GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — We asked for your best piece of advice for beginner gardeners and you answered … big time - with more than 800 comments on our Grow with KARE Facebook page!
There were so many to choose from, but we picked a few of the best and some of the most common suggestions.
First things first...
Amy Tourdot Smith says, "Start with a soil test and amend your soil accordingly. You will get healthier plants and save yourself a ton of work in the long run!"
And Holly Joy agrees with, "Improve your soil. Add compost!"
Laverne Vondrasek Johnson also adds, "Prepare your soil so you have good drainage."
And you don't want to grow a bunch of food that goes to waste, so Sue Riplinger Lord is so right to advise, "Grow what you like to eat."
Designing the garden is important too. "Take the time to put your plants in the right location considering sun, shade and watering requirements," says Mark Chilefone
Lynn Carlson Rudeen agrees with, "Before planting a tree, bush or Perennial, learn it’s light and space needs."
Sandra Schafer wrote, "My dad told me to only plant a garden if I truly enjoyed it. It’s a lot of work and if you don’t really like weeding and watering it’s going to get neglected."
If I were to give advice, it would be the same as Maria Klingelhutz Sanocki, "Weed a little each day and then add mulch."
You don't want to pluck your little seedlings right when they're getting going, so Joyce Bentz Wefel Minard's words are solid truth, "Know the difference between a weed and your plant."
Julie Schrader Bicket says, "For a first time gardener, start small and expand a little at a time." So true! You don't want to be overwhelmed.
A lot of members agree with Jynene Ditsch's advice, "Start small and be patient!"
Deborah Brekken is one of them! "One word...patience," she wrote.
Wanda Hinrichs has some wise words. "First year they sleep (root), Second year they creep, Third year they leap." Basically, you have to wait for your plants to grow. It'll be slow at first, but wait a couple years and it'll start to thrive.
And that leads us right into Kelly Eshleman's advice, "I like to ask while in the plant/shrub selection process, 'when it is full grown [and] will it still fit in the space?' If not, you have a lot of work in front of you in pruning or dividing."
We all need to remember Mary Jane Reichel Brockman's words, "Every year is different, every year is a learning experience, relax, stop and smell the roses!"
And the final piece of advice…
Karlene Gormley has the final one! "Join Grow With KARE!! Watch. Read. Ask Questions."
Thanks everyone for your kind, thoughtful and appropriate advice for all our friends just starting out in the world of gardening.