A Beginner's Guide to Gardening

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A Beginner

Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture- the science, technology and business involved in intensive plant cultivation for human use.

This is a beginner’s guide to gardening which will outline the following: how to look after the lawn (when to mow the lawn, tidying the lawn’s edges, feeding the lawn), how to water plants, guidance for buying plants, a brief introduction to compost and how to build a miniature pond

This guide will also explain how to purchase gardening products on eBay safely and efficiently.

Guide to Gardening

Gardening is one of the most relaxing hobbies or leisure activities. For anyone new to the leisure activity, gardening can seem overwhelming at the first, so here’s a beginner’s guide:

How to Look After the Lawn

The lawn is the centrepiece of any garden, so it must be healthy and look good in order to reflect the rest of the garden’s beauty. The below points will advise buyers about how to ensure their lawn is kept tidy and also provide additional tips to enhance the rest of the gardens appearance.

When to Mow the Lawn

The best lawns are mown little and often. Regular cutting keeps the lawn thick, tidy and deters weeds from sprouting up.

For most lawns, set the lawn mower blades to 3cm (1.25in) at the beginning of the year and cut the lawn once a week. During the spring and summer when the grass grows the quickest, lower the blades to 2cm (1in) and cut the lawn twice every 10 days.

Tidying the Lawn’s Edges

To keep the grass looking neat and within its borders, tidy the lawn edges after mowing by trimming any overhanging grass with a strimmer.

Cut the lawn’s edges each spring using a lawn edging tool. For straight edges, cut against a plank of wood, and for curves, trim along a piece of hosepipe laid on the ground.

Feeding the Lawn

Feeding the lawn with fertiliser will make it look greener and thicker in appearance, which also helps it fight off moss and weeds. There are many different fertilisers to suit the time of year the lawn is being fed. There are also specialised weed fighting fertilisers, which will kill weeds and moss whilst providing the grass some essential nutrients.

How to Water Plants

Knowing how to efficiently water the plants is vital for their longevity. Here is some guidance for watering plants:

· Water the plants using a watering can in the morning or the evening allowing plants to soak up moisture before the hottest part of the day.

· Watering plants less frequently but more thoroughly helps them develop deep root systems that are great for seeking out moisture buried in the soil.

· Rain tanks are a great way to save money, as hundreds of litres of rainwater can be collected in them to use when needed.

Guidance for Buying Plants

For any gardening beginner, buying plants can seem overwhelming due to the extensive range available for the garden. Here is some general advice about buying plants:

· Conduct some research before shopping in order to have an idea of what to buy.

· Buyers should also research plants that grow in a climate similar to theirs in order to buy plants that will work well in their garden.

· Look out for plants with a cup and RHS Award of Garden Merit symbol, as these plants have been thoroughly tested for hardiness and disease/pest resistance.

· Look out for annuals and perennials that can be separated presenting two plants for the price of one.

A Brief Introduction to Compost

Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertiliser. The process of composting simply requires making a pile of wetted organic matter and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a couple of weeks or months.

What to Compost and What Not to

Composting isn’t a science, but the wrong ingredients can certainly ruin the mix. The below table is the beginner’s guide to composting and it examines which materials can and cannot be composted:



Nitrogen-rich materials (green):

· Grass cuttings

· Flower cuttings

· Tea bags and coffee grounds

· Fruit and vegetable scraps

Carbon-rich materials (brown):

· Ripped up cardboard

· Newspaper

· Scrunched up paper

· Straw

· Paper bags

· Diseased plants and flowers

· Perennial weeds (i.e. bindweed)

· Meat and fish

· Dairy

· Cooked food

· Cat and dog litter

· Nappies

· Coal ash

How to Build a Miniature Pond

Water features, such as ponds and lakes, are renowned focal points for wildlife. Building a miniature pond is quick and easy and can introduce a wealth of wildlife to the garden.

A miniature pond can be created using any kind of watertight container from an old enamel sink to a glazed ceramic pot (without a hole).


· Fill the container with water, (ideally rainwater, but tap water can also be used). It just needs to stand for a couple of days to neutralise.

· Then choose some plants. A combination of aquatics, marginals and oxygenators is often a good idea.

· First plant the marginals in aquatic baskets lined with hessian and filled with soil from the garden. Then top dress with gravel. (In order to get the correct height for the marginals, use bricks, placing them at the bottom of the container.

· Then place a water lily in its basket at the bottom of the container (the leaves will grow and then float to the surface).

The plants in the pond will keep the water clear because their leaves shade out the light that encourages algae to grow.

Buying Gardening Products on eBay

There is a vast range of gardening products on the current market. However, the greatest range available can be found online often besides a comprehensive overview of the product. In this respect, eBay is the best place for offering a quick and easy route into searching for gardening products on the Internet.

Below is some general advice to help buyers browse through the shopping website efficiently:

  • Search – To start a search on the website, enter ‘watering can’ for example, into the search toolbar. From the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, select ‘home & garden’.
  • New or Used – Many products on eBay can be bought brand new or used. During the search, tick the appropriate box under the heading ‘condition’ in relation to the type of product desired.
  • eBay Deals – Don’t forget to check out the latest deals on gardening products by looking in the ‘tools’ section. Many great discounts can be found here along with free postage costs.


There are many issues to consider and factors to take into account when buying products for the garden. However, with the important information and crucial considerations outlined and explained as part of this guide, coupled with eBay’s highly detailed and easy to use website, buying gardening products is quick, simple and effortless.

Buying on eBay should be considered not only due to the potential of finding a great deal, but due to the great choice of gardening products that the website offers. Remember to keep all personal and banking details safe and secure by using payment authority PayPal to complete transactions with the seller.

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