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25 Gardening Tips Every Gardener Should Know

Are you wanting to start digging and growing, but don’t know where to begin? Then, check out this list of helpful hints for making sure all your plants thrive

When you’re just starting out with gardening, it can seem like there’s so much to know and you’ve got a thousand questions. How should you plant your veggies, and what kind of soil is best? When should you prune your hydrangeas and divide your hostas? Is everything getting enough sunlight and water? The good news is that nature is a terrific teacher. The more you garden, the more you’ll learn about what works and what doesn’t. But for now, use this list of basic gardening tips to find the answers to some of the most common questions beginners have. And don’t forget to have fun while growing your own food and beautiful flowers in your yard!

1. Know your USDA Hardiness Zone. Use it as a guide so you don’t plant trees, shrubs, and perennials that won’t survive winters in your area. You’ll also get a better idea of when to expect your last frost date in spring so you know when you can plant vegetables, fruits, and annuals outside in your area.

2. Not sure when to prune? Prune spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilacs, and large-flower climbing roses immediately after the blooms fade. They set their flower buds in autumn on last year’s growth. If you prune them in fall or winter, you remove next spring’s flower buds.

3. Apply only composted, rotted manure that has cured for at least six months to your soil. Fresh manure is too high in nitrogen and can “burn” plants; it may also contain pathogens or parasites. Manure from pigs, dogs, and cats should never be used in gardens or compost piles because they may contain parasites that can infect humans.

4. Perennials generally need three years after you plant them to achieve their mature size. Remember the adage that they “sleep, creep, and leap” each year respectively.

5. Learn how long your growing season is (the time between your last frost in spring and first frost in fall) so you can start some plants inside or avoid growing them.

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