Gardening Tips and Resources for Beginners

Written By: Francesca

Don't believe anyone who says that a green thumb is something you have to be born with. The fact is, gardening skills can be learned and developed; you just need to acquire the knowledge and have the patience to hone your skills.

This post will discuss some of the things that beginners should know about gardening. From basic tools and know-how, to online resources, the following paragraphs will give you an overview of what you need to learn.

The Benefits of Gardening

Gardening comes with an array of advantages, ranging from financial to overall well-being. Firstly, effectively honing your green thumb can save you a lot of money on groceries. Growing your own fruits and veggies allows you to keep more money in your bank and will take out some of the inconvenience that grocery shopping can bring. Plus, growing your own food guarantees freshness. You'll breathe easily knowing that you won't be taking in any pesticides or harmful chemicals, thus allowing you to put healthier food on your plate.

Speaking of healthy, did you know that the act of gardening itself brings a lot physical benefits to the table? Hitting the garden regularly can give you the daily physical activity that your body needs, which in turn can help you lose weight and lower your risks for osteoporosis. Gardening also has some mental benefits; not only does it give a sense of pride and satisfaction, but studies show that gardening helps reduce anxiety while improving sleep habits at the same time.

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Below are a few basic tips for gardening newbies:

- Know your location, location, location. Before planting a single seed, be sure to do your research about where you live. You need to take note of a variety of factors, including the climate in your area, the type of soil that you have, and the amount of sun exposure that your garden gets. Each one of these factors will directly affect the plants that you decide to put into your garden, so keep yourself informed.

- Keep your toolbox complete. Some of tools that you'll need may depend on what you're going to plant, but generally speaking, a gardener must have the following: weeder, hoe, garden fork, spade, and a hose or any other watering tool.

- Focus on plant care. Not all plants are created equal. Some need more sunshine or water, while others can be pretty low maintenance. Research the amount of care that each plant needs and mark your calendar for watering schedules so you don't forget.

- Position plants strategically. Not all parts of your garden are created equal, either, so position your plants accordingly. For instance, some smaller plants and certain veggies need a lot of water, so it isn't a wise decision to place them near a tree, which could end up stealing shade and nutrients. Keep this mind when you're looking at the overall plan for your garden to ensure that all your plants can live and grow harmoniously together.

Gardening Resources

If you need additional gardening tips or have additional questions, check out the following resources below:

http://www.garden.org/ - Website of the National Gardening Association
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/beginner.html - Gardening Tips for Beginners by B. Rosie Lerner
http://www.thegrowspot.com/index.php?pageid=tips - 24 useful gardening tips from the Grow Spot forum
http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2011/06/22/community-gardens-improve-personal-and-neighborhood-health-cu-led-research - Community gardens improve personal and neighborhood health, CU-led research finds
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/08/why.gardening.good/index.html - A CNN article about why gardening is good for your health
http://www.huntingtoncommunitygardens.com/36.html - Gardening - A Holistic Approach to Civic Health
http://www.lifelab.org/ - A great resource for farm and garden-based education
http://www.kidsgardening.org/ - An organization dedicated to getting kids into gardening

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