99.9 percent of people want to live a long and happy life. Yeah, we don’t understand the remaining 0.1 percent, either.
Science points to the fact that gardeners live longer than non-gardeners. Findings from a 12-year study of 4,232 people revealed that gardening reduced the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 27%, and death from any cause by 30%. That’s only one in a laundry list of the benefits of planting a garden.
The beauty of nurturing plants, and watching a seed transform is calming. A good step in the direction of a long, happy life is putting down a little garden.
If you’ve nurtured the desire to plant a garden, here is your starter pack:
1. Have a plan:
Every project needs a plan. Gardening, no less. Know the type of garden you want to have. You have to know if you want a flower garden, vegetable garden or a herb garden.
You also have to know if you want plants that are perennials or plants that grow annually. It is important to know that as a beginner you should aim to start planting on a small scale. Start small and then you can scale up as you improve.
2. Know your environment
Not all plants thrive in every environment. In a temperate environment like Nigeria’s, we have a less robust selection of plants to choose from. But there is a long list of plants, still. From Togo Lily to Dumbcane, Chinese Evergreen, and Golden Palm, lack of choice is no excuse.
In a more arctic environment like Jos, there is a larger selection of plants that can grow. That is because the temperature is kinder to most plants. Know your environment and find out the type of plants that can thrive perfectly there. Consult with a local garden designer to know what plants are good for your environment.
3. Do a soil test
There are three types of soil; sandy, clay and silty soil. All these soils have their unique characteristics. Of all the three, silty soil is the most recommended. To determine the soil texture, pick up some soil and form a ball with it in your hand. If the ball falls apart quickly, then it’s a sandy soil. It is known for its loose particles and can’t retain moisture or nutrients. If the ball sticks together too tightly then it’s a clay soil. It is known to be like cement when dry. If the ball doesn’t stick too closely or doesn’t fall apart too much, then it’s a silty soil. That’s the kind of soil you want to plant your soil in.
4. Start your gardening with plants that are easy to grow
It’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of your new journey of gardening. But, we’ll advise you take one baby step at a time. Herbs, vegetables, and a few other hardy plants are the easiest to grow. You can start off with Cordyline, Date Palm or the Togo Lily. Find more recommended hardy plants from your garden designer.
5. Be patient
Gardening is a process. And it’s probably going to seem like building Rome. It requires a lot of patience. Patience in tending to your plants diligently. Don’t fuss over them. Don’t overwater the plants in hopes that somehow that will cause the plants to grow faster. In due time they will bloom.
The above tips are in no way exhaustive. If you have any other advice or tips you will like to share, please do so in the comments.
Need starting your garden? Let’s help you get your garden started. We design, plant gardens and teach you how to take care of your garden.