Living in the city, I don’t have the luxury (or hassle) of maintaining a yard, and I also kill just about everything I plant. This post goes out to all my fellow gardening dummies! Aw yeah, you know who you are. You who fool yourself into thinking that this year will be different. This year your thumbs will be green instead of brown. Let’s see if we can’t figure out this whole keeping-a-plant-alive thing together!
Tip 1: Plant shade plants in the shade and sun plants in the sun.
Pick plants that will grow in your zone and in the spot you place them. If your spot is shady, don’t hope and pray that a flower needing full sun will do well there. It won’t. Vise versa if you’re plants are in full sun, don’t hope that impatiens or begonias (shade lovers) will thrive. They won’t. Trust me on this one!
Tip 2: Water your plants.
This seems ridiculous to mention, but I have lost so many plants simply because I was too lazy to water them enough. Hanging baskets in particular need to be watered everyday. The coconut liners look cute but do nothing to protect your plant from drying out. To help your plant from drying out too quickly you can mix in some sodium polyacrylate found at gardening centers. (It’s the stuff that’s inside diapers to make them absorbent.)
Tip 3: Stick to planting monochromatic colors.
You’re still an amateur. As fun as it seems to go crazy with lots of plants and colors, don’t. It’s easier to create a big impact with one or two colors and will be easier to keep everything alive!
Tip 4: Don’t be a nursery snob.
Annuals and perennials look just as great from the grocery store, Walmart, B.J.’s, and Costco as they do from a fancy nursery. If you’re buying local to support mom & pop stores or because you want organically grown plants, fantastic. Just don’t believe that your plant has to come from an expensive nursery to be a quality plant. (I’ve successfully killed both at an equal rate and the nursery ones just cost more!)
So how about you? Any tips for gardening dummies you want to share? Talk to me!