Tips for New Gardeners

So, you’re ready to start a garden! That’s great, we’re here with some advice for new gardeners, starting with, using lots of native plants to help support your local ecosystem and take some of the environmental strain off it. Here are some tips that have served us well that we love sharing with our customers. Remember, taller plants go in the rear, behind shorter ones, just like in your school picture! Expect plants to hit their stride in about 3 years after installing. A good rule of thumb to remember is:

  • Year 1 = Sleep
  • Year 2 = Creep
  • Year 3 = Leap

If you have existing plants that have grown too large, consider thinning or moving them while dormant. Use plenty of space between plants–try to envision their fully grown, mature size–you can always fill in empty space with annuals/bedding plants for a year or two until the others take off. Be vigilant on weeds, they can overtake new plants and will always be a threat. Make sure to remove the roots, since weeds will grow back if you just pull off the top above the soil line. Get down in there! Prep your new beds by smothering any existing weeds/seeds using heavy cardboard or black plastic sheeting―start in the late winter as the weeds will be ready to go in early spring. Cutting off their air and light supply means they won’t be able to thrive. Make sure to do your research before planting. Some native plants are self-seeders and can be aggressive. An example of this is Rudbeckia species (Coneflowers).  These can sometimes be used in a beneficial manner, to compete with non-native invasive plants, or to establish growth on non-covered land.  Friends often share plants and seeds which is great―just be sure of what you’re getting! Learn about certain species that require both male and female individual plants (such as Winterberry) to produce fruit/berries. Join garden clubs or find Master Gardener contacts in your area. It’s a great way to socialize, learn from others and share ideas, too! Explore new hand tools to make your work easier. Read about some of our favorites here. Consider a no-till garden which is an easier way to grow. There’s a lot of research that supports not disturbing the soil biome; a symbiotic “web” of plants and critters that lies just beneath the surface of undisturbed areas. In addition to choosing native plants, you can be sure that you’re benefitting the local ecosystem rather than challenging it. We love native plants―they’re in our name! Read our blog for more helpful tips and when you’re ready to order, visit the site to order online. Welcome to the wonderful hobby of gardening!

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