Tips For A New Gardener

Love having tulips in the garden


This summer will be our tenth summer in our house.  While my yard and garden are still nowhere near complete, I am finally making progress and have learned how to make yard work fun.

There are a few things that I have learned the hard way since becoming a homeowner, and I’m hoping to save you some time and money by sharing what I have learned.

1|  Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade:  So it turns out that it is actually helpful to plant your flowers and foods where the package recommends, who knew?!   While your plant may technically grow anywhere, it will grow so much better if you follow the directions.  It took me three summers to finally plant my raspberries in a spot that they liked.

2| Some of your plants will die: The “fun” part of gardening is the mystery and uncertainty of what will make it through the heat spell, or which bulbs will sprout in the spring.  Try not to take it too personal if something you planted doesn’t grow – it will be okay.  I try not to spend too much on a particular flower for that very reason.  I don’t even want to calculate how much I’ve spent on flowers that didn’t survive.

3| Be aware of what zone you are:  You can quickly check to see which planting zone you are located in at Bachman’s website. Each plant has a hardiness zone linked to it.  If you would like your plants to have a chance in your climate, make sure you are buying plants that will actually grown in your region.  I almost bought some rally cheap blackberry bushes last year until I realized that they were so cheap because they weren’t hardy in my zone.

4| Perennial vs Annual: I would like to preface this this tip by explaining I was only 23 when I moved into my house – there was A LOT that I didn’t know.  That said, the label on the plant will help you when determining how many of a plant to get or where to plant them.  Annual plants tend to be cheaper than perennials, but that is because they are only going to last one season.  I personally have chosen to invest a bit more into perennial plants (those that will come back each year) so that I can plan my garden around those established plants.  So when August roles around and you see a sale on annual plants – don’t go too crazy buying a bunch – they only have a few weeks left to live.

5|  Be aware of what you are planting next to each other.  Some plants will grow wider and take over smaller plants.  Others will bloom better if they are placed near a cross-pollinator.  I will never forget the summer I layed out my veggie garden exactly how I wanted it only to have the pumpkin vines explode and take over the entire garden, killing everything in its path.  Oops.

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