It’s January, and that can only mean one thing: new year’s resolutions. If this year you’re shunning the ever-popular resolutions of losing weight, exercising more or becoming a millionaire and have instead decided on starting/improving your gardening, let me first congratulate you on a good decision!
I’ve put together a few ideas on how you can get on top of the gardening whether you’re entirely new to it or you’re a regular gardener who just wants to be a bit more organised.
Let’s start with new gardeners, shall we? Gardening can seem a little daunting if you haven’t done it before, but don’t let that put you off. Growing your own flowers, fruit and veg can be really rewarding, and January is the perfect time to start planning what you’ll sow this year.
Here are my top tips for getting started:
Go shopping: For basic gardening, you don’t need masses of tools, but you should kit yourself out with the basics. Gardening gloves, seeds, compost, a spade and a small fork and trowel are among the things to get. Plus, the fun of buying new bits and bobs is bound to encourage you to keep up your new year’s resolution!
Start simple: When you first start gardening, it’s best to pick out some plants that are easy to grow – sunflowers, garlic and courgettes all spring to mind. Begin too ambitiously and you’re likely to end up disheartened by poor results, which may mean you end up abandoning gardening before you’ve really started.
Pick out some growing areas: Find a spot in the garden that’s suitable for growing flowers or veg and ensure it is completely weed-free before planting. As a general rule, pick the sunniest spot in your garden; some plants, like strawberries, don’t flourish in strong sunlight, but you can worry about that when you’re a bit more experienced!
More experienced gardeners
If you already keep a garden, you’ll have all the basics covered. So, here are a few ideas about how you can get inspired and be more organised in 2013:
- Create a year plan: Now’s the time to sit down and work out what exactly you want to grow this year. Instead of just giving yourself a vague idea, put together a detailed schedule of what you are going to plant, where it will be planted and when it needs to be sown. Also, put in additional tasks, like pruning, cutting the grass and trimming hedges, remembering flexibility will be needed to cope with the weather.
- Try something new: My next tip is to try something new this year. Think about what you’ve always wanted to grow and go for it, even if it’s tricky – this could help you fall in love with gardening all over again. Make sure you plant plenty of reliable flowers/veg/fruit, too, to help ensure you still get a decent overall result if your experiments don’t go quite to plan.
Jobs for everyone
Just to finish up, here are a few ideas of things to do no matter how much or little experience you have:
- Sort out the shed: All too often, I think, sheds tend to become a repository for junk, rather than useful places for storing all you need for the garden. So, have a really good clear out and get the space organised – you could easily find this encourages you to get more on top of the gardening.
- And, if you don’t have any kind outbuilding, I recommend getting one. If you don’t need the storage space, consider buying a log cabin, since this can be a great place to just relax and enjoy the garden.
- Mow the lawn and tidy the garden: Before you do anything else, it’s a sensible idea to tidy up the garden. Rake up any leaves, mow the lawn and do some weeding – this’ll give you a good base to start from.