The South West London Gardener

Want to Take up Gardening? Here are 7 Beginner Tips

gardening equipment

As we welcome in a new year, many people will have made resolutions.

Exercise more, eat less chocolate, read more books, something along them lines.

But what if your resolution was to finally whack on some gloves, pick up your spade, sharpen your secateurs, and get out in the garden?

Well, if this sounds like you, and your gardening journey is about to begin, here are seven tips on what to do to make sure you make a stunning start.

Let’s take a look.

1. Assess Your Garden

Your garden is a blank canvas, but you must remember you can only work with the space you have.

This doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do with a small garden, but if space is lacking, you may need to get creative.

Work out where you can plant some bulbs, spread some seeds, and place some furniture wisely, taking into account where the sun is and where the best places to relax are.

A huge part of changing the look of a garden is design, so don’t rush into things, and take your time getting to know your garden, seeing how it looks at different times of the day, and working out what design will work best.

2. Get to Know Your Plants

Some plants are big, some are small.

Some grow back every year, some only last a summer.

Some need planting in March, some in November.

The key to having a blossoming garden full of stunning plants is knowing the plants that you want to grow, and learning which environment they grow best in.

A great tip when planting is to place your larger plants in your design first. If you get these in the correct position, it is much easier to place the smaller plants around this one.

There’s a whole lot of plants out there, so enjoy spending some time getting to know each variant, pick the best ones that work for your colour scheme, and make sure you’re planting at the right time.

3. Learn the Importance of Soil

For a beginner gardener, it can be tempting to pick up the nearest plant and get it in the ground.

This is not the way to go though, and soil preparation is a vital part of gardening that can be overlooked.

Your soil needs to be moist and contain the nutrients needed to keep your plants well fed (spreading compost throughout is a great tip here).

There are different types of soil out there (loam, clay, and sand), so try and get a feel for yours by picking some up, adding water, and seeing what it does.

Different flowers thrive in different types of soil, so before you spend money on plants, make sure your garden, and your soil, is the perfect fit.

4. Mulch and Compost

Two magic substances that you will use in your garden are mulch and compost.

These can be vital in providing your plants with protection, nutrients, and warmth.

Compost and mulch can be made of similar things, including food waste, grass clippings, leaves, bark chips, and twigs.

While the materials are similar, these are used for different reasons.

Compost is spread underneath the top layer of soil and is used to provide nutrients, whereas mulch is laid on top of the soil to help control weeds, regulate temperature, and retain warmth.

Both of these can be a huge boost to your plants, so get to know the ins and outs nice and early so you are sure to be on top of it.

5. Plan Things Out

You may have everything planned in your head, but writing it down is also a great idea.

Sometimes you can plant some seeds, and then forget which plant you have just laid.

This can be problematic if you end up planting over the top and can lead to overcrowding of your plants.

Planning also means you can control your budget, and also keep on top of your design work.

Split your garden into segments, and mark down what has been planted in each section.

When it comes to caring for your plants as they grow, knowing exactly which seeds are under the ground in which areas can be a big help in ensuring every plant is growing in the ideal environment.

6. Get Some Good Quality Tools

If you’re looking to become serious about gardening, then you’re going to need to purchase some good equipment to help you.

There is some gardening gear that is essential, including:

  • Gloves – A lot of gardening is done with your hands, so avoid cuts and splinters with a good pair of gloves.
  • Secateurs – If you want to keep your plants healthy and looking trim, then a pair of sharp secateurs is vital.
  • Trowel – Essential if you’re looking to plant in small spaces such as pots, as well as a big help in digging up weeds.
  • Spade – If you’re looking to dig up and move big chunks of soil or grass, then a big, strong, and sturdy spade should be the first thing on your shopping list.
  • Watering Can – Plants need watering regularly, so if you don’t have a hose, you will need to buy a watering can.
  • Fork – A fork is a great tool for breaking up soil and providing the perfect environment for planting and growing.

These are just a selection of some of the things you will need, so make a list before you get started and don’t forget to search for second hand gear that may be available at discount prices.

While a lower price is good, quality is always important, and you don’t want to buy a tool that will break quickly, so do your research and choose something durable and tough.

You’re going to need it.

7. Be Creative

The wonderful thing about gardening is you can let your imagination run wild.

Everything from the colour of your fence to the material your garden path is built from is under your control, so don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild.

Gardening is a joy, so always enjoy it.

From being out in the sun mowing your lawn, to building planting beds from sleepers, there are an endless amount of tasks you can do in a garden, from physical tasks to creative ones.

Your garden is yours, so do with it what you please, and don’t be afraid to try something new, as that is often where the best results lie.

The Southwest London Gardener

If you’re looking to get into gardening, but need a helping hand getting started, why not get in touch with The Southwest London Gardener.

Our team of experienced landscape gardeners, horticulturalists, and garden designers are always ready to help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat about your project today.

Happy gardening!