3 of the Best Spring Gardening Tips for Beginners
The cold weather won’t last forever, and you may already be dreaming about spending sunny days outside in your yard. If a spring garden is a part of that dream, you should make it a reality this year. Even if your thumb isn’t green, our spring gardening tips will help you get started.
- Start Small
You need to rein in your enthusiasm when you plan your first spring garden from scratch. You can’t expect to have a blossoming, thriving garden this spring if you’ve never gardened before. In fact, many gardeners start their spring gardens during the previous fall. But don’t be discouraged. You can start on a smaller scale and build your skills and garden until you have the lush garden of your dreams.
Begin by learning as much as you can about the plants that are native to your area. Native plants will thrive in your garden and require less maintenance. They’ll also be more resistant to the pests and weather issues where you live.
You can conduct online research, talk to someone at a local nursery, or contact an expert at a local college or university to determine which plants are ideal for your first spring garden. You can start these plants as seedlings indoors, and then transplant them when you have your garden patch area ready after the ground thaws to get a jumpstart on your garden.
- Think Outside the Box
Because you won’t have a patch of ground ready for your garden early in spring, you should think outside the box and start a container garden or planter that you can move outdoors when the time comes. Redfin suggests starting a spiral garden, a container water garden, or an upcycled planter. Spiral gardens will add height to your garden and enable you to plant several plants in a small space.
Container water gardens add texture and an interesting visual feature to your spring garden. Upcycled planters allow you to be artistic and create a tiered feature for your garden that holds several plants.
- Prepare Your Garden Space
As you start growing your seedlings indoors and preparing your container plants, you need to plan your garden space. Choose an area that gets direct sunlight for a good portion of the day and is not shaded by large trees or outdoor buildings. As soon as the ground is no longer frozen, clear the area you have chosen for your garden of all vegetation, including grass, roots, and weeds.
Preparing the soil is one of the most important steps in creating your garden space. After all, the soil is the foundation for your garden: it houses the plants and provides nourishment to them. You will need to test your soil to determine its pH and nutrient levels. You can purchase an at-home testing kit at a home improvement or gardening store, or you can send a sample of it to a local nursery or cooperative extension.
Different plants prefer various pH levels, so the results will help you know which plants will thrive or how to treat your soil to support a greater variety of plants. Keep in mind that your soil test also will help you determine which kind of fertilizer to add to your garden and when. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offers some tips for fertilizing that will be useful to you.
You also need to consider the texture of your soil. It should be easy to shovel, and it should crumble in your hands to allow your plants to grow roots. Hard soil or soil with too much clay is not ideal for plants. To improve your soil, add fresh soil, mulch, and compost while turning it over to aerate it as much as possible before you plant. Remember that your plant’s roots need to be able to grow downward, so prepare the soil as deeply as your largest plants require.
Spring gardening is possible for beginners if you start small and have patience. Think outside the box with various container plants while you ready your garden space. Most importantly, choose the right space for your garden and prepare the soil to support your plants.
Image via Pixabay by congerdesign
By Maria Cannon