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Buyer Tips

Tips for Growing Your First Home Garden

Gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby to practice in your spare time-not only is it a great way to spend time outdoors, but it is immensely satisfying to see something that you have nurtured grow and flourish. There are certain plants that are easier to care for when it comes to beginner gardening. Read on to learn more about the basics of growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, and trees in your own backyard.

Learning the Basics

Thorough planning is essential for a successful backyard garden. Factors such as seed variety and requirements for space, water, and sunlight must all be taken into account when trying to decide which plants to grow. It is vital to find your area's plant hardiness zone-- this zone is decided based on the lowest average winter temperature and is used as a reference guide for when plants should be transplanted into the ground. Knowing your zone will come in handy when choosing the appropriate plants for your garden.

The basic tools needed for gardening are a rake for preparing the soil, a small shovel, a hose and watering can, a wheelbarrow for transporting bulky materials, and a hand pruner for cutting back flowers and foliage. It is also helpful to have a good pair of gardening gloves and a large wide-brimmed hat for sun protection.


Herbs & Spices

Herbs are one of the easiest and most useful plants to grow in the home garden. Some of the most common household herbs are rosemary, basil, mint, chives, parsley, and thyme. These herbs are fairly hardy and great for beginners. Herbs are versatile because they can be planted separately in a bed, mixed together in a pot, or grown indoors next to a sunny window. Most herbs can be grown from seed or transplanted from young cuttings, and the best time to plant them is usually the spring or early summer. Mint is a particularly fun herb to grow because of its many uses, but watch out! Mint spreads quickly and can easily overtake other herbs. Make sure to give your mint plants their own containers or plant them in separate beds away from other herbs.


Flowers

Planting a flower garden is a great way to brighten up a boring yard-from fun, seasonal annuals to hardy perennials, there are flower varieties perfect for every home. Proper planning is essential to a healthy flower garden, because shade and water requirements must be taken into careful consideration. Creating a cutting garden is a wonderful way to bring the beauty of the outdoors into your home. Marigolds, Sunflowers, and Black-Eyed Susans are all popular, fast-growing choices for a cutting garden.

Vegetables

Growing vegetables is an easy way to experiment with backyard gardening because it is so rewarding. Bell peppers, and squash are generally the most common vegetables for novice gardeners to learn to grow. Make sure to choose the right seed variety for your soil and planting conditions. A container garden is a great way to receive the benefits of vegetable gardening without doing quite as much work-just make sure to do adequate research about which vegetables thrive in containers and remember to provide ample drainage.


Fruits

Many new gardeners shy away from planting fruit because it can be tricky. Although certain pests and diseases are common with fruit plants, many varieties can be successfully grown with adequate preparation. Tomatoes are one of the easiest fruits to grow. Apples and strawberries are also two of the most-loved plants to grow in the home garden. Apple trees will thrive with proper care, and strawberries are easy to grow as long as they are given appropriate protection from birds and squirrels.

Trees & Other Plants

Trees are a must for any gardener because they are so versatile. One can plant fast-growing evergreens to create privacy screens from the neighbors or add a few deciduous trees to the backyard for a pop of color in the fall. Whether you intend to plant trees for decoration, privacy, or fruit, it is important to choose the right variety for your zone and sun/soil conditions so that your chosen trees will succeed.


Gardening for Kids

Gardening is a perfect way to teach kids about their environment. Planting a garden, watching it grow, and harvesting the results is a wonderful learning tool for children. Most children have no idea where their food comes from, so vegetable gardening is a great way to teach kids about the amount of effort and energy that it takes to grow food. Plus, working in the garden is a fun outdoor activity for the summer. Read on to find out more tips for working in the garden with kids.