You'll need a small spade, gardening gloves, and a watering can for starters. Your local nursery can help you choose the right soil according to where you want to plant. As you do more in the garden, you can get more tools, but stick to the basics until you're comfortable with what you're doing.
Pamela, if you are planting perennials, I recommend that you prepare the soil (add soil amendments ie, compost, coarse sand, etc) before you plant. You will be rewarded with happy plants that thrive. Also starting with plants that have a good root system will help ensure success. You may want to contact the Cooperative Extension Service (a soil test is also a good idea through them) or a local public garden, in your case, Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, has lots of great info and beautiful gardens for inspiration. (My mother lives in Rockville). Best of luck.
Probably the most important tool you will find to come in handy is a gardener friend, or just maybe us here at hometalk. Information will be your most important tool for being successful! Don't be afraid to ask specific questions about your garden projects. For instance, what kind a grass do you have in mind? Some grasses germinate in the warm months (like Bermuda grass) some germinate in the cooler months (like fescue). How much area will you be covering? Is it in the sun or in the shade? Looking forward to turning you into a blooming gardener!
I completely agree with Four Seasons about seeking out a gardening mentor. I would never have gotten started in gardening had it not been for two friends, both highly experienced gardeners, who took me under their wings. I would also encourage you to focus on native plants. In addition to being some of the easiest plants to grow, they will help you support the ecology of your area. Check out the Maryland Native Plant Society at:
You're begging a wonderful adventure, Pamela. Enjoy!
We don't talk much about a vital tool: a good attitude.
Gardening is never perfect, and if you expect it to be, you'll get discouraged and quit.
Your garden will never look like the pictures in magazines.
Gardening is all about making yourself (and no one else) happy. Accept your occasional dead plants as the small price of an enjoyable education!
And if you can't figure out why your plants died, ask us here on Hometalk!
I need a clarification about a response Good Attitude what does this have to do with gardening tools. I want to plant flowers, bushes etc. not one particuliar type. Like array of floral. Please can somebody help me get started on this task before spring arrives!!!!!
i think Walter is trying to tell you that your gardening will not always be successful and that you will need to have patience and smile at the good stuff that happens and don't let the inevitable dead plants and oops get you down.
Pamela the information will be dependent on what plants (particular shrubs) you have in mind to plant. It is difficult to give specific information on non specific questions. Some shrubs will not grow in full sun, others will, some will get very very large, others will stay incredibly small. Some will thrive in Florida and some in Canada, but no where else.
You have a good start with a vision you have in your head of a floral display. What colors do you like? How much time are you willing to devote to taking care of them? Realistically look at the hours per week you can be out in your yard. Some plants require a lot more attention than others, so some of your selections will be based on that information.
If you could possibly post a picture of the area you want to create it would help us help you make informed decision about your plants, so we can see how big an area, sun location, is it in front of a ranch house or over two stories....that sort of thing.
Other than that- tools -Wheel Barrow, round point shovel, flat shovel, pick axe, post hole diggers,something to cut with (pruners, scissors, utility knife, several good pairs of gloves, a way to get water to your plants (water hose, can, irrigation, bucket) rakes, a trowel. Good dirt is always a plus! Call your local extension office to find out how to do a soil test, so you can see if you need lime or fertilizer in the area.
When you get your plants bought, let us know and we can guide you through exactly how to plant them so you can give them the BEST chance of living.
If you are a novice to the "sport" of gardening It might help to learn a bit more about gardening before you actually put a shovel or hoe to the ground. It saves frustration, a sore back and spending great quantities of money. You might check the local newspaper or social network listings for a garden club or some programs on gardening presented by a local club or garden center. Lots of places are having flower shows at this time of year to whet peoples appetites for gardening. The Phidelphia Flower Show has always drawn crowds who want to learn more about plants and gardening.
Sometimes you can take a walk through your neighborhood and find a yard that looks like something you would want to have. Most gardeners like to be complimented on their yards and are flattered when someone asks them for advice.
One important tool that I didn't see mentioned is a hat with a brim.
If lilies will grow in your area I would recommend them - one of my favorite flowers, and they can last 2 weeks cut in a vase. They will also attract pollinators, like butterflies.
If you are interested in planting edibles, keep in mind what you like to eat, that is pricey in the store, but will grow in your area.
Mellissa G. Thanks awhole lot you are the only one who answered my question. I will take your suggestion and go to my local nursery for other answers.
I started out with just a spade, an idea and a spongy knee mat.
Learned that there is NOT always one way to do anything.
Do be prepared to move a plant, a shrub, a veggie or an herb until it's happy or it dies; you'll learn more of "what-no-to-do" than what to do.
Finally... use gardening not intending to grow something, use it to slow down your life, to smell the flowers and to hear your heart strings.
Pamela, even the bumpy rides of gardening can be fun; it makes for great stories to discuss with your other friends that are still trying to be gardeners.
I've been trying for over 35 years and still haven't got it right!
Thanks Ricardo B. your answer was quite humorous and helpful. I will prepare for this adventure soon. I know I don't have a green thumb therefore, I will not be dissappointed if nothing happens. As the old "saying goes nothing beats a failure but trying". Again thanks.