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Gardening might seem boring but it is and has always been one of America’s favorite pastimes. Despite the mundaneness of it all, it’s actually a multi-billion dollar industry.
It’s more than just planting a few flowers in your backyard.
According to research, close to half of Americans gardened in 2011. There are a total of more than 164 million avid gardeners in the US alone.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to gardening. One of them being that landscaping and gardening are the same thing.
In fact, they are two completely different things although they do share a number of similarities.
Gardening can be simple or intricate— depending on what you want for your garden. Regardless, there are a few things you should know about gardening before you get started in your garden.
The reality is, there’s a lot of prep work and planning but before you get ahead of yourself, let’s start simple and dive into what you should know about gardening with this simple guide for gardening beginners.
1. Gardening and Landscaping Are Two Different Things
These two might sounds similar since they both involve tending plants and greenery. Landscaping and gardening focus on cultivating and maintaining outdoor spaces.
However, landscaping involves planning in advance before planting anything. Gardening is similar but only focuses on a smaller area whereas landscaping focuses on the big picture.
Gardening involves doing “dirty work” such as planting, fertilizing, weeding, cultivating, and harvesting.
Landscaping on the other hand involves planning and designing the garden. If we were to put it in a simple analogy, a landscaper thinks of what picture to paint and the gardener executes the vision.
2. Gardening Is Highly Beneficial
You read that right— gardening is very beneficial. There are a lot of benefits that come with gardening.
Other than making your yard look aesthetically pleasing, planting in a garden can help you burn off some calories.
A quick gardening session of 45 minutes can burn off 177 calories. In just five minutes, gardening exercise can noticeably improve your mood and self-esteem.
According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, gardening can support physical rehabilitation by retraining muscles and improving strength and coordination.
Gardening can also do your wallet a couple of favors. A tree measuring 25 feet in height can reduce overall heating and cooling costs by up to 10%.
High-quality landscaping can also speed the sale of a home and increase its value by 2.2%.
3. Gardening Is an Eco-Friendly Activity
The health benefits of gardening are prominent but did you know it can also help the environment? Other than stress relief and an opportunity to burn calories, cultivating a garden can help improve the environment you live in.
There are more than 40 million acres of lawns throughout the US. This can take 238 gallons of fresh water a day per person to keep them lush and green.
Whereas if you mulch, you can maintain water evaporation to a minimum.
Gardening can also cut down household waste by using a compost bin. Instead of throwing out your coffee grounds, eggshells, and veggie scraps, you can use them as compost for organic gardening.
By incorporating the compost, you can create a healthier place for your plants to thrive. Not to mention, it will help you reduce the amount of waste you put out into the environment.
Sounds like a win-win situation to us!
4. Plan Your Garden Ahead of Time
Gardening is an art. Although you can plant random seeds all over your yard, we think planning your garden in advance can yield much better results.
By doing so, you’ll have a better-looking garden and get a lot of use from it.
The first thing you should think about is what kind of garden you want to create.
There are a lot of types when it comes to gardens such as container gardens, family gardens, flower gardens, herb gardens, and Japanese gardens.
Every garden has its own purpose and style. For example, a herb garden is a perfect garden if you love to cook and want easy access to herbs and vegetables.
If you’re a big fan of traditional Japanese gardens, then the Japanese garden would be your go-to choice.
If your aim is to reduce waste and cultivate plants without any pesticides or inorganic materials, then an organic garden would be the right fit for you.
5. Have the Right Tools in Your Shed?
Before you start planting some seeds in your garden, remember to have the right tools on hand.
A gardener should have these 10 tools: spade, hand trowel, digging fork, hoe, pruner, Hori Hori knife, lopper, shovel, garden rake, and a wheelbarrow.
You might think a shovel will do but the truth is, gardening requires various tools. Each tool has its own purpose and substituting one for the other won’t be a good idea.
Although most gardening can be done by hand, it’s going to be much easier to use tools instead. Relying on your hands can be tiresome and give you a backache. So, we suggest you invest in the right tools.
The next step would be to observe your yard and see what you can do. This includes checking if your garden is getting enough sun exposure or not.
This is an important aspect because every plant has different needs. Some might need a lot of suns and some might wilt under a lot of heat.
The second step would be to get to know your soil. Specific plant types require specific soil conditions.
Also, remember to keep in mind what plants you want in your garden by researching their seasons and fall/spring frost dates.
Lastly, once you have everything planted, don’t go around filling your garden all at once. Start slowly and plant more year after year.
You might think it’s a good idea to plant a lot but excessively planting early on can undercut your hard work. So, plant minimally and patiently to ensure your plants grow green and strong.