As a professional landscape gardener, Raphael Sternberg (aka Rephael Sternberg) has a lot of very simple ideas anyone with even the slightest interest in gardening can easily implement. “Truthfully,” Sternberg believes, “the main thing you need for the basics of gardening, is a love of the outdoors.”
But it is still always good to have some tips from experts such as Rephael Sternberg, who has been creating the most spectacular gardens for over 25 years in various places around the world. Here he has provided some of his basic, introductory tips:
1. Analyze the Soil
It is very important to figure out how healthy your garden’s soil is. If you want to grow fruits and vegetables and even flowers in your garden, you need to have healthy soil. These days it is actually quite easy to figure out how healthy the soil is, via a test kit, many of which can be ordered on Amazon etc., (with prices ranging from approximately $5 to $35). The kits measure the soil’s pH land and as long as if the test shows that it is roughly 6.5 to 7, this means that your soil is a great environment for growing most items.
2. Plan, Plan and Plan Some More!!!!
Before you start planting, make sure you have an idea not just of what items you want to include in your garden, but where the items should be planted. Many articles have been written on how best to use space in even the most oddly-landscaped areas. If you are not sure, ask a friend whose garden you admire if they planned it out and what advice they can give you. Alternatively, if one of your friends is as green thumbed as Rephael Sternberg, go talk to them first!
3. Buy Equipment Wisely
Garden tools are definitely necessary. However, it’s not a good idea to just go out and buy a whole bunch of gardening tools without knowing what your needs are. Figure out exactly what you want to create in your garden and then buy the tools that can make that happen. Having said that, there are some basics that everyone should have before getting their thumb green and these include: gloves, spade, garden fork, rake, hoe, hand trowel and shovel.
4. Cheat a Little!
There is no harm — especially for the newbie gardener — to cheat a little. Starter kits are an incredible first step into the gardening experience. They are almost guaranteed to help the sprouting of one’s planting by establishing the perfect environment for germination. After one has enjoyed the success of these, then they can move on to going out on their own but for the beginning using these is a good idea.
5. Check the Weather
Well, not exactly the weather, but Raphael Sternberg believes it’s very important to know which parts of the garden get sun and which get shade. Different fruits, vegetables and plants require varying degrees of temperatures. So for example, cherries, pears and various other berries thrive in the shade, peppers, cucumbers, peas and corn do better in the sun.
For those who still feel anxious about getting their thumbs green, Sternberg advises to ‘start simple.’ “Popular starter pruning includes pansies, marigolds, snapdragons and daffodils,” Raphael Sternberg notes, “and thankfully these happen to be absolutely beautiful and give a burst of color to all gardens.”
At the end of the day, while skills and tools and education are all important for gardening, what really matters is the desire and the love of all things green, Raphael Sternberg believes.