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Top 10 Gardening Tips for Beginner Gardeners in the UK 

Top 10 Basic Gardening Tips for Beginners Living in the UK

If you are considering starting a garden and simply have no idea where or how to start, then these simple basic gardening tips will get you off to a very good start.

The reality is that when you move into a house you usually inherit the garden that is there. They come in all shapes and sizes and they certainly come in a variety of formats.

If you are lucky much of the work will be done for you, and in some cases you may have little more than what looks like a wilderness. The basics never change though so let's get started.

Tip 1 - Garden Location

Most people will use their front garden to have a lawn and also to plant flowers and shrubs. There may also be a hedge or a fence. Back gardens are usually grass and may also have a patio or decking.There really isn't much that you can do to alter the location.

However should you plan on growing vegetables or herbs then you can do that easily in the back garden. You can simply have a traditional vegetable garden, or grow herbs and many vegetables in raised beds or even in containers.

Likewise you could also have a small greenhouse which makes growing a great deal easier and more enjoyable.

The bottom line is that most things are possible and it is always worthwhile taking some time and planning out your garden.

It is important to note where the sun shines on your garden and for how long. Some plants need the sun whereas other plants can do well in the shade, and many like partial shade. Make a note of these areas as it will help a lot with your planting choices.


Tip 2 - Check Out the Sunshine

As mentioned above, one of the best tips that we offer to all beginner gardens is to track the sunshine in your garden throughout the year.

Almost every thing that grows needs sun. Some plants can thrive in the shade but not many, so it is good to know what areas of your garden get the most sunshine.

We recommend drawing out a rough plan of you garden and then each month quickly make a few notes of what areas get the sun and which don't. That will help a lot when it comes to planting and growing.

This is also a pretty easy thing to do, but it will take a few months to be able to gather all of the information. It is worth the effort though in the end.


Tip 3 - Water Source & Equipment

Another great tip for anyone starting out as a gardener is to know that even in the UK with all the rain we get, there are still dry spells. Water is the gardener's friend, so make sure that you have the easiest method to water your gardens.

A garden hose is the ideal option. Just make sure that it is a good one and long enough to reach all of your gardens, especially where you have flowers, fruits or vegetables.

You can also consider a water battle which will collect rain. You can then use this to water your plants. That is the best water to use as it is very natural and of course it is what the plants are used to.

Likewise over time you will gather up various gardening tools. Most people will keep them in a garage, a garden shed or some type of outside storage garden equipment.

Ideally you want those to be as close to the main garden as possible. It is all about ease of access at the end of the day.


Tip 4 - Containers and Pots

If you don't want a full blown garden then using pots, containers and raised beds are a really great option. These are also really useful where you may have a small garden, or where you have a patio or decking.

A trip to your local garden centre or most DIY stores will give you plenty of good ideas about what pots and containers are available. You can in effect also use just about anything to plant in.

As long as the container has some holes in it for drainage, then it can be used as a container. Many gardeners will use old buckets, old wheelbarrows, and if you have a look around you will see lots of variety.


Tip 5 - Know Your Soil

Another great tip for anyone starting out as a gardener is to know your soil. Now you don't have to become a geologist, but it does help to know what your soil type is.

This can quickly and easily be done by using a cheap soil test kit. With that you will get a set of instructions as to what to do, and what to look out for. If necessary, you can then find methods of improving the soil, depending on what type you have.


Tip 6 - Dealing with Frost

Frost is a major enemy of any gardener. If you know it is coming it is easy to protect your young plants or seedlings from any damage. It is the unexpected frost that can easily catch gardeners out.

There are a lot of options to save your plants from the frost such as a cloche. You can also use a greenhouse, and even some plastic covering to make sure your plants are protected.


Tip 7 - Picking the Best Plants for Where You Live

Many gardeners when starting out tend to want to pick a wide range of plants and flowers. What you can grow is mainly determined by the weather where you live.

The best place to find out which plants do well is to pick the brain of your local garden centre or nursery. If they are selling certain plants then you know they will grow well where you live.

Don't be afraid to ask them for tips and advice as most good garden centres are only too happy to help you out.


Tip 8 - Feeding Your Plants

Another great tip for anyone starting out as a gardener is to know that even in the UK with all the rain we get, there are still dry spells. Water is the gardener's friend, so make sure that you use this easiest method to water your gardens.

A garden hose is the ideal option. Just make sure that it is a good one and long enough to reach all of your gardens, especially where you have flowers, fruits or vegetables.

Likewise over time you will gather up various gardening tools. Most people will keep them in a garage, a garden shed or some type of outside storage garden equipment.

Ideally you want those to be as close to the main garden as possible. It is all about ease of access at the end of the day.


Tip 9 - Learn About Compost

Compost is any decayed organic material that can be used as a fertilizer for growing plants. The next question is what is decayed organic material?

Things like leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps can all go into making compost.

Adding compost to clay soils makes them easier to work and better to plant in. When it comes to sandy soils, the addition of compost improves the water holding capacity of the soil.

Generally speaking adding any organic matter to the soil such as compost can help improve plant growth and health.

You can make your own or simply buy it from a garden centre.

You can click here to learn more about compost.


Tip 10 - Learn About Mulching

This is a term that beginner gardeners may simply never have heard of. In fact many people who garden everyday don't get it either. Hopefully we can explain this term and make some sense out of it.

Mulching is simply covering up the ground around plants and that can do four things:

  1. Stops weeds from growing
  2. Helps keep moisture in the ground
  3. Makes the garden look neat and tidy
  4. Protects the roots of plants

It is a useful and basic gardening practise, that is used to improve the overall condition of the soil.

You can mulch on bare soil or around the tops of containers and raised beds. 

You can use wood chippings, tree bark, seaweed, gravel, shingle, pebbles and stone chippings. 

So there you have it folks, ten of our favourite tips for would be gardeners in the UK.

Enda


I am someone who enjoys a little gardening. Now I am not someone who spend hours in the garden, but I do like both my front and back gardens to look really nice. Well kept lawns, neatly trimmed hedges, and borders filled with plants, make a huge difference, to how your property looks.

Enda McLarnon

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