[ecis2016.org] In this article, we share some tips and ideas for beginners to create their own green space.
Benefits of a home garden
Gardening is a rewarding experience whether you are looking to grow herbs, shrubs, or flowers. Gardens can be set up in an outdoor space, balcony, terrace, backyard, or even on a windowsill.
You are reading: Gardening ideas and tips for beginners
It is good to see a plant grow and blossom after caring and nurturing it for long. Further, it gives you immense satisfaction in transforming a bare ground into a garden full of plants and flowers. Apart from giving you peace, plants also help make your surrounding cleaner and greener. It has a positive impact on your life. Taking care of your plants is also a good exercise.
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Moreover, you can grow organic fruits and vegetables at home without fertilizers and pesticides. Therefore, growing plants helps you in every way.
Gardening ideas / tips for the layout
Plants need carbon dioxide and sunlight to make their food. So, do a little homework before planning the layout of your garden. Your garden should get appropriate amount of sunlight so that plants can grow well. However, some plants need dim or low light, so place them according to their needs. If you are planting veggies, choose the spot that gets sunlight for six to eight hours in a day. Vegetables and fruit bearing plants need full sunlight. You can grow vegetables and fruits in the south, south-east, or south-west directions. Avoid areas that receive strong winds, as it could destroy young and budding plants.
Gardening ideas / tips for selecting plants
The climate, types of soil and other factors should be kept in mind while choosing plants. Research about plants that thrive in sunlight or shade. You need to select the best place for your plants as per their requirements of light, air and water. Buy healthy plants or saplings for your garden. Look for a plant with many stalks or stems. Do not buy plants with wilting leaves, and check for pests, damage, discoloration, or holes in the leaves.
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Gardening ideas / tips to ensure nutritious soil
Enrich the soil by supplementing it with organic compost. Get nutrient-rich and well-drained soil for your plants. There are various kinds of gardening soil available for plants. Research and ask experts, then purchase the best soil. If soil is hard and its texture is clay-like, it would be difficult for plants to grow. If you have rocky soil, till it well and remove the rocks. Plough it regularly and mix the right kind of fertilisers to preserve the quality of soil. Adding organic compost, or using mulch is the best way to prepare soil for planting.
Gardening ideas / tips for choosing organic fertilisers
Buy organic fertilisers to provide your plants with nutrients. Choose organic products like compost or cow dung manure. Make an organic compost with the help of eggshells, peels of bananas and oranges, vegetable scraps, shredded grass, and leaves. Composting is not only good for gardens but also for waste management and recycling. Making compost with kitchen wastes provides nutrient-rich soil for plants.
Gardening tips for vegetable and herb gardens
Setting up a kitchen garden at home is not at all tough; all it needs is patience and maintenance. Organic gardens not only give fresh, pesticide-free veggies but the entire process is enjoyable. Herbs and vegetables can be nurtured in direct sunlight, in well-drained nutritious soil in pots. Fenugreek, spinach, curry leaves, mint, basil, lemongrass, wheatgrass, green chilies, and ginger are easy to grow. If the garden area can accommodate large pots, one can grow fruit-bearing plants like brinjal, tomato, beans, ladyfinger, etc.
Gardening ideas for pots and planters
Pots and planters are available in many sizes, colours, shapes and materials. Use pots to create symmetry in the garden. Place garden pots on both sides of a pathway, in rows. Arrange pots of the same colour and size to decorate the area.
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Ensure there are drainage holes at the bottom of pots to avoid waterlogging. To grow vegetables, use terracotta pots as they are porous and allow oxygen to reach the roots. If space is an issue, opt for stands that can hold two or three pots.
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Gardening tips for beginners: How to water the plants
The best thing for watering your garden is a hose pipe and watering can. The garden hose is needed for watering trees and large areas. For small and delicate plants, watering cans are better. Remember, overwatering your plants can lead to waterlogging that can damage your plants. The best way to water your plants is allowing water to reach deep into the soil slowly. Plants need more water in summer, while you can water plants on alternate days during the monsoon and winter seasons. Plants at different stages of development require water in different amounts. Young plants need to be watered every day to encourage their growth, whereas mature plants need less water, depending on the weather.
Vertical garden tips for beginners
Vertical gardens save a lot of space as plants in such gardens grow upright instead of spreading right or left. The simple way to have a vertical garden is to attach plant containers to a wall. The other option is to place plants on a frame made with horizontal rows. The vertical garden idea will depend on the space available and whether the wall is in a balcony, terrace, outside, or in one’s living room. The wall or the framework must be strong enough to hold the weight of the vertical balcony garden. The vertical balcony garden should be ideally in the open or near a window to ensure adequate sunlight. Fruits and flowering plants need more sunlight. Prepare a pot mix of coco peat and compost for such plants. These materials are light as compared to soil.
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Gardening ideas to grow plants with flowers
Create a layout and arrange flowering plants, hedges, and boundaries, according to plants’ height and sunlight needs. Flowers are visual treat for eyes and their fragrance (champa, raat ki rani) can make you feel relaxed. Even the seasonal flowering plants need sunlight to grow. Flowers that bloom throughout the year include gerbera, bougainvillea, plumeria, lantana, water lily and periwinkle and these also add colour to the garden. Flowers that are easy to maintain, include hibiscus, rose, ixoras, portulaca (moss rose), and 4’o clock flower.
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Gardening ideas using recycled materials
One can enhance the garden decor with recycled wastes such as plastic bottles, old teapots and huge mugs as planters. Plastic bottles can be turned into sprinklers to spray pesticides, with a few holes in the cap. Plastic bottles can be used as bird feeders. Use egg cartons to grow microgreens. Old wooden ladders can be painted and used to keep small pots. Old car tires can be made into small garden stools.
Garden seating ideas
A well-designed garden seating area can be a place to relax and spend time with family. In case you do not have a tree, use a beach umbrella, or create a makeshift canopy. Go for a hanging chair or hammock or sun loungers. Invest in sturdy, weatherproof furniture. Create a seating area with a few chairs or stone benches. Go for an L-shaped lounge seating arrangement or sofa sets for a stylish look.
Must-have gardening tools
Gardening tools make the task easy and enjoyable. You should have a pair of pruning scissors to cut plants and bushes. For digging, preparing the soil and sowing seeds you should have a spade, trowel and garden fork. To get rid of unwanted plants, you will require a forked trowel and a gardening knife. If you have a big garden then buy a hoe, a shovel and a wheelbarrow.
Raised garden beds give it a well-defined look and attractive landscaping design. With raised beds, you can choose suitable topsoil. A raised garden bed provides extra space for growing vegetables, ensures better drainage and helps remove weeds. Gardening beds are convenient than gardening in single rows. Beds should be three to four ft across and narrow enough for you to reach the centre from either side. Give each plant its own space to grow. Seeds and transplants are small but mature plants can make the area overcrowded, making it difficult for plants to thrive. If you have trouble in kneeling down, raised beds are the best option.
Window gardening ideas
Window gardening can brighten up the exterior of a house with lush green plants and flowers. If you want to grow plants on a windowsill, think of the types of plants that can grow, depending on sunlight and space. Select the size and shapes of pots accordingly. Choosing leafy plants or herbs is the best option for windowsill gardens. Ensure that the windowsill is strong. You can grow herbs like parsley, rosemary, mint, basil, lemongrass, etc. You can grow flowers like peace lily, zinnia, geranium, chrysanthemums, crossandra and rose.
Tips for keeping your garden healthy and beautiful
- When you buy a plant, do not transfer it to a new pot or soil immediately. Let the plant settle in the new environment for at least a week.
- Pruning and deadheading encourage healthy growth in plants.
- Keep leaves clean and dust-free as dust blocks the process of photosynthesis
- Plants are vulnerable to pest attacks, if you spot any sign, then apply neem oil solution. Add vinegar (apple cider) into water to make a solution. Add a few drops of mild dish soap into it. Spray it on the infested areas.
- While designing the garden, ensure the pathways are wide enough for comfortable passage.
- The pavement should provide secure footing. Avoid slick surfaces or loosely set pavers that wobble for firm and solid footing.
- Go for native species to increase plant’s life. It can improve the quality of soil as well.
- Yellow and blue, violet flowers can attract pollinators like butterflies and bees. These insects help to transfer pollen grains for successful reproduction, thereby sustaining a healthy ecosystem.
- Design the garden with a perfect mix of tall trees, shrubs, ornamental, and leafy plants to add beauty.
- Ensure there is a proper drainage system in place so there is no water logging in pots.
- Plants placed too closely tend to grow poorly due to competition for light, water, and nutrients. These plants are more susceptible to attacks.
- In a small garden, plant saplings of papaya, guava, custard apple, and star fruit.
What is mulching and how does it help soil?
Mulching helps in maintaining soil moisture and keeps pests away. You can collect grass clippings, shredded leaves, or even pine straws for this purpose. Mulch is also a weed suppressant and stops soil erosion.
How can I use lights to make my garden beautiful?
Lights set the mood and aid in relaxation. Choose low voltage, energy-efficient and long-lasting LED lights all around the walls. Go for interesting lights from built-in walkways, walls, or hanging lights, to create an ethereal effect in the garden. Use spotlight casting a beam on a tree or have floor lamps to brighten up the area in a delicate way. Solar-powered lights are another option.
How can I decorate my garden?
Hang decorative lanterns, fairy lights, or solar-powered wind chimes on trees. Add visual appeal with a cascading fountain, small containers with floating lotus and lilies and miniature Buddha statues. One can also add colourful garden pots, figurines of frogs, ducklings, elephants, etc., made of ceramic.
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