Gardening is a popular way to embrace the warming weather.

April 1, 2019

5 Tips for first-time gardeners

If you’ve been wanting to start a garden but haven’t had the motivation in past years, why not get to planting this spring? Longtime gardeners will tell you just how rewarding it is to put seedlings into the ground and watching them grow, flourish and bloom.

Here are five tips for new gardeners that will help you cultivate a beautiful yard this year.

1. Pay attention to spacing
Plants need ample space if they’re going to spread their roots and thrive. Better Homes and Gardens magazine explained that you’ll want to leave half a plant’s mature height between different stalks. So if the flowers grow to be 1 foot tall, you can place them 6 inches away from each other.

2. Prep your tools
If you’re planting in the spring when the soil is still wet, you may find that your shovel, trowel and cultivator get dirt stuck to them. You can save yourself a little time and hassle by prepping your tools to make them non-stick. The Family Handyman explained that you can spray your gardening tools with lubricant to make your work easier. Just choose a lubricant with silicone in it. Spray an even coat over the tool and reapply as needed.

3. Cordon aggressive plants
Certain flowers tend to go wild and spread throughout your gardens if they’re not restrained. The Wall Street Journal explained that plants like sweet woodruff will spread their roots every which way, sometimes harming other blooms. You can contain aggressive plants by creating makeshift collars that will cordon the roots. Cut the bottom off a plastic pot, then place the container in the ground. Plant the aggressive flower inside the pot, and it will be forced to grow down before spreading out.

4. Don’t forget mulch
For best results, use mulch in your gardens. This added layer of protection helps to keep more water in the soil, suppress weeds and keep the plants from overheating. Better Homes and Gardens recommended spreading a 2-inch layer of mulch over your gardens. If you live in a hot region, you may want to add even more to better protect your plants.

5. Take note of proper care
There’s no one-size-fits-all method of caring for flowers, shrubs and other plants. The truth is that all the different blooms in your garden will have different needs when it comes to water, sunlight and plant food. To optimize the appearance of your new garden, note the care requirements of each plant before you put it in the ground. Group plants with similar needs together to make your care routine easier. For example, if you have some hardy blooms that only need to be watered twice a week, group those together, and then put flowers that need water every day together.

You’re going to have to take care of your garden regularly if you want it to thrive. You should afford this same level of care to your home’s systems and appliances, so be sure to invest in an HMS Home Warranty.