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No Green Thumb? Yes, Even You Can Grow a Great Garden!


No Green Thumb? Yes, Even You Can Grow a Great Garden!

We’ve all heard the phrase “April showers bring May flowers;” but, if this old idiom hasn’t sprung up perky petals or wildly-growing greens in your garden yet this year, all is not lost! May is on its way out the door, but there is still time to get your thumb and your garden to go green this spring.

You don’t have to consult with Mary, Mary quite contrary or even Martha Stewart to get your garden to grow. By learning just a little about Mother Nature’s habits and a little more about your favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables, even serial plant killers can grow a great garden!

Check out our five “S’s” of springtime gardening:

Sun – Sunlight can be any gardener’s friend or foe. After all, most flowering plants require sunlight to bloom; and, we’re talking 6-8 hours of full sun here. However, over exposure to the sun also can dry up a garden faster than you can complete that classic “Mary, Mary quite contrary” nursery rhyme. As a rule of green thumb, remember that full sun requires full watering responsibilities. Check plants daily and, at a minimum, water them every other day. Bonus tip: Watering in the early morning will help to keep flowers and other plants hydrated through long, sunny summer days.

Soil – Without getting too deep into the dirt behind growing a great garden, suffice it to say that soil plays a role in fostering plant growth. Now, we’re not suggesting that you dig up your entire flower bed to replace sandy soil with top-of-the-line fertilizer, but there are a few tricks that an amateur grower can do to spruce up their soil at home. Homemade compost, dry grass clippings and even old manure can give less-than-fertile soil a boost. A layer or two of mulch will also help keep weeds out and water in.

Seeds – If you’re a beginning gardener, you may think you’ve past the prime time to plant seeds in your garden and that may be the case for some plants; however, there are others that take only weeks to sprout up. So, how do you decide if planting seeds, sprouts or already-blooming flowers is right for your garden? Consult with a professional at your local nursery, home improvement store or wherever you’re planning to buy your fruits, vegetables or flowers. It is rare that someone acquires a green thumb from the get-go, so what you may not be able to plant this year, you can plan on starting earlier next year!

Selection – Hand-in-hand with seed or sprout selection is the actual type of vegetation you plan to select for your garden. When it comes to flowers, there are perennials and annuals to choose from. But, you may not have to make a choice between the two! Many gardeners select both annual flowers, which bloom and bloom and bloom for one season only, and perennials, which may not be as showy, but are sure to show up year after year.

When it comes to fresh plants and vegetables that will allow you to enjoy the “fruits” of your labor (pun intended!), there are some things that are easier to grow than others. Salad greens are often easy to plant and can produce edibles nearly year-round. Green beans usually grow easily, are abundant and can be eaten when fresh or frozen for later use. Even amateurs can grow delicious strawberries, too. This fresh fruit loves the sun and areas with little to no weeds.

Self – The final “S” when it comes to spring gardening is SELF! Having a little faith in your green thumb can go a long way toward helping your garden grow. Like the little engine that could, when you “think you can, think you can and think you can” grow a great garden… you’re half way there!

Here’s hoping your spring and summer gardens bloom with the fruits (and flowers and vegetables) of your labor!