Home and Gardening

ESSENTIAL GUIDES FOR A NEWBIE GARDENER

Gardening is an age-old tradition that dates back before the existence of Man. You can say the need to feed led to the need to cultivate food to sustain man and his family. Fast-forward to the modern-day, gardening is still an important aspect of living; some for growing life-sustaining plants and others for aesthetic purposes.

The practice of gardening can account for several health benefits, such as the reduction of stress, depression and anxiety, strengthening of the heart, hand muscles and joint strengthening, just to name a few. Whatever the reason for gardening, more and more people are beginning to see the therapeutic and healthy benefits of gardening. If you decide to key into the benefits and art of gardening, we have outlined essential items to help you get started on this amazing new project. Well, after you have decided on the plant you want. Most of the tools you required for gardening are listed in Best Sellers in DIY & Tools on amazon website

SPACE
For plants to grow, they require Water, Air, Sunlight, Nutrients and Space to grow. The first step to starting a garden (I mean, after choosing a plant), is deciding where you want to plant it. Location or Space is an important factor in gardening. If you have little to no garden space, you could opt for Planters or Plant Pot, which could be placed Outdoors or Indoors, depending on the plant’s need for sunlight and air.
Although used interchangeably, PLANTERS and PLANT POTS are different in the sense that PLANT POTS are usually smaller, decorative pieces and are used to house one plant as opposed to the former which are larger and can be used to house more than one plant. Also, PLANTERS are usually placed outdoors as they can withstand the conditions of the outdoors.

Depending on what you opt for, you have the option of choosing what materials your planters or pots are made of. You could either go with Terra Cotta which does not retain water, as it dries out quickly; or Plastic, though not environmentally friendly is cheap and good in the winter; or Ceramic, which is sturdy and comes in many shapes; or Concrete which is good for preserving soil temperature; or Wood, which is good for retaining water; or Fibreglass/Resin, which though synthetic are resistant to frost; or Metal, which are sturdy and good for use in winter.

GARDENING GLOVES
Everybody knows that gardening is a messy job. You are bound to get your hands dirty in the course of your gardening project. Hence, it might be necessary to provide yourself with a pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands, not just from getting soil into your finger, but also from getting blisters and scratches from plant thistles or your gardening tools.
You must get gloves that are light and not bulky enough that you cannot pick up seeds or plant seedlings with. It is also important to get a material that is breathable that your hands do not get too hot, and long enough to protect your hands from injuries to your hands. Do a quick check on Amazon and you'll see lot of gloves at cheap and reasonable prices

GARDENING TOOLS

Gardening requires some essential tools which are designed to make your task easier, especially where digging is involved. As someone who is getting into gardening for the first time, you might be mistaken as to what tool is for what, seeing as they all kind of look the same.
Starting with the Shovel – it is essentially a long-handled tool with a flat metal or plastic blade screwed at the bottom. There are different types of Shovels which can be distinguished according to their blade shapes and uses. POINTED SHOVELS are mainly used for digging because its pointed tips can easily cut through the roots and hard soil. The SQUARE-NOSED SHOVELS can be used for lighter tasks like moving soil or lighter materials like Compost or Mulch. The ROUNDED BLADE SHOVEL is a multipurpose tool, which can be used for digging holes, lifting and moving soil, relocating plants and many more planting jobs. It is basically your best choice for gardening jobs. And lastly, the TRENCHING SHOVEL with its square, narrow blade is great for digging irrigation trenches, as its name suggest. It is also great for digging deep holes without affecting nearby plants. It can also be used to transplant or taking out individual plants.

 

A SPADE is similar to a Shovel, however, unlike a Shovel, it has a longer and narrower flat blade with a sharp edge which makes it easier to cut into roots and break apart rootstocks. Like Trenching Shovels, Spades can smoothen the edges of trenches and can dig into narrow trenches. They can also be used to relocate plants.

A TROWEL is one of the most-used gardening tools. It is basically a small shovel and performs similar functions, however, they are used for smaller jobs like digging small holes, planting and bedding plants, taking out weeds and work in looser soils, especially if you are container gardening.

A HOE is an outdoor gardening tool, used to cultivate the soil, it works better than a Shovel or a Spade when trying to break new ground, and takes minimal effort because of its lever action, as its blade is set at a right angle to its handle. It is also great for removing weeds and clearing unruly spaces.

 

SOIL ADDITIVES
Nutrients, as stated earlier, are important in helping plants grow. The soil has to be filled with the right amounts of nutrients for it to survive. The primary nutrients for plant growth include; Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorus, whilst Calcium, Sulphur and Magnesium are required in low doses. Generally, the amount of these nutrients vary according to the Species of plants.
Like the human body, sometimes the soil is not healthy enough and would require nutritional supplements, hence the need for soil additives or fertilisers to enrich the soil. These come in organic and inorganic or chemical fertiliser.
ORGANIC FERTILISERS are soil additives which are natural and can be found in by-products of plant and animal materials. The nutrients in organic fertilisers are released as the plants and animal waste break down in the soil, thereby improving the soil, making it healthier and ensuring it can hold water and carry nutrients to the plants. Organic fertilisers include Compost, Manure, Alfalfa, Kelp. They are advantageous, in that, they are environmentally friendly because they carry less risk of the toxic overdose of chemicals that could destroy the soil, however, they need microorganisms to breakdown the natural by-products, which could affect how quickly the nutrients get to the plants.

 

INORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC FERTILISERS, as the name implies, are artificially made fertilisers. They are chemically made to enrich the plant with the required amount of nutrient the plant needs – unlike organic fertilisers, Synthetic fertilisers are like a quick dose of nutrients. They are targeted at specific plants to meet their needs. They do not necessarily provide enrichment to the soil, hence are not effective in the long run. The disadvantage of using this type of fertiliser is the risk of the toxic overdose of chemicals which could destroy the soil.

WATERING TOOLS
As stated earlier, plants need water to grow. Its importance cannot be overstated as your soil needs to be watered for nutrients to get to the plants. Hence you need the right watering tools to ensure that your plant, be it in and indoor, container garden or an open space garden or even a planter garden, has the right watering tool to ensure that your plants get the right amount of water to help it grow.
WATERING CANS are generally used for small gardens and container gardens, which do not require a lot of movement and water. For outdoor gardens, you have the choice of GARDEN HOSES or SPRINKLERS, which will make it easier for water to get to hard to reach areas of your garden.

 

Sandra O

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