Grow for it... and make more use of your garden
Get your head around the basics and watch your plant knowledge grow to new heights while getting more from your garden
So MANY gardens are not being enjoyed to the full – and it’s a sad old sight. You only have to take a train journey to spot umpteen gardens backing on to the line that are used as dumping grounds.
Or you can look out and see where nature has been allowed to take over and run riot, leaving a space overgrown and useless.
It’s such a waste when gardening enhances us physically and mentally. Plus working outdoors can give us a great sense of self-achievement and well-being.
Creating a green space where we can sit and relax can make a massive difference to our lives.
Gardening is not just about cutting the lawn, weeding and watering – it’s about water pistols with the kids, barbecuing on a summer’s evening or sitting outside on a Sunday morning with the papers while enjoying a glass of orange juice and bacon butty.
For non- gardeners, getting started can seem a little daunting. You might even find walking into a garden centre a little bit intimidating.
So here are some pointers to help you get into gardening if you have never done it.
Clearing your space is a good way of kicking things off if your patch has grown wild. It will help you see what you are dealing with.
There’s no need to splash tons of cash, either. Just borrow or hire a strimmer, maybe an electric hedge trimmer and buy some secateurs. Make sure you are wearing gloves and eye protection as strimmers can chuck up stones and sticks. Then get stuck in.
Once the lawn has been cleared, you can cut back hedges, shrubs and trees.
Clear space for growing, tidy things up and let the light in.
Then get to work on the borders. A decent spade or fork and a hoe will get you going. Clear weeds – get them out by y the roots wherever possible – and make space for plants.
Once you have got nature back under control you can start some planting. And the best thing to get you started growing is a pot.
Just buy a pot and then a bag of multipurpose compost to go with it. Choose a couple of plants you like the look of, plant them up and stick them outside the back door.
Before you know it, you’ll be flying. Soon you will find it all totally addictive and you can bring your personality to your garden.
Once you have got one pot going, you will want another, then a trough, and maybe a hanging basket or two, then a few herbs.
Pretty soon, you will have pots of tomatoes, potatoes, onions and beds of strawberries and will be giving away your produce to friends and neighbours.
Bulbs are another great starter project. At the end of this month, garden centres start getting them in – and you really cannot go wrong with bulbs. They are little batteries with a flower already inside.
Plant them in the ground – to a depth of about two-and-a-halftimes the height of the bulb – as if you are twisting in an ordinary light bulb. Then nature will do the rest.
The bulbs will start sprouting next spring – daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, tulips and snowdrops – they are so easy.
They only cost a couple of quid and you can get them everywhere – so splash out on 20 or 30.
They will come up every year without fail and transform your garden with an explosion of colour.
Suddenly, it becomes an immensely rewarding hobby as your confidence grows, along with your plants.
And don’t worry too much about soil type or which way your garden faces.
The more you learn, the more proficient, ambitious and confident you will become.
Remember, all it takes to get started is just a single pot, a bag of compost and a plant.
So get growing!
Getting into gardening might seem a bit daunting at first, but start small (just one pot will do) and who knows what you could achieve