.  Learn How 2 Garden
Learn How Garden Logo

10 Most Often Asked Gardening Questions.

1. What are the Best Plants for Growing in Pots?

Firstly plants are easier to grow in large containers than small ones as they are less prone to drying out. A good tip is that Light-colored containers keep the soil cooler than dark containers. Also plants with shallow roots will grow best but having said that almost any vegetable, flower, herb, shrub, or small tree can be successfully grown in a container.

2. How Do I Tell What Kind Of Soil I have?

There are six main types of soil:

3. My Garden Gets No Sun, Will Plants Grow?

There are lots of plant varieties you can grow in shade. They include plants such as busy lizzies, fuchsias, lobelias and begonias. Hydrangeas, Rhododendrons and snowdrops also grow well in shaded areas.

4. How Often Should I Water My Plants?

Unfortunately there is no rule that applies to all plants in all situations. Watering frequency depends on the following:

Your climate
The time of year,
The amount of rainfall
Your soil type
Where plants are situated in your garden
Whether the plant is in a containers or in the ground

Read the labels when you buy the seeds or plants. Do a google search to see if the plant likes moist soil or if it can tolerate dry periods. Before watering check it feels dry if so then give it a good soaking but If it is wet then leave it. Click here to find out more about watering.

5. What does Partial Sun/ Partial Shade/ Full Sun /Full Shade Mean?

Full Sun - a plant used to growing in the heat of the desert will need a lot of sunlight to grow well. Full sun is defined as at least 6 hours of sun per day but some plants will require 10 or more hours.

Partial Sun - a plant needing Partial sun is defined as between 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The plant will be able to withstand more heat than one requiring Partial Shade.

Partial Shade is defined as between 2 to 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. The plant will not be able to withstand much heat. I always thinks of these plants as growing in a sunny climate but under the shade of a larger plant where the sun breaks through gaps every now and again. In other words the sun is dappled.

Full Shade is defined as less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day.

6. How Often Should I Fertilize My Plants?

How often you fertilize depends on what you are fertilizing and which type of fertilizer you are using. The following are general guidelines:

Fruit trees - once a year in spring.

Grass Lawn - twice a year.

Vegetables - about once a month with a quick-release fertilizer or about once a year with a slow-release fertilizer.

Flowers - Every two weeks with a liquid-soluble plant food.

Having said the above there are exceptions to the above guidelines. Some plants require regular fertilizing to do well while others will grow well without fertilizer for years. Also some plants will die if they get too much fertilizer as they cannot cope with kigh levels of nitrogen in the soil. Before applying fertilizer it is best to some research into the plant to see what works best for it. In general I mix compost into the soil before planting anything then a little more around the base every 6 weeks or so.

7. Should I Use Containers, Raised Beds or Just Plant in the Ground?

Most plants can be grown in containers, in raised beds or in the ground. Your choice is mostly dependent on how much space you have, how good your garden soil is and your physical abilities.

8. How will I Know the Date of the First Frost or Last Frost?

This is important to know because frost can severely damage or kill tender plants. These plants should not be put outside until the danger of the last frost has passed. If they are planted out beforehand then you will need to watch the weather forcasts and provide frost protection on cold nights.

The best way of knowing the first and last frost dates is to do a Google search for your area. There are many websites that use historical weather data to work out the average dates for first/ last frosts. This will not guarantee there will be no frost but will greatly reduce the chances. You will still need to keep an eye on the daily weather forecasts for a month or so and take frost protection action accordingly.

9. What are the Easiest Vegetables to Grow?

In my experience the easiest vegetables to grow are Lettuce, Radish, Cherry Tomatoes, Courgettes and Beetroot.

If you want to encourage your children to garden then Radishes are a great starter as they go from seed to fully grown in less than 4 weeks.

10. What is the Difference between Compost and Mulch?

Compost is made from decomposed organic material and is added to soil to add nutrients or to improve the soil structure. It is made by gathering together wet organic material such as leaves, grass, and food scraps then waiting for a few months for it to be broken down by such things as fungii and worms.

Mulch can be either organic or inorganic materials such as wood chips, gravel, straw or pine needles. It is spread on top of the soil to stop weed growth, reduce soil erosion, maintain soil temperature and hold moisture in the soil.