Gardening is a satisfying hobby that can keep people fit, save them money on fresh produce, and let them healthily connect to nature.
Home gardening for beginners has gained increasing popularity during the last two years of the pandemic and more people have become interested in greener living, planting, and farming.
Especially during the pandemic lockdowns, when people had to stay inside with a lot of time on hand, gardening became a therapeutic activity for many to relieve the anxiety of the difficult times during this crisis.
Though it is a noble hobby, gardening is no easy feat. Simple, ignorant mistakes can lead to insect infestations, plant diseases, and dead trees, or soil contamination.
But, as cliched as it may sound, anyone can master the art of gardening with just a little practice and some simple hacks as in gardening-themed escape rooms.
Here are 8 simple gardening for beginners skills that will help you get to start off on the right foot:
1. Soil Analysis
It is essential to know if your garden’s soil can actually support life. So, the first thing on the list is determining the pH levels of your soil. If it is too alkaline or acidic, plants cannot absorb significant nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, leading to malnutrition.
You also need to know the structure of your garden soil. If the soil is too sandy, it won’t hold nutrients. Whereas soil with clay can suffocate a plant’s roots. When you have a well-rounded knowledge of what type of soil you are dealing with, you can easily treat it to fit the specific needs of your plants.
Compost is one of the best soil fertilizers out there. It conditions the soil to improve its texture and nutrition levels. Compost is made from household garbage, and so it saves you a lot of money that would have otherwise gone into buying chemical fertilizers. Contrary to popular belief, composting is not a hard skill to learn. It is really just controlled rotting and decomposing.
It is made from two different types of waste: green and brown. Nitrogen-rich waste such as vegetable and fruit peels or other food waste falls under the umbrella of Green Waste. Brown waste is made up of carbon-rich waste such as dead leaves, sawdust, or shredded paper. Composting cuts down the amount of trash you send to the landfill, thus helping the planet as well.
3. Tracking Sunlight
Sunlight is vital for plants and the soil because it also receives nutrition in the form of Vitamin D. The growth of your plants is highly dependent on the amount of sunlight that your yard receives. So, make sure to identify the right spots where your plants can get enough sunlight to help create your ideal home garden and make it thrive. There are many sun tracking apps that make it easy to track sun exposure with just a pen and paper.
4. Seed Starting
Starting your garden with seeds comes with its advantages. You can source seeds from various places without even having to spend much. Seeds are convenient when you want to produce a plant in larger numbers. Different types of seeds bloom under different conditions. But the general rule is to keep the seeds in a damp atmosphere (wrapped in a wet paper towel or cotton bed, shallowly buried in a cocoa pit, etc.) to let the sprouts come out. Then you transfer them to the actual soil for the plant to grow.
5. Seed Saving
Seed saving is basically the practice of preserving seeds to plant for the future. People are growingly inclining towards starting their own seed library since it not only helps with gardening costs but also helps them create a community. To ensure that the seeds don’t lose their viability, temperature control and light control are two aspects that need to be thoroughly taken care of.
6. Container Gardening
Container gardening refers to the gardening method of growing your plants in containers instead of planting them directly into the soil. This method helps people start a garden even if they do not have access to a yard. Container gardening makes gardening a more easily accessible activity.
Some people believe that this method only serves aesthetic purposes, mostly growing indoor plants. But the truth is, with the right care, you can even grow edible plants in containers, and you can see this video for more inspiration:
7. Plant Propagation from Stem Cuttings
You don’t always need seeds to start your garden. There are plenty of plants that can be propagated from their stems. This process is also known as the asexual propagation of plants. It surely requires a few more added steps than sprouting a seed, but they are pretty straightforward to follow.
The standard process of stem propagation includes cutting, layering, division, budding, and grafting. You can easily find the information and tutorials on how to execute each step for each specific plant and start your household garden from scratch, quite literally. Get some inspiration from this video:
This implies a method of re-planting a tree into a new pot or directly into the ground. But you need to tenaciously maintain the ideal conditions for the grafts to prevent them from drying out. Mastering this skill is very important, especially when you have a plant growing indoors that needs to be shifted outdoors or to a larger pot.
These 8 gardening for beginners skills will help you get started with your upgraded dream backyard in no time. The key to mastering these is to keep practicing. It is normal to lose a few plants or mess up the process in the beginning. But if you keep at it, you will naturally develop a better understanding of how to do it properly. So, don’t get discouraged and get ready to start your own little greenery!
Charlotte Lin is a content creator at escaperoom.com. She’s a passionate young woman, mother to an amazing nine-year-old, and an avid reader. Over the years, writing has helped her explore and understand the world as well as her own self. She loves to travel, meet new people, and spend quality time with her daughter. You can find her on LinkedIn.