If you’re thinking about getting your hands dirty with a new garden, take a look at this list of gardening beginner’s tips, tricks, and advice. Even if you’ve been growing veggies and flowers for a while, you’ll benefit from this short refresher.
Know Your USDA Hardiness Zone
One of the first things you should do as a new gardener is gain an understanding of the growing season in your area. You can start by researching your USDA hardiness zone. Your hardiness zone will tell you what trees, plants, shrubs, and perennials will survive the winter in your area. For our beautiful Houma, LA, the USDA hardiness zone is 9. So, even though freezing temperatures are rare here, look for plants that will survive in winter temperatures that can dip below 30 degrees.
How Long is Your Growing Season?
Another thing you should be familiar with is how long your growing season is. The growing season is the period of time between the last frost in the spring and the first frost in the fall. Because we live in a rather warm climate, gardeners here in Houma benefit from a long growing season.
Fertilizer Isn’t the Answer
If you’re having trouble with your garden, your first thought may be to reach for a reputable brand of fertilizer. But fertilizer is not the key to growing the best plants. The quality of your soil is. Instead of adding fertilizer to your garden, add soil amendments and nutrients. Using soil amendments improves the overall quality of your soil and makes it more likely that your plants will thrive. For instance, if your soil drains poorly, add a small amount of coarse sand. And, if the opposite is true, add aged manure.
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Water Outdoor Plants Once A Week
Most outdoor garden plants will need one to two inches of water each week. Fortunately, Houma gets nearly 60 inches of rain each year. So, you’re unlikely to find yourself watering your plants regularly since nature does it for you. But, during periods where there isn’t enough rain, you should only water your garden once a week. Give your plants enough water for the entire week at one time instead of lightly watering them each day.
Final tip: Get a durable vehicle with a lot of cargo space for carrying soil amendments, seedlings, and other gardening supplies. Check out Barker Buick GMC’s inventory of SUVs and trucks to find one that will suit your lifestyle.
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