5 TIPS FOR THE FIRST TIME GARDENER
SIZE – start small – gardening is humbling. you will eventually grow into your new hobby. start small so that by midsummer you aren’t overwhelmed and give up. herbs, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and hot pepper varieties are easy, rewarding and fun. I think a salsa garden (tomatoes, cilantro & jalapeno) is a great place to start and perfect for smaller yards or no yards. Can be done in a container- also a GREAT hostess idea for summer.
TIME – plan on spending a few minutes in the garden each day. AM & PM also great times to look for pests, water, fertilize and harvest. 10 minutes a day = a happy garden & happy you. vs 70 minutes once a week. You’ll be surprised how quickly things can get out of hand.
WATER– too much or too little? not enough water- your plants shrivel up and die. too much – turn yellow at the base, stop growing. my suggestion and what I found works, water every other day when plants are new. If it’s really heating up where you live then water daily in the beginning. You want the roots to dig deep, which means plants can tolerate temps and moisture swings better. Also, try to water around the base of your plants not directly on the leaves if you can help it. disease will stay to a minimum and will keep from burning the leaves during the heat of the day. This is hands down my favorite water hose.
SOIL – I learned the hard way and after a few years we got it right. one of my best pieces of advice is to invest in soil that is nutrient-rich and drains well. A good combo is top soil, compost, vermiculite and peat moss or black loam. You most likely find a 50/50 mix – but definitely add compost. I like to put at least a 1/4 of compost on top too.
SUN – most vegetables need at least 6-8 hours of full sun a day. Most veggies thrive in morning sun, fading to shade later and hotter part of the day.