A Beginner's Guide to Horticulture ...

Horticulture is the art and science of garden cultivation and management. As a hobby, gardening enjoys much popularity but there is a fine line that demarcates a properly managed garden and one that has been planted on a whim.

For one, it’s not something that you can just plant and forget. Creating a rewarding garden involves a balanced act of watering, fertilising, weeding, pruning, etc. There are certain basic tenets of horticulture that any person who wants to start a garden — be it a vegetable patch or a flowering lawn — should be aware of.

If you are ready to start your own gardening project, here are some points that can serve as your guide to horticulture.

1. Select a Location

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It can be a patch, a lawn or a community garden but the real estate of your garden accounts for a lot of careful consideration. Choose a spot that plenty of sunlight, good soil with nutrients and access to water. You might start with containers too, in which case regular watering takes priority.

2. Get the Prep Work Done

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If you are planting in soil, get the soil preparedness underway. This includes, soil-testing, turf removal, raking, composting, etc. For pots, arrange for appropriately treated soil to fill them.

3. Have Your Toolkit Ready

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This is an important step before you start on your gardening project. You should have all basic gardening equipment like hand trowel, pruners, rake, shovel, fork, cultivator, gloves, watering cans, etc. Depending on the scale of your gardening project, the number of equipment will vary.

4. Choose Your Plants

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This is an important decision because based on the type of plant you decide, a lot of factors change from amount of sunlight and water to type of soil and placement. Whether it is flowering plants or vegetables or even micro-greens, a lot of processes change depending on your choice.

5. Plan a Schedule

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The fate of every garden big or small, or even in indoor pots depends on how much time you are going to contribute towards their upkeep. This relationship is directly proportional so it is advisable to start small so that you can realise how much time weeding, watering, cleaning up, and other gardening chores take up.

6. Watering

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Figuring out a watering strategy should be among the initial parts of your gardening plan. It’s vital to understand the amount and schedule of watering your plants need and follow it regularly for a healthy garden.

Gardening has its own range of physical, psychological, financial, and environmental benefits. Outdoor garden work can do wonders for our health and mood, while helping cut back on grocery bills with home-grown produce. Of course, eating your own nutrient rich, non-contaminated greens pays in the long run. Besides, it has been found that greenery in our living spaces can decrease heating and cooling costs too.

If you want to start gardening like a pro and support local food movements, you can greatly profit from taking horticulture courses. It is infinitely better to be a knowledgeable horticulturist than a hobby gardener!

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