Want To Try Gardening? Follow These Beginners’ Tips

Strawberry plants under netting and basket of ripe strawberries in front

With the spring bank holiday weekend approaching, many people have been turning to the internet for a little green-fingered assistance.

Searches for “gardening” are up by 127% compared to last year.

With social activities set to be restricted for some months yet, now is the perfect time to plan for a long weekend outdoors in the garden – and if you’ve never tried it before, why not plant some seeds and get growing?

Essentials for gardening beginners

Top view of tomato seedlings in earth in a seed tray

Start off growing seeds in trays. Pic: Shutterstock

We spoke with horticulturist and much-loved TV gardener David Domoney and he provided us with his 5 top tips for anyone starting out in the garden…

  • A decent garden spade and fork – choose wisely and treat yourself to a good one. It should last you for years. A trowel and small hand fork should also be in part of your start-up kit.
  • A comfortable garden kneeler and gloves – these will make the job of gardening considerably more enjoyable while protecting your hands and joints.
  • Herbs are a great starting point – they are generally easy to grow and great to eat. The foliage, flower and fragrance is also a delight.
  • A good supply of quality compost – a must for your borders and tubs and gives great results. Though be careful if you have pets.
  • Start growing with seeds in pots and trays – place these on your kitchen windowsill and when they germinate you will start to experience the pleasure of gardening. Your natural horticultural parental instincts kick in!

Five top tips for growing in May/June

Strawberries growing under netting, bowl of ripe strawberries in front

Protect your crops with netting. Pic: Shutterstock

Ann-Marie O’Riordan, UK Marketing Director for Evergreen Garden Care/Love The Garden, also shares her advice…

  • Make sure you feed your fruit and veg crops with plant food – although only do it when the fruit is starting to grow, not before
  • Although May/June is far past the end of spring, keep an eye out for frosts and protect your young plants and seedlings
  • When planting seeds, improve your soil with organic matter and remove large lumps to help the seeds sprout better
  • Watch out for pests that want to eat your crop before you do – protect them with cages, greenhouses and netting
  • Always keep weeds away as soon as you see them – they steal water and nutrients from your crops.

The UK’s 10 biggest gardening questions

Wooden crate containing pots of healthy growing salad leaves

Love The Garden has identified the 10 most searched-for gardening questions since lockdown began (using Google Search Lens) and given expert advice on each.

The top 10 most searched for questions were:

  • How to grow potatoes
  • How to get rid of ants
  • How to grow tomatoes
  • How to grow strawberries
  • When to prune apple trees
  • How to get rid of moles
  • How to plant onions
  • How to grow vegetables
  • When to plant vegetables
  • What do birds eat?

From how to grow potatoes to getting rid of ants, you can find all the answers in this guide.

Even the savviest gardeners will learn something and the guide couldn’t be more timely – with May the ideal time to get planting ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour in summer.

Pick up lots of gardening advice and inspiration from our expert Susie White in My Weekly, out every Tuesday!