Gardening fever

Beginner gardening tips

Gardening is a beautiful and sustainable form of art that is overlooked in many cases. It provides an abundance of benefits on behalf of the gardener and for nature itself. It is also a rewarding hobby to most individuals. Not to mention, the great Lone Star State is one of the most perfect locations across the nation to cultivate a thriving home garden. 

   “Texas is a great place to cultivate a garden. The climate is excellent with abundant sun and a fair share of rainfall. There is also a long growing season, which is good news for all intending farmers,” the Oh Gardening website described. 

   Before discussing the basics of gardening and the “must-know” tips and tricks, it is important to be aware of the valuable advantages that tending to a garden provides. 

   Gardening is favorable for many parts of the body, and although some people might not have the greenest of thumbs, gardening is an activity that has a bountiful payoff in many regards. 

   “When it comes to warm-weather activities that are good for your health, you probably think of walking, hiking, or running. But there’s another beloved pastime that holds a lot of benefits with a bonus to boot: Gardening,” the Cleveland Clinic disclosed. 

   In a physical manner, gardening is a weight-bearing workout activity. By using various tools to plant seedlings and bulbs, there is an immense increase in muscle structure, dexterity, and bone strength that are being exerted on a daily basis. Moreover, regularly spending time planting outdoors results in a healthy boost of vitamin D that some home-bodied individuals might be missing out on. 

   “A healthy dose of vitamin D increases your calcium levels, which benefits your bones and immune system. Exposure to sunlight helps older adults achieve adequate amounts of vitamin D. Just don’t forget your sunscreen,” the UNC Health Talk website urged. 

   Perhaps the most obvious health benefit of gardening is the pleasure of consuming the plethora of goods that emerge from your garden. While eating the fruits and vegetables that come from your garden are healthy within themselves, it is also beyond satisfying to know that the products being consumed have not been treated with harsh chemicals and harmful pesticides.

 “It’s essentially as farm-to-table as it gets,” Dr. Hutchins, an internal medicine doctor, says, “if you’re eating what you’re growing.”

   Among the many physical benefits of gardening, there are also mental and emotional benefits as well. By being an avid gardener, one is sure to feel enhanced feelings of self-esteem, self-motivation, and self-sufficiency. Arguably, there is nothing more satisfying than spending months nurturing a bed of soil, and then actively seeing your hard work pay off when taking basketfuls of harvest inside your home to prepare a meal. 

   Additionally, gardening also reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. “From a clinical research perspective, the positive effects of gardening on anxiety make sense. Most obviously, gardening provides a way to engage with nature. As research on wilderness therapy, horticultural therapy, and urban green spaces indicate, spending time in nature is associated with increased emotion regulation, decreased neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (the area associated with rumination), and decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety,” doctoral student at University of Massachusetts Boston, Carol S. Lee, Ph.D explained. 

   With all of the physical and mental benefits that gardening provides, it makes many interested parties amped up to start their gardening journey. However, it brings the question to the table: “Where do I begin?” 

   With the spring and summer months rapidly approaching, it might be worthwhile for interested individuals to learn the benefits and basics of gardening so they are able to potentially start planting this month. 

   In Texas, there are two prime planting seasons, winter and spring. With the winter months being long gone, most gardening sources recommend that for an optimal post-spring harvest, that most seeds should be planted mid-March. 

   “Compared to states in the Northern part of the U.S., gardening in Texas for the spring starts earlier. The last frost appears around Mid-March. Making it perfect to plant crops like cucumbers, watermelon, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, okra, peas, beans, and cantaloupe,” the Oh Gardening website explains. 

   Nonetheless, before choosing which seeds and sprouts to plant, it is important to figure out where to plant them and what to plant them in. One of the most important factors when building a new garden from the ground up is to first evaluate a good location with low winds and an adequate amount of sunlight to meet the needs of the plants that will ultimately be growing in the given location. 

   Another important factor to be considered is the soil type of your growing location. Experienced gardeners would even venture to say that checking the pH level of the soil is an utmost priority for new gardeners due to the fact that most plants can only thrive in a neutral pH range. Checking what nutrients and minerals are in the soil is also an optimal idea as well. 

   After analyzing the working conditions and materials, here comes the most time consuming and grueling part of the gardening process: preparing the bed and planting. Most people opt for a raised garden bed made of wood or stone, and fill it with a personalized soil mixture. A large population of ardent gardeners make their own soil mixtures by following tried-and-true internet recipes. A number of the most popular recipes include ingredients like vermiculite, peat moss, varied organic compost, topsoil, azomite, and countless fertilizers. 

   Once the soil mixture is prepared and spread evenly among the surface of the plant bed, it is time to plant the desired crops. For beginner gardeners, choosing what to grow is more difficult than one might think. 

   “If you are starting small, you have to limit yourself to a handful of plants. If you are growing vegetables, you must start with what you like to eat and what you can’t find fresh locally,” Marie Iannotti, a master gardener recommended. “Flower gardens can be even harder. Start with what colors you like. Rather than basing your dream on a photograph from a magazine, take a look at what your neighbors are growing successfully.”

   When choosing what plants someone wants to grow, it is crucial to thoroughly research all planting techniques relating to the crop. Factors like water intake, soil depth, and bed spacing can make or break an ideal garden. 

   Gardening provides various physical, mental, and emotional benefits, as well as a bountiful harvest of goods from time to time. One of the best aspects about gardening is the fact that it is extremely versatile and customizable. There are a variety of ways to go about gardening and a profusion of plants to choose from. All that is required to start gardening is a little bit of research, and a whole lot of tender love and care. 

   For more information about beginner gardening tips please visit, and for more specified planting recommendations for Erath county and surrounding towns, please visit