When you first get into gardening, it can be hard to know where to start. So we’re exploring the most common missteps and obstacles beginners might face and how to overcome them. Here are a few tips to help your new garden thrive with even the brownest of thumbs.
We know you’ll want to get stuck in, but first, it’s important to make sure you’re protected. That means grabbing a pair of gloves for handling soil, fertilisers and plant material. It can also be easy to lose track of time out in the sun, so remember to wear sunscreen and sunnies along with a hat – ideally something with a nice wide brim. Take lots of water and regular breaks too. Being safe will make sure you get to enjoy all of gardening’s wonderful physical and mental benefits.
Get started and go slow
One of the biggest obstacles for almost anything in life is simply taking that first step. Usually once we make a start on something, those doubts and concerns start to fall away or are not as big as you may have first thought. That said, try not to get too carried away. You don’t need to grow the entire kitchen pantry right now! Start with one or two plants that you can focus on and learn from before growing your collection.
Take it as it comes
When growing plants there’s always the chance that it won’t work out. While it can be disheartening, it is simply part of the process! There are many factors that can affect your plants from temperature and sunlight to watering or quality of soil. If your plants don’t make it, take it as an opportunity to observe what your plants need and try again. There will always be challenges when starting something new and so what if you fail? At least you will be learning and growing.
Easy does it
A common mistake beginners make is planting their garden at the wrong time. Different flowers, fruits and vegetables grow best at different times of the year. So remember to check what is suitable when you’re ready to start putting plants in the ground. You can make it even easier on yourself by beginning with easy-to-grow fruits and veggies. There are plenty of resources that can help you decide what to grow.
Grow what you like
You may have been told to start with a peace lily, rubber plant, tomatoes or some other vegetable. At the end of the day, if you’re interested in the plants you’re growing, you’re much more likely to give it the attention it needs. We suggest looking up a list of plants that are easy to care for and choosing the ones that stand out to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Some people dedicate their entire life growing interesting plants, discovering new techniques or mastering seasonal crops to be self-sufficient. If that’s not you, don’t fret. You’ll be surprised by how keen the community is to share their knowledge. Instead of wondering what you’re doing wrong, simply find someone to ask. You can join online forums, groups in your local area or even chat to a neighbour. Swapping stories, seedlings and tools is what the gardening community is all about. Who knows, you might make a few extra friends along the way.
Still not quite ready to start by yourself? Check out our partners to see if you can join one of their programs.