Wednesday April 30 2014

Before you set up a garden, there are some basics you need to know

A floor plan left and an artistic impression above of a two

A floor plan left and an artistic impression above of a two bedroom house that was turned into a three bedroom one. Illustrations by Julius Eryenyu Jojo 


“Holding a tomato or a cabbage from your garden is very rewarding and therapeutic. This is why I encourage my friends to try it. Once you get the hang of it, there’s no turning back,” says Paddy Namanya, manager at The Flower Centre, Freedom City Mall in Najjanankumbi. Below, he shares some tips for beginners:

Start small
“I wouldn’t encourage anyone to start with a big flower garden especially if they are to take care of the garden, themselves. You need to be knowledgeable about flowers and set time aside to be able to maintain them,’ Namanya cautions.

Make use of containers
Alternatively, start your gardening using containers. This way, you don’t have to dig. Once you have scored victories with your containers, you can venture on to bigger projects. “Containers are suitable for both beginners and people with limited garden space, because they are easy to monitor and don’t use lots of space,’ he affirms.

Positioning is all-important
If you have bought seeds, read the labels. If you bought seedlings from a nursery, be sure to ask the salesperson about their maintenance before you leave. It is no good positioning plants that require shade in full sun or those that require full sun in partial shade. They will die.

Watch the watering
Many a beginner will get over-enthusiastic and water their plants too much. A water-logged plant’s roots will rot and it will die.

Go slow on the fertiliser
Another mistake is too much fertiliser. Too much of it will burn your plants and they will die. Strike an acceptable balance. When you see the plants beginning to weaken and the leaves turning yellow, think of applying fertiliser again. Otherwise keep it well away.
So, thinka garden the way you would a baby. In the same way quadruplets would overwhelm a family that expected one baby, so will a huge garden with different types of plants on a new gardener.