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

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home - David Domoney

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

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