A gardener’s inspiration and motivation for gardening can vary, but most of the time, gardening is a hobby done either as a recreational form of natural art, or as an experiment in self-sufficiency. And with so many plant varieties available ranging from flowers to vegetables, it would be quite rare to find two identical gardens.
Most gardening takes place in regions with temperate weather, and each season bears the potential for new beauty. Planting can take place anywhere from early spring through mid-autumn depending on the location, climate, and plant.
Getting your gardening materials ready
Before you get started on your gardening project, there are a few tools and materials necessary to begin. Of course, you’ll need a plot of land or area within a yard to plant your garden. The size and design of the garden largely depends on what kind of garden you will grow.
Once you have determined how your garden will be physically laid out, you’ll need some basic tools to get started. A hoe or small plow will be needed to turn the soil in which you will plant. For small flower gardens, a hoe or even a small trowel may be sufficient. For larger gardens and for many vegetable and fruit gardens, a plow, or rototiller, would probably be more desirable.
After you have planted your seeds or plants, they will require water. A garden hose or watering bucket can be used to help irrigate the garden, particularly in months when rain may be at a minimum. Automatic sprinkler and irrigation systems may also be installed to maintain your garden.
Finally, some gardeners insist on the use of fertilizers and plant foods. While these may not be necessary, they may have a significant impact on your garden. If pests and other insects may be a problem, you might also consider investing in a safe insecticide for treating your plants.
Common challenges faced in gardening
We aren’t all “green thumbs,” but everybody faces the same basic problems in the planting and maintenance of a garden. First of all, insects and other pests can cause serious issues for an otherwise healthy garden. Many nurseries can offer you guidance in common pests and plant diseases that might be prone to your region or type of plant, and should be able to help you pick out a pesticide.
The weather can also seriously hamper your efforts at maintaining a successful garden. Brutally hot temperatures, lack of rain, and other weather conditions during the growing season can stunt growth, prevent blooms, or even kill entire gardens. And, of course, unexpected changes in the weather can catch even the most experienced gardener off-guard. Be prepared for anything in terms of weather, and this will help prevent surprises later on.
Gardening for beauty
Flower gardens greatly add to the overall landscaping of a home or business, and can add color at any time of year. Understanding the difference between annuals — which bloom only once and typically die at the end of the season — and perennials — which, if cared for properly, will return again season after season — can be of great benefit to establishing a garden.
Many flower gardens feature a set of perennials as part of the landscape, requiring the gardener to simply fill in the open space with annuals each year. Popular annuals for flower gardening include impatiens, begonias, daisies, tulips, and pansies. Some gardens may be designed around a color scheme or theme, and are often designed to be incorporated into the larger landscaping theme of the home or business.
Gardening for food
Many gardens are created for the sole purpose of growing and harvesting edible fruits and vegetables. In some regions of the world, fruit and vegetable gardening is so popular that nearly every home on every street or road has at least some size garden filled with fruits and vegetables.
While planting and growing flowers from seed is fairly simple, knowing when to plant seeds for a vegetable garden can be a more of a challenge. Many novice gardeners choose to purchases small plants to grow, leaving most of the work in maintenance of the garden.
Most vegetable and fruit gardens are planted in rows, which makes working in the garden, the weeding and watering for example, easier. Planting in rows also eases in harvesting the yields of the garden, as a person can walk through the rows next to plants to harvest and pick the food. Common plants in fruits and vegetable gardens include beans, tomatoes, all varieties of peppers, corn, and radishes. Most fruit and vegetables are summer gardens, although the yields may not be harvested until fall for some vegetables and fruits such as gourds and pumpkins.
For those who like plants for beauty, or those who want to grow fresh food in their backyard, the rewarding hobby of gardening is well worth a try.