Of all the pastimes and hobbies available to people, gardening is quite unique. Like a patchwork you can hang plants on the wall. You can collect and source plants like a philatelist collects stamps – and these collections have value like stamps do.
You can even join clubs and hang out with like-minded people in the same way a golfer might become a member of their local organisation. But what really makes a gardener a “Gardener”? What gardening skills should you have?
While many people have gardens (which in most cases should be removed from them like the child of a negligent parent) not many would claim their “Gardener-ship”. So how do you become a gardener? Are there any gardening skills you need to have at your disposal? And, as with all hobbies, what jargon needs to be learnt?
Gardening Basics Beginners Should Know
Well here’s a few rules to help you out in becoming a gardener; – BTW rules always have their irregularities and most are made to be broken.
- Understand the basics – plants need water, food and light.
- Plant in spring.
- Prune when the plant is not in its growing season (key jargon – dormant!)
- Soil is king – Scott’s will tell you otherwise because they can’t market mulch well.
- Propagation (another key jargon word!) isn’t hard – it's just a matter of finding the method that works the best for your plant.
- Other local gardeners are your best source of inspiration and help – not TV gardeners.
- Even the best Master Gardeners have plants that fail
- Worms are good – do not try to kill them with pesticides
- Talking to your plants is not a sign of insanity
- Finally, if every plant you ever put in the ground dies – take up macrame.
That’s it – gardening in a nutshell. The rest you will learn along the way. Just enjoy it and have fun as it is supposed to be a hobby! Above I listed 10 rules to keep in mind which would help someone to grapple with the basics, how to become a gardener if you weren’t already one.
20 Essential Gardening Skills to Learn
Now let's step it up a little, below are 20 gardening skills that even the most basic gardener should be able to grasp. With these skills in their toolbox, gardeners should be able to handle almost any gardening scenario and will also be capable of troubleshooting any problems that might occur.
- Propagating softwood cuttings
- Germinating vegetable seeds
- Making compost
- Pruning Roses
- Pruning Shrubs
- Dividing Bulbs
- Watering Plants
- Staking Trees
- Mulching Garden Beds
- Killing Weeds
- Handling Pests
- Improving Your Soil
- Plant a tree or perennial shrub
- Repair a lawn
- Ability to maintain your garden tools
- Fertilising plants
- Basic Plant Identification
- How to spot a nursery bargain
- How to use the web to find gardening information
- Learning to relax and enjoy your garden
And that’s it. These 20 basics should empower anyone wanting to be a gardener.