18 Most Common Gardening Questions Answered

Photo Credit: This Old House

Whether you're just starting a garden or you've had one for years, there always seems to be something to learn. In fact, in many ways gardening teaches us a lot every year we do it. If you're new to gardening, it can seem daunting, but there are so many great tips on gardening for beginners out there now that will help you get started. Rob Proctor is a former horticulture director with a gorgeous half-acre garden of his own that he's cultivated over the years. He shares some of his best gardening tips with us so that we too can learn how to start a garden of our own or how to help our current garden flourish and thrive. He has been doing a segment for ten years on Denver's NBC where he answers peoples questions on gardening and This Old House has compiled a list of them for us to check out and learn from. These might even be questions that you have yourself that will help you out in your own garden. If you're just starting a garden or you want to overhaul your current garden, you might be wondering how you'll come up with a good garden design.

Rob suggests going on garden tours and see which types of gardens you gravitate toward. Do you prefer a more laid-back, organic style of gardening or a very formal and structured plan? Rob says that you can never go wrong with wide, curving borders that are 6 feet, 8 feet, or 10 feet deep. If you know you won't have a lot of time to spend on maintaining your garden go with some nice looking feature plants and the other plants can just be more natural and wild. The most popular question Rob gets is about watering the plants. People want to know how often to water their garden. This all depends on your personal garden and should be done as needed. To test if your garden needs water, just put your finger in the soil and see if it's dry. If it's dry then water it, but if there is still moisture in the soil you can leave it and check it again the next day. Many people want a schedule. However, Rob raises a good point that nature doesn't run on a schedule. If you have plants in containers, you can just water them as they need it too, and use a wand attachment on your hose. When it comes to fertilizing plants, he doesn't recommend fertilizing your perennial beds. These are the plants that grow back each year. If you are growing plants in containers, you can fertilize them every 4 to 5 days so you have lush plants and don't fertilize when the soil is dry since this can burn the plants.

For low maintenance annuals plant larkspur, California poppies, and bachelor buttons in with your perennials since they don't require a lot of special care. Then, plant higher maintenance plants like begonias, petunias and pansies, in pots so you can water them and fertilize them more often. You can also create succulent gardens or add succulents to your garden for a very low maintenance plant that doesn't mind a lot of sun and dryness. Plus succulents spread and grow quickly and cover a large amount of space which is great if you're gardening on a budget. If you're interested in learning more about gardening for beginners, it's great to buy some books on gardening and learn more about it in the seasons you're not able to garden. Read through all of the questions and answers from Rob on This Old House.***

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