Welcome to the world of gardening! You might be here because you’ve dabbled in gardening for years and haven’t managed that green thumb just yet or because you’re completely new to the gardening world. Before we started our magnolia farm and gift tree nursery, we had always appreciated the beauty of spring and the magic of a garden that blooms throughout the year. But there is so much we’ve learned through two decades of farming and gardening that we wish we knew when we started.
1. Soil is the foundation of your garden.
First up, we wish we knew the importance of healthy soil when gardening. It’s common for most first time gardeners to focus on the type of plants they want in their garden instead of the soil they’ll be planting them in. But soil is the foundation of any healthy garden. Soil not only provides the nutrients your plants need to thrive, but certain soil types are better for certain kinds of plants.
For example, magnolia trees prefer a loamier soil that can drain easily, but also stay moist whereas lemon trees like a sandy soil. Before choosing your plants, research a little bit about their preferred soil type to be sure they can thrive in your garden.
Once you know that that avocado tree you’ve been dreaming about will do well in your backyard’s loose, rich soil, it’s time to prepare your soil. Adding organic matter like compost can boost existing nutrients and turning it over with a shovel to loosen it up will help the roots be able to grow in the soil more easily. Also remember to fertilize your plants twice a year with slow release fertilizer to keep the soil (and your plant!) full of nutrients.
2. Watering is an art.
Some plants like the golden pothos can grow in water alone, where other plants will yellow and wilt when overwatered. A few minutes of research about the watering requirements of your plants will save you energy later when trying to save your plant from too much or not enough water.
Most plants like soil that is just barely moist and should be watered once to twice a week. When you’re first getting to know your plants, check their soil often to see if it’s dry or not. By sticking your finger about an inch into the soil, you’ll be able to see if it’s already used the water from its last watering or if you can hold off a few more days.
After a week or two you’ll have a better idea of what your plants need and you’ll be able to water them based on their specific needs rather than their type of plant in general.
3. Patience is key.
Gardening is a beautiful and rewarding hobby, but it takes time and patience. Don't be discouraged if your gift tree doesn't grow as quickly as you expect or if you encounter setbacks like pests or diseases.
Take the time to learn about your plants and their specific needs. Research the best times to plant, how much sun they need, and how to care for them. Remember, gardening is a journey, and each season brings new growth and new challenges.
We hope these tips will help you as you embark on your gardening journey. Remember, soil preparation, watering, and patience are key to a successful garden. Happy gardening!