3 Big Tips for the Budding Gardener

So you've finally decided to do something with your green thumb, and are ready to start officially gardening. This is a little different from growing herbs in your windowsill, though, which is why starting out can feel so overwhelming. Before your plants are even in the ground, you end up asking yourself a litany of questions. Am I planting the right things? Do I have the right equipment and storage space? Am I really ready to start caring for my plants? Don't worry, you don't need to be an expert gardener to pick out some plants. Here are some tips that will make gardening easy for you, and will help you start the project of your dreams.

Test your soil

You can have a hidden gift for growing greenery, but if your soil doesn't have enough nutrients or if it has a bad pH balance, the results may be disappointing. You can find an affordable soil testing kit at any major home improvement or gardening store, but if you really want to get professional opinions, consider sending off a sample to your local nursery or cooperative extension. Also, be sure to assess the texture. Ideally, soil should be easily shoveled or crumble in your hands; if it's hard or clay-like, it'll be difficult for plants to take root.

Take your climate and area into consideration

You've loved tulips since you were a child, and can't wait to plant them all over your garden. However, tulips grow best in regions with cooler winter temperatures, so subtropical or tropical areas of the country such as in the far north (places like Darwin or Cairns) will not be conducive to healthy blooms. While it isn't impossible to grow certain plants outside of their climate zones, save such projects until you have a little more experience. Start with plants that grow easily in your current location.

Have the right tools

You don't need a lot of complicated equipment to cultivate a thriving garden, but there are some basics that everyone ought to have. Invest in a bag of fertilizer to give plants the nutrients they need and help them grow strong. Watering cans and hoses are a must, especially if you live in a particularly dry climate. You'll also need at least a few gardening hoes and rakes, even if your garden is somewhat small. And don't forget a couple of good shovels, a pair of gloves, some shears, and a pad for your knees. Buying a cheap shed to house all of these in is also a good idea, since this will protect your tools and offer easy access to them.

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard. Just follow these simple tips and your yard will be bursting with blossoming flowers and delicious fruits and vegetables in no time.