**This post may have affiliate links, this means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). For more details, please see my Disclaimer**
Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by Katherine
Gardening can be a highly rewarding hobby, but if you do not know where to start, it can also be very stressful. This post is all about simple gardening tips everyone can use to grow the garden space of their dreams.
Whether you want a beautiful and colorful flower garden or wish to save yourself money by planting fruits and vegetables, it’s worthwhile to come up with a strategy and determine what plants you need to buy and what kinds of decor you’d like to use as well.
Some plants, for example, need to start as seedlings inside a greenhouse or inside your house so they are strong enough to survive the elements. Some plants will not grow together nicely, so it’s useful to figure out what limitations your climate might place on your planting dreams as well.
So let’s get starting planning your perfect outdoor garden retreat with these easy gardening tips!
The first question every gardener should ask is what growing zone (sometimes called a planting zone) you belong to. Most of our local stores will already know this and stock their garden centers with plants that will grow well in the local environment.
However, you should still know this yourself, as it will help you understand what your plants will need in order to thrive.
You also want to make a note of any invasive species in your local area, as the last thing you want to do is devastate the local growing economy. For example, I live in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada and it’s a major tree fruit growing corridor in my country. The very last thing that I want to do is plant something that’s going to devastate crops in my local area!
The first place to check for invasive species is to see if your local or state government has something. For instance, in British Columbia, we have the Invasive Species Council of BC. They even have a library on their website with pictures of the plants to avoid!
What Type of Garden?
Now that you know your growing zone and what plants you want to avoid, it’s time to have some fun planning out what type of garden you’re wanting for your outdoor space.
There are many types of gardens out there and you can even create a beautiful combination of a few varieties, but let’s run down the most popular:
- Flower garden – a colorful garden full of beautiful blooming flowers
- Vegetable garden – a great way to save money on produce is to grow your own!
- Butterfly garden – This involves a bit more research, as you’ll be planting things that attract butterflies!
- Water garden – the focal point of this garden is usually a gorgeous fountain or pond
- Rock garden – think pretty rock features, even a decorate stone path
Once you have an idea on the style of garden you’re looking for, it’s time to plan!
You also want to figure out what plants you want in your garden. It’s a good idea to figure out what plants will get along once you plant, as you don’t want one plant to kill the other. For tips on this, I recommend checking out Love to Know’s Post Which Vegetables Grow Well Together. Complimentary plants can also help each other survive and thrive, so don’t skip this step!
Mapping Your New Garden Out
Once you have a good handle on both the type of garden you want and both the plants you want and the plants you want to avoid (ie: invasive species), now it’s time to go nuts with your inspiring new project.
To keep things reasonable, you can definitely set a budget. For more tips on this, check out my ultimate guide, How To Design The Perfect Room In Your House On Any Budget!
It’s at this stage that you’ll want to consider whether you want to add buildings like a greenhouse or raise garden beds because you’ll want to plan your materials list so you can spend less time in the store and more time with your garden.
You’ll also want to map out how you’re going to water your plants (such as a sprinkler system or just a plain ol’ watering can), pest control and decorative elements which you’ll find some inspiration below.
Where to Shop?
Once you’ve planned your garden out, it’s time to make that shopping list and hit the stores. Depending on what you need to buy, some places you’ll probably head to are:
- Hardware stores & Big Box Stores
- Local Greenhouses.
Garden Decor Ideas
While plants are certainly the primary focus of any gardening hobby, you can’t neglect the decor aspects of a garden. Here are some of my favorite affordable ideas.
While you wait for your plants to sprout, sometimes it’s tough to keep track of what you planted. Instead of stressing, create some garden markers. You can go as simple as some popsicle sticks with the name of the plant or bricks.
We’ve all seen the tiki torches you can find in most gardening sections of the store. If they aren’t your favorite or are a little too “tropical” for your tastes, you can create your own version that suits your decor far better.
Bees are essential pollinators, and I love the idea of encouraging them to set up shop right in my garden. Building your own bee hotel helps support more solitary bees that do amazing work, like mason bees. While they don’t live in hives, these bees tolerate living near others. Some experts call them “communal” bees.
Many gardening shops now sell small houses, but you can make your own. Check out How to Build a Native Bee Hotel on Modern Farmer to learn more.
Repurpose an old galvanized pail or a wheelbarrow to a vase for your flowers. I’ve seen some super creative ideas out and about, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Terra Cotta Crafting
Terra-cotta pots are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes. You can paint them as well to jazz them up. I just use craft paint and seal it in with a glaze that is suitable for outdoor use.
For more details, check out Gazing Balls You Can Make For Your Own Garden from Hearth & Vine.
Bird Feeder Ideas
Birds are also excellent pollinators, so if you like feathered visitors to your garden, entice them with some yummy seeds.
For this, you’ll want a bird feeder. You can make your own, check out my post How to Make an Awesome Milk Jug Bird Feeder to learn more.
Pebble Art Pathway
Pebbles are a gorgeous addition to your garden decor, and you can arrange them in an artful pattern or just lay them down at random for a more simplistic look.
Year-Round Gardening Tips
Your growing zone is largely going to determine how long you can garden. If your budget allows for a greenhouse, you can sometimes extend that season by a few months, but sometimes the weather just won’t cooperate and garden plants are not hearty enough to survive -40C weather for long normally.
The vast majority of you will begin your gardening season in spring. This is usually when things bloom and start thawing out. When beginning a garden, you’ll want to monitor the overnight temperatures and avoid exposing new or finicky plants to freezing temperatures.
Once the snow melts in your garden space, it’s time to figure out what you want to plant there. Certain plants do better when you plant them early, whereas others wait until later on. Certain spring flowers will need to be planted in the fall in bulb form also, particularly daffodils and tulips. You can, however, purchase bedding plants at your local greenhouse if you missed the fall bulb planting window.
With summer heat you are going to want to keep your garden well-hydrated unless mother nature provides adequate rain. Always inspect your garden at least once a day and make sure that soil is relatively moist. That will tell you that your plants are getting enough.
If summer is harsh, water everything after sunset or before sunrise, so your garden has time to absorb some of that precious water before the sun evaporates it.
You can also aim to develop some shadier spots in your garden area for plants that need a little less direct sunlight, but shade as trees will take some time to grow.
Fall is when you’ll be setting your garden up for continued success in the next year. Bulbs are perfect for this, and a variety of vegetables and flowers have bulbs that will remain dormant over the winter months and bloom in the spring.
There are some flowers and vegetables that will continue to thrive in the fall, provided you’ve planted them early enough. If you want a particular vegetable, such as pumpkins, research that plant to figure out the optimal time to plant.
If you live in an area that gets frost, it will limit your growing season somewhat. Depending on what types of bushes and trees you have, you may need to consider wrapping them in burlap for a bit of extra warmth as well.
It doesn’t hurt to do some research on your outdoor plants to determine if they need anything special over the winter months.
Final Thoughts on Gardening Tips
These gardening tips get you thinking about what you want. Gardening should be a relaxing hobby. It gets you outdoors into the sunlight and you shouldn’t have to stress about what you’re planting and buying.
It’s an excellent idea to start early and figure out exactly what you’d like and have it all gathered up and ready to hit the ground running as soon as that frost leaves the soil. The more details you hammer out before the growing season starts, the fewer things you have to keep track of and you can focus on growing that paradise in your backyard or even on your balcony.
I hope you found this article helpful. Please share it on your favorite social media platform and don’t forget to pin it to Pinterest.
Until next time, stay crafty, my friends!!