The benefits of gardening are obvious. Gardening builds strength, promotes sleep, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Family gardening also uplifts mood, fosters human connections, boosts memory, and helps fight disease.
Unfortunately, gardening also comes with multiple challenges that can easily cause you to lose morale and give up altogether. For instance, planting the wrong plants and dealing with persistent weeds can be very demoralizing. Poor soil, pests, weather, and erosion are other common challenges.
We’ve identified seven easy gardening tips to help you keep your focus and make gardening fun even as you deal with the usual challenges.
1. Choose the right soil/location
Successful gardening starts with finding the right soil. If you have great soil, your plants will be great, and you’ll be excited to keep pushing the boundaries. On the other hand, poor soil guarantees poor plant health, easily demoralizing even the most motivated gardener.
So, begin by getting the right soil. This also means selecting the right location if you’re gardening on the ground. All in all, make sure the soil is loose and fertile enough for gardening. Also, make sure it’s ideal for the plants you intend to plant. A soil test can help. Fortunately, many local governments offer free soil testing.
2. Choose the right plants
You’ll also make gardening easy and enjoyable if you select the right plants. Wondering what plants to go for? Begin by checking out the USDA hardiness zone finder. This guideline is purposely designed to help gardeners select the best plants based on the climatic conditions in their location.
Additionally, read magazines and search the internet to learn more about the best plants for your location and what each plant needs. For instance, some plants require lots of sunlight while others can survive even indoors. Similarly, some require regular watering, while others can go days without water.
3. Be ergonomic with tools
A common challenge with gardening is that you may find yourself spending more than you ever imagined on tools. That’s because gardening involves a wide variety of tools and every blog or magazine recommends a different set of tools for every unique plant. So, you usually end up with many (expensive) tools that you’re not using.
An easy way to get out of this trap is to be ergonomic (or efficient) in your tool choices. Promise yourself that you won’t buy every “specialized” tool and instead focus on keeping a small set of tools that get the job done.
4. Make watering easy
Installing and maintaining garden watering systems is time-consuming and expensive. It’s even worse if you’re not good with DIY equipment maintenance. In addition, few people have the time to water plants every morning and evening. Put the two issues together, and it becomes a nightmare. Of course, that’s before mentioning water bills.
Fortunately, you can make watering less bothersome. For instance, consider getting a soaker hose that lets water seep out gently. Alternatively, ditch the wrist-hurting sprayer for a thumb-controlled watering wand. You can also connect the watering system to an automatic timer.
Many people only think of water preservation when you mention mulching. But it does a lot more. Although a layer of mulch also reduces water loss, thus providing your plants with water for a longer period, the right mulching material can also improve soil temperatures, reduce weed growth, and protect bare soil from environmental impact. Above all, mulching reduces soil erosion and prevents soil compaction.
The best part is that mulching materials come in many choices, most of which are freely available in many homes.
6. Keep weeds in control
You’ve likely felt like giving up on gardening at one time if you occasionally experience out-of-control weed growth. It may suddenly feel like you don’t make a good gardener and need to find something else to do.
But that’s not it. Every gardener gets weeds from time to time, and weed overgrowth isn’t too uncommon if you were held up elsewhere for a few days. So, it shouldn’t be a reason to ditch gardening. Instead, develop a positive mindset by understanding that you can easily control weeds and eventually restore the garden.
7. Get the whole family involved
Finally, a simple way to achieve all the easy gardening tips without feeling overwhelmed is to involve the entire family. First off, getting everyone involved means gardening responsibilities are spread to several people rather than one person. Secondly, it reduces the chances of overworking yourself.
Above all, gardening as a family fosters a sense of togetherness, similar to family dining. It makes everyone feel important, creates a sense of purpose, and makes you wake up excited to tend to your garden.
There are many other easy gardening tips to make gardening more interesting and fun. But generally, it comes down to keeping things simple. Don’t overstrain. Instead, make the right decisions from the start and find ways to address emerging challenges without feeling overwhelmed.