From the ground up
Thinking of picking up gardening as a hobby? Here are the essentials you need to grow your green thumb
It's always good to pick up a new skill or hobby - in this case, one that is universally useful. After spending the better part of a year at home, maybe you've picked up bread-baking or started rollerblading. Or maybe, you decided that it was finally time to learn how to tame your garden or grow one on your balcony - grow a green thumb. Apart from learning the basics and equipping yourself with a few essential gardening tools, gardening for beginners really doesn't have to be more complicated than that.
But before you turn your backyard/balcony into your personal farm, according to experts ACE Hardware, there are a few key tools to keep handy. Any beginner can be well on their way to gardening success with these.
- A reliable watering can.
- A watering hose. Automatic roll-up types are best as they work like a tape measure and retract easily, saving you the laborious task of wrapping them around a wall hanger.
- A good soaker gun. They are available in various patterns and can be used to target soil instead of foliage to avoid the risk of burning.
- Compost, granular fertiliser, and perlite will help with the top-dressing of shrubs. Remove two inches of soil and mix one to two cups of perlite and one cup of slow-release fertiliser into 25 litres of compost. Mix well and place on top of your shrubs before the summer starts.
- A sprayer is ideal for indoor plants to help avoid transpiration. Remember to avoid your indoor flowers as the spray can damage or discolour them.
- Green shade netting is vital during the summer. Ensure you protect fragile topiary trees, like Ficus Panda, from the summer heat or move them into the complete shade. If exposed to the sun, they risk shedding all their leaves.
- A blower (outdoor vacuum). During the summer, most trees, shrubs, and seasonal plants tend to shed their leaves and flowers, which can make your garden look messy. For a conventional solution, a rake and brunch will do the trick as well.
- A good pair of secateurs is versatile and used mainly for cutting and pruning shrubs, plants, and trees throughout the year.
- If you have a lawn, get a high-quality lawnmower. To look its best, grass needs to be cut once a week during the summer, and a good lawnmower is an essential piece of kit to have oiled and ready to use.
- A cultivator or hand trowel. Remove weeds, loosen soil, prepare pots for plants, and dig up old plants to replace with fresh new ones. Ensure the curved side is facing you as it's easier to dig that way.
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