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Fantastic Gardens And How To Grow Them

May 17 2018

Blog Image The sun is shining, the sky is blue and that recurring idea to start a backyard garden once again pops into your head. No need to let fear or inexperience get in the way this year; here are five tips anyone can follow to have a positive gardening experience!

Soil is Key

It’s been said you can’t construct a great building on a weak foundation, and the same goes for your garden. The quality of the soil can make or break your garden’s success, so it should be the first thing you consider. Soil quality is usually measured by fertility (soil nutrients and pH level) and texture (the size of the soil particles and how well they go together.) To get more fertile soil, add organic matter such as compost, manure or even a store-bought fertilizer. Keep in mind the three most important nutrients required by plants are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; fertilizer labels will tell you how much of these nutrients the product contains. Adding organic matter will also help achieve a productive soil texture that permits water and air movement.

Do Your Research

Even the most experienced gardener can’t grow something where it doesn’t belong. Make sure you know the basics of what you want to plant: how much sunlight it requires, whether or not it’s an indoor or outdoor plant, whether or not it will help or hurt your other plants (certain plants grow together better than others), etc. You’ll also want to know whether or not your plants can easily grow in the region. Edmonton is in zone 3b for plant hardiness (minimum temperature -37.2 to -34.5°C.) You can find more information on your climate zone or plants online, in books or by asking local experts.

Start Small

If this is your first garden, you’ll want to start with just a small plot and several plants to get the hang of things. It’s less intimidating for beginning gardeners and lessens the risk of you becoming overwhelmed.

Instead of starting from scratch, you can also buy more mature plants to build your garden with. Try and purchase your plants from a greenhouse as the staff there tends to be more knowledgeable of plant care. You are more likely to get a healthier plant there than anywhere else. You can also call greenhouses to find out when they get shipments in or ask workers how to properly take care of your plants.

Manage Weeds and Pests

First thing to know is not all insects are bad. Some insects, such as ladybugs and soldier beetles, eat the bugs that prey on your plants. In fact, the larva of ladybugs actually eat more aphids than their adult counterparts. Be familiar with what creatures help and hurt your garden and consider using (or not using) pest control accordingly. Weeds, on the other hand, tend to be less positive. Consider planting your garden in a raised bed. You can buy raised beds or find a plethora of resources online to help you build them yourself. It will not only make it easier to control soil quality, but will make weeding much easier as you will be able to spot them more easily and won’t have to weed as often.

Build Confidence and Don’t Get Discouraged

When starting off, you should try and get plants that are in season and harder to kill as this will help you build confidence in your developing green thumb. However, you should also remember some things aren’t going to work out and that’s ok. No need to get discouraged. Ask for advice when you need it and try your best; that’s all that matters!

Happy Gardening!