I’m a gardening pro & here’s everything you need to know if you’re a complete novice – and the stuff not to worry about

I’m a gardening pro & here’s everything you need to know if you’re a complete novice – and the stuff not to worry about


IF YOU don't know what you're doing in the garden, it can all feel a bit overwhelming.

There are so many strange terms and verities of plants that it's tricky to know where to begin.

But if you want to venture into the garden in time for summer, there are a few tips and tricks that will make your life so much easier – and help you avoid all of the common mistakes.

The pros at Gardener's World shared what every new gardener needs to know for their skills, and plants, to bloom.

It's all about the soil

Before you even go near a plant, check your soil.

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"Different plants suit different soils, and you may need to improve your soil before you start planting," the pros say.

Depending on the consistency of the soil, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

If it's heavy like clay you may need to add plenty of manure to make it easier to dig, the same goes for sandy or chalky soil.

Potted plants

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The experts say: "Most small shrubs are sold in plastic pots, which they have often outgrown."

With this in mind, it's important to repot them in a larger space where they'll have room to grow.

Simply, "dig a hole suitable for your chosen plant, you can check this by placing the pot in the hole – It should fit comfortably, with around 2cm extra around the perimeter.

"Its depth should be no deeper than that of the pot itself," they explained.

Planting bulbs

If you're putting them in a container, first ensure there is a suitable drainage.

The pros then recommended a 'lasagne style' of planting, so that later blubs that flower later are at the bottom, like tulips.

Then put earlier blooming stuff at the top, the pros suggest crocus.

"Or you could plant a group around a tree, a little closer to the surface.

"Many bulbs will benefit from adding a handful of grit to the hole, as winter wet may cause them to rot."

Planting plug plants

Plug plants are the perfect way to get a head start on your garden if you're not sure where to begin.

They can be bought in small or larger sized, but both should be transferred to larger pots so they can grow before eventually being added to your borders.

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"The key to growing successfully from plug plants is to water the plugs before planting, and handle plants gently, by the top two leaves, pushing them out of the containers they arrive in.

"Fill up a small pot with compost and make a well in the centre to drop in your plug, then gently pat the soil around it."

Planting containers

You can get pretty creative when it comes to containers.

Generally, as long as the size is right you can go with whatever you like the look of the most.

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"The golden rule is to add a few broken bits of crockery to the bottom of the container – this helps with drainage.

Mix up your compost with a little bit of topsoil to stop it drying out too quickly."

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