Darren Wogman Gets Gardening - Preach to the converted! CrossPost from BBC 'Know your Plot'

 Crosspost from BBC Whether you’re starting on your first garden or just want to tend a few pots on a patio or balcony, gardening can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. But don’t worry – our Gardening for Beginners series will give you everything you need to get started. We’ll explain everything you need to know about the basics of gardening, including the different plant types, how to plant and how to look after your plants. We’ll also explain the basics of seed sowing, give advice on what to do when things go wrong, and even explain those tricky Latin names (which aren’t as complicated as you might think). Gardening for beginners – 10 tips In this first part of the series, we’ll show you how to assess your outside space. Every garden is unique, with its own set of conditions, and if you can get to know these well, you’re well on your way to becoming a good gardener. Although its tempting to rush out to the garden centre and buy lots of plants that catch your

Darren Wogman Gets Gardening - Which Plants Should You Choose - And How To Pick Them

Ultimately, it all comes down to your garden, its local environment and microclimate. How much direct sun is there? Is there shelter from the elements? Perhaps a wall or overhang? Pick in the right spots for the right plants is critical.

Plants that have a vigorous growth habit, that is to say, they are quick growers will need plenty of sunshine and water. Often, they will need a fair amount of deep soil so that they're able to lay down good, strong roots both for anchorage and to provide adequate water and nutrients. One way to keep these plants in check can be to use pots. Plants confined to pots are physically unable to spread and take over your garden. However, care should be taken to ensure that the roots don't get compacted. This can impact on growth, but is only really an issue for large rooted plants like trees.

Fruit-producing plants will also need plenty of sun, and water. Sunshine is like fuel for plants, without it, they won't be able to generate the energy needed to grow large, well-developed and tasty fruits. If you don't have a south-facing garden, good growth on these types of plants can be tricky to overcome. 

Set realistic expectations and make sure you're planting for the garden you have - not just the one you wish you had!

Heavy clay soils can be difficult to work with. They are often compacted or waterlogged, and they can make this difficult for plants and their roots. Delicate plant species will struggle if you have heavy soil, and you may need to put down, and turn in, a lot of compost. On its own, this will only ever be a temporary fix as clay tends to rise up over time. It may be worth building in planting beds.

A planting bed can provide you with a contained area of improved soil, or alternative soil type to the rest of your garden. These should, ideally, be dug out a few feet deep and boxed off. You must line these with an impervious material, to prevent the undersoil from rising through. Perforating this layer is also important so that water drains through.

By contrast, loamy and sandy soils are great for root growth, as the growing roots tips can easily penetrate and this can allow plants to establish quickly, however, they may not retain water well, and growing plants should be closely monitored for signs of drought.


Darren Wogman


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