I’ve been wanting to turn my thumb into a green one for a while now. I have a patio that looks bare to the bone and just kind of sad because it's not all dressed up. I want flowers, a climbing vine on one patio wall, herbs, and veggie plants. The problem is, I have no idea where to start or what I’m doing. Let’s face it, we all can’t be born with green thumbs, but with a little help, we can learn to get them.
In order to jump-start this process, I spoke to someone who is a master at growing plants from nothing (I’ve literally seen her grow a whole new plant from one tiny little leaf), my grandmother.
Here are her top tips and tricks to help us all get green thumbs too!
1. Do Your Research
What is your soil type? What are you looking to plant? How much sunlight and water do these plants need? Knowing this information will help you come to terms with what plants you will have success growing where you live.
2. Mix Sand With Your Soil
Sand will help keep the soil moist and will also keep your plants' roots from soaking in what could be a river bed. Along with that, the sand also allows air to better move through the soil. Make sure to use a generous heap of sand for this to work, otherwise you’ll be left with soil that is practically stone.
3. Read The Plant Tag
When plant shopping it’s easy to get distracted with all the beautiful colors. It’s important to read the tags attached to a branch or stuck in the soil to know how this particular plant will do in the environment you have provided for it.
4. Make Sure You Have The Proper Tools
If you’re going to be a true gardener, unlike me, it's recommended that you have a nice sturdy shovel, some pruning shears, gloves, and something to kneel on to help cushion your knees. If you’re going to go the easier route like I’m choosing to do, you’ll need some pots, a hand trowel, gloves, and shears.
5. Prune Those Bad Boys!
In order for the new to grow, its necessary to remove the old. Those leaves that are shriveling? Cut them. Those branches that are completely dead? Remove them.
6. Harvest What’s Ripe
Now, this point doesn’t particularly matter when it comes to flowers, but if you want to add some fresh pops of color in your home then by all means, harvest those peonies to make a beautiful centerpiece! When it comes to fruits and veggies, you absolutely need to harvest what is ripe. If you don’t you’ll wind up with a rotting mess.