If you’ve ever caught yourself staring at your yellow lawn or a wilted vegetable garden, thinking that you wish you were one of the lucky few who have a knack for gardening, we have great news! A green thumb is something you can learn, not something you’re born with!
Anyone can be good at gardening and lawn care. So if you think only a lawn care service can give you the gorgeous lawn or a garden of your dreams, think again.
Here are the best lawn maintenance and gardening tips for beginners that will turn you from a plant murderer into a savvy gardener in no time.
Lawn Maintenance Tips for Luscious Greenery
Lawn care for beginners might seem like an information overload. In reality, all you really have to do is look for the signs your lawn gives you and act accordingly. Here are some lawn care tips that even professional lawn maintenance services use.
Know Your Soil
If you’ve talked to people who are in the know when it comes to basic yard maintenance, you’ve probably heard them talk about the pH of the soil. Testing your soil is one of the first lawn maintenance tips professionals will give you.
The pH level affects all plants’ (grass included) ability to absorb nutrients and minerals that they need for growth. Grass has an ideal pH range in which it thrives (between 6 and 7), so if your soil has a different level, add lime or iron to raise or lower it.
A Time to Seed (and a Time to Fertilize)
If you’re starting from scratch and seeding a patch of land with no grass on it, you have it easy. Pick a seed that’s ideal for your location (warm-season or cool-season grass), and follow the instructions for seeding and fertilizing times.
However, if you already have a lawn, find out which type of grass you have. Sometimes people have a mix of different kinds in their yards. That’s a bit trickier because it requires you to make a seeding and fertilizing schedule.
Keep Your Grass Healthy
In reality, the best of all lawn maintenance tips is to keep your grass healthy. That will help you prevent weed. Your grass needs to be strong and resilient to fight its way to the top and muscle its way through the weeds. So, make sure to fertilize it as it needs.
Use nitrogen to feed your grass but don’t go overboard. If you’ve already tested the soil, you’ll know just how many pounds of nitrogen your lawn needs.
Shady Vs. Sunny Grass
Pay attention to how much sun exposure your lawn has. If you have many shady areas in your yard, know that the grass that grows in the shade doesn’t have the exact needs as the one that grows in full sunlight. So, watering and fertilizing shady and sunny grass should never look the same.
Raking Vs. Mulching
Raking fallen leaves is a huge part of any grass maintenance schedule, right? Yes, in theory. In practice, you don’t really have to rake the leaves as soon as they fall. If your entire lawn is covered in leaves, then, yes, by all means, rake away. But, if three-quarters or more of your lawn is still visible, mulch the lawn with the mower.
Home Gardening Tips (That Will Turn Your Thumb Green In No Time)
The best gardening tips and tricks have a lot to do with soil and your attitude, rather than picking the right plants (although that’s important as well).
By checking which hardiness zone you’re in, you’ll know which plants can and which definitely cannot survive the winter in your area.
All home gardening tips will lead to you having a glorious, huge garden. However, to get there, you need to start small. If you have little experience and practically no time to garden, then keep your garden small (for now).
The best of all home gardening tips is to find out how much sun exposure your future plants will have. Some plants thrive in the shade, while others demand a more sunny treatment. For example, if you’re aiming to have a vegetable garden that will feed your entire family, know that edible plants need total sun exposure to ripen.
Potting Soil Mix? Think Again
Mixing your own soil sounds complicated. However, in reality, it’s a few minutes of your gardening day that will pay off come harvest time (or bloom time, depending on what type of garden you have). Potting soil mixes look like a quick and easy solution, but they often have unsustainable ingredients or even synthetic fertilizer.
Fertilizer Vs. Soil Quality
If you want to see your plants thrive, you have to make sure you give them high-quality soil. Soil is much more important than fertilizer. If it’s poor, there’s no amount of fertilizer that will save your garden.
Watering Is Essential
Beginner gardeners are often scared they’ll overwater their plants (or kill them with a self-inflicted drought). If you aren’t sure how much to water your plants, follow the three-second rule. Water the plant for as long as it takes for the water pool at the bottom to hold steady for three seconds.
Alternatively, you can set up an irrigation system to minimize the labor of maintaining your garden and water your plants properly. You can use an irrigation controller such as the Hunter PRO-C Conventional (PCC) to set the time, duration, and frequency of watering. This way, you can put more energy into other garden maintenance tasks while keeping your greens well-hydrated.
A Few Parting Words
These were some of the tips that will provide you with much-needed answers to the question of what every gardener should know. Remember, even if you make a mistake when it comes to lawn care and gardening, nothing is irreversible. You can always start again.