Gardening Basics for the Black Thumb Gardener

April 24, 2019
April 24, 2019 satlandscape

Gardening Basics for the Black Thumb Gardener

Beautiful young woman and her cute son planting seedlings in bed in the domestic garden at summer day. Garden tools, gloves and watering can outdoors. Gardening activity with little kid and family

Whether you’re trying to make an entire garden flourish or you just want to grow one stinkin’ cactus, if you have a black thumb, you probably find gardening difficult or near impossible. For those of us who just can’t seem to keep a plant alive, there is hope. Use these tips and tricks to turn your black thumb green.

  1. Plant Choice

It all starts with the plants. If you already struggle with gardening, why fight Mother Nature? Certain plants and even specific varieties of plants are easier to take care of than others. Start by exploring a UDA Hardiness Zone Map. These handy guides will show you your “zone” (Ohio spans zones 5 and 6) which tells you the type of plants that can grow easily in the temperatures and conditions of your area.

Look for species and varieties with extra hardiness and low care requirements. Cacti, bamboo, ZZ plants (a succulent that looks more like a fern), aloe vera, and shamrocks are some of the easiest plants to grow. Chives, mint, parsley, and basil are great for the first-time herb gardener. Carrots, radishes, and lettuce are some of the easiest veggies. Ask your local gardening store for help or call in a professional team for landscape design to set yourself up for success.

  • Location

Plants can only thrive when they are in the right place. This means several things. Certain plants are more suited to indoor living and need steady temperatures and low humidity to thrive. These plants also tend to be air purifiers which makes them the perfect addition to your home. Outdoor plants are subjected to the seasons and many will die off in the winter and bloom again in the spring.

Putting plants in the right location also means knowing how much sunlight they will get. Start by viewing your backyard during different times of day and drawing out a basic map of which areas get the most sun and during which hours. Do the same for the sunlight coming into your home through your windows. Now pay careful attention to the plant care instructions. Some plants prefer shade and will wilt in the sun, others need as much sunlight as they can get. A professional landscape designer can help with this task.

  • Water & Food

Humans need nourishment in the form of water and food to survive. Plants are the same way. How much to water has to do with the care instructions for each plant and the weather patterns in your area. Keep the tag that comes with the plant. This usually explains how to judge the right amount of watering.

Plants also need nutrients to continue growing. Nutrients from regular soil are often not sufficient for full bloom which is why fertilizers and specialty soils are recommended. This is particularly true of potted plants which have limited soil that they quickly drain the nutrients from. Consider starting a compost pile to add to your garden for nourishment.

  • Hardscaping

Of course, if you just can’t seem to turn that black thumb to green, you could consider getting rid of the situation altogether. Hardscaping a backyard is a great way to avoid the hassle of filling the space with flowers or grass. Paver patios coupled with interesting water features, fire pits, and more can turn your backyard into an oasis—free from the maintenance of plants.

The truth is, the amazing gardener you know probably has a long list of dead plants from the past haunting them. If you have a black thumb, there is hope yet! Keep trying, and call SAT Landscape for all your landscaping needs.