- Choose the right plants for your soil. Is it light and sandy or heavy and clay?
Many plants thrive better in one type than the other. If you are not sure take a look what is growing in your neighbour’s garden.
- Give plants enough space. If you place young plants too close together not all will survive. Crowded plants are also more susceptible to disease. Read plant labels for advice on how much room they need.
- Be gentle with new plants. If you remove new plants from pots by pulling their stems you are likely to break or bruise them .Gently squeeze the pot sides, turn it upside down, using your other hand to catch it as it slides out.
- Plan ahead with your design. Start by looking around the garden and see the bigger picture. Put your ideas down on paper. Place your young plants and bulbs on the soil surface first. Stand back and move them around until you are happy with the arrangement. Then plant them.
- Soak the roots. Thoroughly soak the roots of a new plant before you put it in the soil. The hole should be larger than the root ball. This is necessary because the roots need to spread out to get the best chance of tapping water and the soil’s nutrients.
- Water plants in. Keep them watered until established, especially in a dry spell. Once established, water carefully. Plants are meant to live outside and draw moisture from the earth without the need for daily watering. Tubs and hanging baskets need daily watering. As a rough guide, poke your fingers about 2 inches into the soil around the plant. If it is very dry, add some water.
- Label, label, label
It is easy for first time gardeners and the more experienced. to forget what is planted and where. Make your own labels or use those supplied.
- Be brutal with weeds. Weeds are the gardener’s worst enemy. Weed regularly, making sure you remove all roots. If there are seeds on the weeds do not put on compost or you will reseed your gardens with more weeds when using the compost.
- Have fun. Allow yourself to experiment with new things. If you have planted something in the wrong place and it is unhappy, you can move it at a later date. Most plants and shrubs, even young trees can be uprooted and replanted with care.
The most important tip is enjoy!