Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Posted By: in Gardening

So you want to try your hand at gardening and literally have no earthly clue how to go about it?  Well, this article is for all of you brave souls.

gardening 101

Step 1: Choose a Gardening Type

Decide what kind of gardening you would like to attempt.  Be it flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables or house plants and do a bit of a library search or google search on your dream plant.

Trust me on this…it could save you a bit of a surprise like for instance if you thought you had to plant a seed for each round little brussel sprout.  I had devoted a 15 foot section…imagine my dismay when I saw all of the little brussel sprouts growing up all of the stalks planted in that row for a family of two at the time.  It has taken me until now to like them again.

Step 2: Light & Moisturesunlight

Note the light and moisture requirements of your potential new plant.  Now look at what you’ve got and be honest about it.

This actually should be the first step but it’s not near as exciting as picking out a plant you like.

If you for example have a lawn of moss and are surrounded by lush trees you may possibly want to rethink your xeriscaping plans.

The right plant in the right place is an age old saying that is pretty much all you need to remember about steps 1 and 2.

In conversation, you will often hear gardeners or garden centre staff talking about exposure. This is simply a fancy word describing how much sunlight a plant needs to thrive.

Full Sun - usually describes a plant that likes at least 6-8 hours or more direct sunlight per day

Part Sun / Part Shade - while their are subtle variations, typically a plant described this way likes at least 4-6 hours of sunlight per day. Some will tolerate more, some a little less.

Shade - describes plants that prefer less than 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. Note that their is a difference between bright, indirectly lit areas and those that get direct sun.

Darkness - describes an area that you shouldn't plant in ... :)

Step 3:  Drainage

drainage holeUnless you are planting water plants or rushes, you will need good drainage.

Not many plants like to sit in water so whether you are planting an indoor plant into a pretty pot or a tree in your backyard you will need good drainage.

If planting into a pot, make sure there are holes in it and then make sure you have a little drip tray with pebbles in it to catch the water so it doesn’t go all over your new stereo the first time you water your little plant ( I speak from experience) and don’t for the love of Pete avoid putting the holes in your little pot because then you will eventually have the bottom 2 inches filled with water that smells a bit like sewage and a dead plant.

 If you are planting in the ground, fill your planting hole up with water and see how long it takes to drain out.  If it takes longer than 20 min, then you need to raise up the planting bed.

If you dig a hole and find solid clay, do not fill with good soil and then plant your plant.  You are making a soil filled swimming pool for your plant.  They don’t like that much.

Raise up the planting bed.  What’s this you say?  It simply means make sure there is no grass under the plant.  Don’t dig a hole.  Fill the area around your new plant (generally 2-3 feet out around the plant) with new soil.

Step:4 – The Dirt, or more correctly ... Soilmiracle gro potting soil

It is the food for your plant as generally, aside from some of the carnivorous plants (yes they were cool until they ate some of my Mason Bees), they don’t catch their food but instead absorb it from the soil.

Give your plant the food it needs.  Specific plants like specific soils.  Blueberry plants, Rhodos and Ferns for example like an acidic loamy soil…kind of like the peaty soil in the forest, so don’t surround them with heavy, chalky, mushroom manure.  Instead, you can feed that soil to your roses.

So if you don’t skip step 1, you’ll know what kind of soil to add to your planting beds, and generally you do have to add soil or compost to your planting beds to make them all fluffy and easy to work.

Ok that is not the technical reason - but its good enough for now.

Step:5  - Planting Depth

Bulb planting depthIf you buy a plant in a pot or in a ball and want to plant it, make sure the top of the soil that was in the original pot or top of the rootball that was in the burlap can be seen on top of the ground.

Don’t add soil and bury that plant so deep that the new level  is more than 4” up the stem…unless you are planting tomatoes or clematis, but we can talk about that another time.

You can even watch a video of how to plant a tree on our website.  With bulbs its generally 3 times the height of the bulb.  With seeds generally the smaller the seed, the shallower the hole.  They’ll tell you how deep  on the package too.

Step:6 – Waterwatering

All plants, even air plants, need water in varying degrees.  Find out how much they like to drink and be consistent.  Plants will let you know when they are in trouble.  Their leaves will yellow and fall off.  This could mean over or under watering.

Get dirty, stick your finger in the soil to determine the moisture content and adjust accordingly.  Some plants like ferns like to be misted.  Some plants like larger pebble trays underneath their drip trays with water.  The pebbles increase the surface area and the water evaporates off of them increasing the humidity.

When describing watering preferences, you will often hear gardeners use the term 'moist, but well drained'. In other words, don't drown the plant, but water regularly. Likewise, don't let the plant dry out either. The amount of water a plant needs also depends on the soil. Sandy soils allow water to pass through quickly - water these more often. Heavy silty or clay soils will need less frequent watering as they hold onto the water longer.

These are some starter tips.  Don’t be afraid.  If you make a mistake, well that means you are a true gardener…there is not one of us gardeners who hasn’t made a million already and then we compost our mistake and start over J.

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle is a certified horticulturalist and Landscape designer. She is currently an up and coming apple guru, growing over 120 cultivars which explains her passion for edible garden design. Laurelle works part time for Art’s Nursery. You can also interact with her through Art’s monthly newsletter, our blog and our gardening channel on YouTube.


Sponsored Advertisement

Recent Posts

Sunday, January 24, 2021
Our Perennial Team

We have a fantastic, eclectic, talented and highly opinionated (well…when you ask us our favourites ...

Sunday, January 24, 2021
Primulas are In Stock at Art's Nursery

Primulas come in a wide range and colours and shapes, you may be most familiar with the Polyanthus t...

Sunday, January 24, 2021
Customer Gardening Questions Answered

Q: I’m looking to plant a shrub in a container for patio privacy from neighbours. I was wondering if...

Thursday, January 14, 2021
Dormant Oil For Fruit Trees And Roses

What Is Dormant Oil? The Dormant Oil spray kit at Art's Nursery is a combination of mineral oil and...

Thursday, January 14, 2021
Spring Colour In January

Happy 2021! Even though it’s winter time, you can add little splashes of colour and freshen up your ...

Friday, December 18, 2020
How To: Dress Your Table For Christmas

Trim garland to size of table.  Twist and fan out the cedar so it is green side up and no wire is sh...

Friday, December 11, 2020
Hellebores Are Here

Hellebores, also known as “Christmas Rose” are herbaceous or evergreen perennials that bloom in the ...

Friday, December 11, 2020
Fresh Greens And Live Plants For Christmas

Join us as we tour some of the fresh, bright and sparkling selections here at our Nursery in Surrey....


Tag Cloud

Perennials Perennial Garden Perennial flowersprimulascamelias yew trees drainage EucalyptusDormant Oil when is it too late to spray dormant oil how to treat fruit treescoco primulas bellis camellias witch hazel hellebores potted bulbs including hyacinth paper white crocus tulips mini daffodilsWhite Pine deer decorations driftwood pieces bird ornaments fairy lights Table Decor Live Greens Christmas Dinner Diva Hellebore Milner's Merlot Love Bug Lenten Rose Anna's Red Hellebore Jacob Christmas Rose Pippa's Purple Hellebore Shooting Star Lenten Rose Amaryllis Bulbs Poinsettias Christmas Boughs Live Holly Christmas Gifts Live Wreathes Porch PotsHummingbirds Hummingbird Feeder Hummingbird Feeder HeaterPorch Decor How To Decorate Your Porch Christmas Porch Design How To Hang Garland Porch Pot Christmas Home Decor Ideas Christmas Home Decorating Cactmas Cozy Cabin Home Decor Astrology Christmas Decorations Country Christmas Canadian Christmas Spirit Bear Winter Blues Thuja Occidentalis Yew Trees Thuja Plicata Excelsa Broad Leaf Evergreen Portugese Laurel or prunus lusitanica Prunus laurocerasus Boxwood Varieties Japanese Convex Holly ilex crenata convexa Camelia Deciduous Hedging Trees Privet lagustrum Smoke Bush cotinus coggygria Burning Bush euonymus alatus Are Yew Tree Berries Poisonous Why Is My Yew Tree Turning Brown or Yellow How To Prune A Yew Tree How To Identify A Yew Tree When To Plant A Yew Tree Melford Yew Hicks Yew Irish Golden Yew Taxus X Media Hm Eddie Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ Flushing Parade Yew Hillii Yewboxwood shrubs how to trim a topiary growing and caring for boxwood shrubsPumpkin Planter DIY Fall Decor Planter Fall Home Decor Handmade Fall Decor Planters Halloween Decor Halloween DIY Corona Tools Fall Gardening Tools Spring Brace Rake Flexible leaf rake Fixed Tine Leaf Rake Fixed leaf rake Fixed Tine Shrub Rake Bow Head Rake 3 prong cultivator Dandelion Weeder Oscillating Hoe Diamond HoeTwisty Pine - Pre Bonsai Conifer Dwarf Japanese Yew Conifer Dwarf Pagoda Japanese Holly Conifer Jersey Jewel Japanese Holly Conifer Loowit Japanese Hemlock Conifer Cole's Prostrate Canadian Hemlock Conifer Catherine Elizabeth Japanese White Pine Conifer Kinpo Japanese White Pine Conifer Horstmann Bristlecone Pine Conifer Iseli Green Hinoki Cypress Conifer Butter Ball Hinoki Cypress Conifer Dwarf Golden Hinoki Cypress Conifer Gemstone Dwarf Hinoki Cypress Conifer Shimpaku Chinese Juniper Conifer Cotoneaster Shrub franchetii Wintergreen - Gaultheria Massachusetts - Kinnikvnnick Skimia Reevesiaia Gold Pillar Monterey Cypress Irish Yew by Monrovia Fall Gardening Chlorophyll Deciduous Trees Japanese Maple Trees Fall Garden Fall Colours Why do leaves change colour

Blog Roll

Other interesting gardening blogs that we follow include:

Blog RSS Feed

Keep in touch by subscribing to our RSS/Atom News Feeds


Art's Nursery Ltd.

8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

Tel: (604) 882-1201
Fax: (604) 882-5969
Email: info@artsnursery.com
Hours:Hours of Operation
Map:Map & Directions
Contact:Contact Us

Art's Nursery is dog friendly

Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter

Copyright (c) 2021 Art's Nursery Ltd.  | 8940 192nd Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V4N 3W8  | tel: 604.882.1201  | SiteMap  | Privacy Statement |