Statue of Hemingway

A Homeowner's Resource Guide to Gardening

Gardening at home can be a rewarding hobby for people of any age, and it's not difficult to do. Basic gardening knowledge starts with understanding the characteristics of your growing area and deciding on plants that are suitable for this environment. Then, you can prepare the soil, plant your seeds or seedlings, and add water and fertilizer as needed.

Most gardens focus on either flowers or vegetables. The growing techniques for both are much the same, but the goals are different: Flower gardening is done for aesthetic reasons, while vegetable gardening is intended to produce food for the grower. Often, flower gardens will be located in the front yard to boost curb appeal, while vegetable gardens will be planted in the backyard. But there's nothing preventing you from planting both food and flowers in the same garden. In fact, planting flowers near your vegetables can attract pollinators that will help to increase your harvest.

No matter what type of garden you choose to plant, you'll need to think about how it will be designed. If you're growing flowers, you'll want to create a layout that's aesthetically pleasing, considering the colors and heights of the flowers you're planting as well as when they will bloom. Vegetables are typically planted in rows, with the tallest ones in the back and the shortest ones in front. Consider the sun when planning your layout: If one part of your garden gets a lot of sun while another is in the shadow of your house for part of the day, that will influence which plants you can put where.

If you have children, involve them in the process of planting and tending the garden. Gardening can teach children about how plants grow and what they need to be healthy. You can also teach them about things like how to attract pollinators to the garden and how to encourage plants to grow without chemicals. They'll also learn responsibility by taking care of the garden through weeding and watering. And if you grow vegetables with children, they may be more likely to eat the results, encouraging healthier eating habits.

Kids can also enjoy learning about composting and helping to create compost. Composting is the process of turning materials like vegetable scraps, grass clippings, eggshells, and paper into fertilizer for plants. It's fairly simple to create your own compost heap, and once these materials break down, you'll have nutrient-rich material that you can add to your garden soil.

Once you get involved in gardening, you might want to join a group of like-minded individuals. There are many gardening societies worldwide, each with its own focus and community. Gardening societies can connect you with other gardening enthusiasts and provide resources and information on gardening. They may also put on workshops, lectures, or other events.

Another way to learn more about gardening is to listen to podcasts. A variety of individuals and organizations make podcasts that offer expert information about growing techniques and advice for novices. Some of these are sponsored by gardening magazines, which can be another great resource for people who want to learn more about how to improve their gardening skills.

General Gardening Advice

Vegetable and Flower Gardening

Garden Design

Gardening for Kids