Gardening Tips for Absolute Beginners

If you are new to Gardening, Danielle's blog has some great tips!

Danielle Morrisson
16 March 2017

Thank you, Danielle our Guest Blogger this week for sharing your gardening experience with us. 


The adventures of a very novice gardener who's 'Giving it a Go'. 

I have only recently just moved from a small unit in the city region which had no garden area or grass close by- at all!  I have now moved into a lovely house that has very large lawns and beautifully sized gardens. 
Upon arrival, the gardens and lawn were and still are in need of some serious tender, loving, and care. When we moved in the grass was completely overgrown and looked like a jungle in some areas. In other spots of the garden, there were huge dry dirt patches, holes and mounds. The soil was like a rock and still is. The garden areas were completely overrun with weeds that were strangling the lovely plants that were previously placed in the garden. After lots of work, the beautifully grass and flowers are growing and blossoming. I inherited a huge apple tree, which tastes so beautiful when freshly picked. This is probably the only good thing about garden so far. To add to a difficult job that lies ahead of me there are two plum trees and 6 other unidentified trees. 


What I have Learned 

From my experience so far I have a few tip for novice gardens like myself to help you be more prepared for gardening than I have been. After moving in I realised I had no idea where to start or what to do to maintain my garden. That I'd never had many opportunities to learn how to garden and I'm certainly not knowledgeable about lawns! However, it is slowly on its way to recovery.

All thanks to the advice I've been receiving from my wonderful new neighbour Jim who has lived in the same house for 52 years, & has the nicest lawns and prettiest gardens in the street. Luckily he is happily teaching me his knowledgeable ways around the garden. 



My strict Instructions and Advice

*Water my lawns early in the morning.

*Try to teach or train my lawn, to grow a deep root system by giving a heavy soak every 2-3 days instead of shorter daily bursts as it will produce fuller grass with a deeper spread out root system.

* Aerate your lawn, make sure it can breathe. There are special tools if you'd like but any spikes will do.

*Feed your lawn.  One of the easiest ways is with a pre-mixed fertilizer spray. Again there are many other options.

*In summer raise your mower, mow at a higher level than normal and leave the grass a few centimeters longer so that the roots don't dry out too quickly and they're protected by longer blades.



*Always disconnect and empty your hose after each use so water doesn't build up, become hot and possibly damage my hose. Also, make sure you don't scorch grass on your next use.

*There's no magic solution to weeds, but if you’re willing to spend the time the best way is to pull out weeds with your hands, or weeding fork (whichever you prefer) constantly! You see a weed get it, don't think I'll get it later because by then they spread and there will just be more!! After attacking weeds like there's no tomorrow, they start to become manageable. Continue to control weeds by pulling them out early and often. Just remember to wear gloves, those spiders can sting! Weeding sprays will help, but they aren't a magic solution!!

So far all these tips are working a treat! I have nearly eliminated weeds, dry patches are looking so much better, smaller and less of them, and overall the lawn is healthier, even all the gorgeous flowers in the photos were picked from my front gardens around the house which were previously being overrun by.



Another handy tip for Pet Owners!

Here's the warning for pet owners. After first moving in and not knowing or expecting poisonous plants in the garden, I didn't think very much about the variety of trees and plants that were around. That was until my dogs ate some of the berries and became extremely ill.  I later discovered that the 'unidentified fruits' that they both had severe side effects and nearly died! Warning to all pet owners out there, even if you don't think you’re interested in gardening, you should learn about the nature around you and keep an eye out for all the potential plants that can harm your furry friends so that you can keep them safe.