How to Find the Joy in Gardening
You don’t need a green thumb to enjoy getting outside and growing things. Fruits and veggies, and even a lawn and trees are natural miracles in how they grow, change and produce beautiful bounties. With the right tools and attitude, you can create a dazzling garden that you can be proud of and enjoy — even if you’ve never gardened a day in your life. Here’s how.
Prepare Your Yard for Gardening
Unless you bought a property already equipped with a bountiful garden, your yard probably isn’t in the right shape to grow things. Over time, soil becomes depleted of vital nutrients — either from growing too much too consistently or having rains and irrigation carry nutrients away. If you are struggling to get anything to thrive in your yard, it’s likely that you need to take steps to reintroduce nutrients that plants need.
There are a few different ways to do this, almost all of which include adding organic material to your soil. You should till the soil in your yard and add compounds like compost or commercial fertilizers to reintroduce nutrients like carbon, nitrogen, calcium and manganese. Depending on the level of depletion of your soil, the process of rejuvenation could take anywhere from weeks to years. The key is consistency and dedication, which you’ll need in spades if you take up gardening as a hobby.
Choose Flora You Love
It’s hard to care much about the health of a tomato plant if you don’t like tomatoes. If you want to fall in love with your garden, you need to pack it with plants that bring you joy. These don’t have to be vegetables and fruits; if the idea of a vast, open lawn makes your heart sing, you can reserve most of your yard space for grass and fill in with flower boxes around the edges. Then again, if you want a garden full of big, beautiful blooms, you should collect a bevy of annuals for every season, so you always have bursts of color in your yard.
It’s important to note that factors like temperature and sun exposure do play a major part in what will grow in your yard. It’s not wise to fight against your climate; doing so will waste resources and force you to spend more time than necessary tending to your garden. It’s wise to research what will grow well in your region, so you don’t suffer gardening heartache.
Take Gardening Courses
While you can get good at gardening on your own, guiding yourself through books and online tools, a formal gardening course might teach you more, faster. You can find affordable gardening workshops at local community colleges or through your city’s parks and recreation department. Then again, if you can’t find a gardening class in your area, you might look for a mentor in your neighborhood — just keep your eyes peeled for homeowners tending their gorgeous gardens and be poised to ask them for help.
Outsource the Big Tasks
Typically, it’s the little tasks of gardening that bring avid gardeners joy: planting seeds and sprouts, harvesting crops, pulling weeds and watching the plants grow. Larger tasks are less enjoyable — and you should feel free to outsource them. For example, as beautiful as your lawn and big shade trees might be, they require extensive care; a lawn care and tree service can take over the responsibility of keeping them healthy, so you can focus on your garden boxes. You might also outsource chores like applying herbicide and pesticide, which can require expertise that you might lack.
Share Your Landscape With Others
Gardening might feel like a solo hobby, but if you’re doing it right, you should have all sorts of people helping you enjoy your now wondrous landscape. You should leave some room in your yard for an outdoor entertainment space, where you and guests can relax and gaze upon your hard work. This space should have some comfortable and attractive furniture that fits your landscape’s style, and it should have other engaging features, like a fire pit or grill. You might also fill your garden with games, like corn hole or horseshoes — as long as your guests don’t go tromping through your precious plants to retrieve the pieces.
Share Your Landscape With Others