There are plenty of do’s and don’ts in the world of gardening, with a numerous books that will explain the “hows” and “whys.” But it’s spring, and it’s time to get planting. Here are some short, simple bits of advice that can make all the difference in the successful life of whatever you decide to plant.
1. Picking out plants
Read the tags and pay attention to how big they will grow and how much sun they need. Find out if the plant likes wet locations, where the soil tends to stay damp, or soil that dries out quickly even after heavy rain. That goes for seeds, seedlings, shrubs and trees. Spacing seeds and plants can be difficult when you are looking at 100 seeds that fit into the palm of your hand or a plant that doesn’t take up more space than a 2-liter container of soda. Labels or tags help put things in perspective, with information such as if the plant is climbing or screening, and its spread and height.
2. Ask questions locally
Garden center and plant nursery staff are there to answer questions. Offering help and advice is what knowledgeable personnel at these places do. If you feel as though the person you are speaking to is not knowledgeable, there is no harm is asking to speak with someone who has more information.
3. Welcome to your new home
A seed’s or plant’s “home” is the soil and this is where it all begins. Nothing grows well without a healthy foundation, and for plants, this means good, rich soil. There is a gardening saying that goes something like this: “make a $10 hole for a $5 plant.” The idea is that spending time and money on preparing the planting area with good soil and, if necessary, digging an appropriate-sized hole, makes all the difference to how well a plant grows.