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6 Tips for Improving Your Green Thumb

April 18th, 2013 Gardening

With the arrival of spring, you're likely thinking of ways that you can instantly improve your outdoor surroundings. However, this can be challenging if you've never considered yourself to have a green thumb. After all, it takes more than a shovel and soil to create the garden of your dreams!

Whether you have a large area of land to tackle or your yard is only several square feet, there's plenty you can do with the landscape around you. This spring, don't be afraid to plant shrubs, flowers and everything in between. Here are a few tips you can take into account if you're interested in developing a green thumb.

1. Consider texture, form and color
Regardless of the size of your outdoor space, it's in your best interests to consider texture, form and color before you begin gardening, according to The Telegraph. These key factors play critical roles in the beauty of your outdoor space. As you choose plants and pots for your yard, form, texture and color can all guide you along the way.

2. Prune and shape early
If you recently planted bushes and shrubs around your yard, it's best to prune and shape them early in their lives. Doing so is dramatically easier than trying to cut them once they're established in your yard. If you aren't sure where to trim, take a step back and look at the bushes in front of you. Then, visualize how you want them to look and save this image in your mind. From here, you can get going with your shears!

3. Use compost
Chances are, you aren't completely familiar with the various types of fertilizer on the market and how to use them on your plants. To make it a little simpler, The Daily Green recommends using compost. This natural fertilizer composed of grass clippings, leaves and food scraps can eventually break down and become a beneficial nutrient for your plants. Best of all, there's almost no such thing as using too much compost. If you don't have a green thumb, this is a fail-safe way to help your flowers and shrubs bloom with minimal work.

4. Stick with mulch
If you're concerned about watering your garden properly, you may want to invest in mulch. This ground covering is extremely good at absorbing moisture, which can reduce the need for constant watering. Furthermore, mulch can keep the roots of your plants cool when they're in direct sunlight. Think of it as a nice little blanket for your flowers and shrubs! You'll have peace of mind, knowing you're giving them the care they need.

5. Plant it right the first time
Canadian Gardening claims that planting your shrubs and flowers correctly the first time can prevent the need for moving and give them a prime chance to establish their roots. Take sunlight into consideration as you plant, then familiarize yourself with which ones need shade or direct light. This can help you ensure that all of your flowers and shrubs are planted in areas where they can thrive. Furthermore, you won't need to relocate them in the future by getting it right the first time.

6. Beware of insects
Aphids and other creepy-crawlies can wreak havoc on your plants, putting all of your efforts to waste. Be sure to treat them for these insects with a soapy insecticide or a natural, organic repellent as soon as they're planted. Re-apply treatment as necessary to keep all of your shrubs and flowers safe from pests over time. By taking these tips into account, you can lead anyone to thinking you're a master gardener with a green thumb!