to provide your plants with quality living soil that contains all the essential nutrients. This type of soil represents an ecosystem of its own with thousands of living microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, insects and earthworms that play major roles. There are many kinds of living soil for sale on the market that can do a great job depending on the types of plants and the conditions in the environment.

Sphagnum peat moss
source: thespruce.com

For instance, you can choose the Sphagnum Peat Moss which s a natural organic growing medium that conditions the soil and regulates moisture and air around plant roots. Peat moss has the capacity to hold water and keep the roots hydrated at all times. It protects the soil from becoming hard over time and has maximum airflow which allows the plant’s roots to grow to their full capacity. As a result, it’s perfect for dry areas. 

Another popular option is the Kelp Meal. This type of soil consists of over 60 micronutrients and complex carbohydrates like cytokinins, indoles, auxins and gibberellins. Kelp Meal soil is known to help with enhancing the growth of flowers and plants as well as reducing the shock from transplanting, excess water and sun rays. 

Neem Cake
source: quickcrop.ie

There’s also the Neem Cake which is an organic living soil commonly used in soil mixes to give nutritional support to the plants. In addition to being mixed with the soil, the Neem Cake can also be brewed as a tea and used for watering. So, both you and your plants can get to enjoy the healthy nutrients this soil mix provides. Amazing, right? 

The Feather ‘N’Fin is a long release living soil that won’t burn the plant but will make the soil rich with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur, iron, manganese, zinc, copper and boron. It’s perfect for demanding plants and those prone to diseases. 

The Bokashi Mix is made out of wheat bran and rice husks along with some types of micro-organisms and it’s produced right here in Australia, meaning it’s designed precisely for your local conditions.

The Bokashi Mix
source: ashawaconsultsltd.com

Once you buy a Bokashi Mix living soil you can keep and use it for years since it won’t lose its effectiveness over time, unlike other mixes.

Gardening Tools to Make Work Easier 

Once you have some good soil for planting, you’ll need thetools that will help you with the various gardening tasks while offering you protection. First and most important is a good pair of gardening gloves that will keep your hands protected from cuts and thorns and warm during cold days while you’re working in the garden. You’ll also need a hand trowel which is a small tool that will help you with planting, transplanting and potting.

Garden tools
source: freepik.com

A garden hoe is a must for cultivating the soil and edging the lawn. It’s especially helpful for preparing beds for planting and weeding. Next, a fork is a real multi-purpose tool that you can use for breaking up compacted soil, creating holes for planting, mix in living soil and remove stones and weeds. A shovel is helpful in many situations since you can dig with it with ease and remove excess soil, dirt, mulch etc. It’s also quite handy for making holes and planting.

While hand tools are cheaper, power tools can make gardening easier and speed up many tasks. 

Water Source to Keep the Plants Properly Hydrated

Water is essential for plants to grow and develop properly as it allows those nutrients and sugars from the soil to be transported to the plant. If the plant is left without water for a longer period it will dry out and die since it won’t have the necessary moisture and nutrients to continue growing normally. However, you also need to be wary of over-watering since the accumulated moisture on the leaves and on top of the ground can lead to fungus and bad bacteria developing which can destroy your plants. 

Water Source
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That said you have a small garden and a few plants, a bucket of water a day will be enough to keep the plants hydrated. If on the other hand, you have a big garden, you should consider installing a special watering system. You can get either sprinklers or drip irrigation. Sprinklers wet the whole soil profile and can have a very big reach while drip irrigation system involves tubes installed close to the plant from which water drips very slowly. With the drip system, you only water the roots of the plant, thus reducing the risk of fungus and unwanted bacteria.

Pick Your Favourite Plants

And finally, we got to the fun part! Most locations in Australia will allow you to grow plants like lettuce, green beans, peas, carrots, radishes, onions, cucumbers, kale, beets, zucchini and spices that you can use both for cooking and for tea brewing.

If you’re not that much into vegetable growing, you can plant fruits. The easiest fruits to plant and grow are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, figs, apples and grapes. They look good as much as they taste good and they don’t need a lot of maintenance.

Plants
source: pexels.com

And of course, you can plant your garden with flowers and create a colourful landscape everybody will admire. Some flowers bloom all year round so you’ll have an amazing view to gaze at every time you step into your garden. Plus, once you get a hold of the basics it won’t be hard for you to take care of the flowers or for the vegetables and fruits for that matter.