Originally Posted On: A Beginner’s Guide to Gardening: How to Choose the Right Plants | Plant Source
Over the years, numerous studies have highlighted the mental and physical health benefits of gardening.
Are you keen to reap some of these benefits for yourself, or would you simply like to try your hand at creating something beautiful and useful in your spare time?
Gardening’s a great pastime for most people and it’s good for the environment too, so it’s a good idea to get started right away.
Check out this beginner’s guide to gardening success.Gardening Tips for Beginners
Most plants only need four things to survive and thrive. These are food, sunlight, water, and space.
That sounds simple enough, and it can be if you choose your plants wisely. Some species of plants have very specific needs when it comes to these basic requirements, which can be overwhelming when you’re just getting started.
These are the main things to consider when choosing plants for your garden.
Your Needs or Aims
The most important thing to consider when choosing plants for your garden is what you hope to achieve with your gardening efforts. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to grow a food garden?
- Are you more interested in herbs?
- Do you want to grow pretty flowers to improve your surroundings?
- Are you interested in creating a habit for birds and bees?
With over 350,000 species of plants to choose from, there are bound to be hundreds that tick all the boxes for you.
As a beginner gardener, it’s important to choose plants that grow easily and require little maintenance, so you can enjoy your successes and enjoy gardening as you learn.
It’s best to start with easy-going plants that suit your circumstances. There’s no point in trying to grow tropical plants if you live in an arid environment or an area that’s prone to frost.
You should also consider aspects like how much sun or shade’s available in the areas where you want to plant your specimens. Vegetables prefer a sunny spot, while ferns love the shade.
If you’re short on space, container gardening could be a better option for you. So, you’ll need to choose plants that thrive in this environment.
Some types of plants need intensive care throughout their lives. If you don’t have time for regular pruning, fertilizing, and fussing over these specimens, rather stick to low-maintenance plants.
There are many hardy types of plants that will forgive your neglect or lack of experience.
Once you’ve got an idea of the above aspects, you can head to the nursery and speak to your nurseryman with confidence about what you require.
These are our top suggestions to help you choose the right plants as a beginner gardener.Beginner’s Guide to Gardening With Vegetables
You’ll need a sunny spot and plenty of water to grow vegetables successfully. Food producing plants belong to a wide range of species with different needs, so always read the package before getting started.
Here you’ll find important information regarding the time of year to plant your crops, how much sunlight they need, and how deep you should plant the seeds.
For beginner gardeners who want to put food on the table, these are the best plants to get you started:
- Salad greens
- Green beans
If you don’t want to wait for seeds to sprout, you can get seedlings from your local nursery instead.Ideal Flowering Plants for Beginner Gardeners
When it comes to flowering plants, you’ve got two choices. You can either grow annuals that will only last one season or perennials that bounce-back year after year.
Evergreen flowering shrubs are a good choice for most gardens as they’ll add a dash of green to your yard in winter, as well as a burst of floral color when summer rolls around.
These are our top choices for flowering annuals:
Some of the best flowering shrubs for beginners include hydrangeas, camellias, purple smoke bush, and black chokeberry.Plants That Suit Container Gardening
You can either try container gardening indoors, on your patio or as part of your backyard landscaping. There are many types of plants that thrive in containers, including most types of herbs.
Some of the best plants for growing in containers include:
- Daffodils and other types of bulbs
- Flowering kale and cabbages
- Perennial carnations
- Bleeding Hearts
Usually, you can buy these types of plants pre-potted and already installed in attractive containers, so all you need to do is keep them alive.
Most of the easy-to-grow vegetables mentioned above will also grow happily in containers.Shade-Loving Plants for Beginners
If you’re looking to fill in a bare shady spot in your yard, you’ll have fewer options to choose from. Most plants prefer direct sunlight as they need it for photosynthesis.
These are the best shade-loving plants that you can grow easily:
- Wild ginger
- Lady fern
Ground covers like lilyturf, meadow rue, Hosta, and lily of China can help fill in where your lawn leaves off.Getting off to a Good Start With Gardening
Of course, this beginner’s guide to gardening barely scratches the surface when it comes to the great diversity of gardening initiatives available to you.
If you’d rather not venture into the world of gardening on your own, a professional landscaping expert can help set you on the right track.
Get in touch for a landscape design quote so we can help get your yard into great shape before you embark on your gardening journey.