IMG_5741Rob’s top tips for budding urban farmers:

In over 10 years of garden design practice I have lost count of the number of clients who have said to me ‘I don’t want any plants I will only kill them’. It’s a shame that this kind of fear can get in the way of the joy plants can bring to your life, so here are my top tips for getting started and having success with plants.

Keep it simple
There are masses of books written about gardening and you can spend a life time studying it. But as a beginner all you really need to know to get started is that like us plants need water and food.

Watering, this is the most important thing
Most plants should be watered about once every other day. Use your common sense if your plant is swimming in water it does not need any more! Feel the soil if it’s dry then water.  If your plant is in a pot pick it up, if its light it needs water, if it is heavy then it has enough. Most importantly if your plant has not been watered for a while and it goes all floppy, then water it quick.

Too much water is as bad as too little.
The most common mistake people make is too much water rather than to little. You don’t need to water twice a day unless your plant is in an extremely hot place.

Food = Sunlight
Plants take things from the soil and air, they then use sunlight to turn it into food for them and eventually us.  As a beginner don’t worry too much about the soil stuff now. Some plants like lots of sun, some hate lots of sun, when you buy a plant they will often have instructions on them. But again don’t worry too much about this when starting. Just place your plant ideally some where it gets a few hours of sun a day and most plants will be fine with that.

Buy plants to start with
Growing things from seed is a great idea, but when you are starting just get a few fully gown plants. It’s a great place to start and leave things like seeds and re-potting when you have a little experience.

Plants will die, Understand and except it!
I have killed thousands of plants in my time it does not always mean that I have done anything wrong or you have failed. Death is just part of life, if a plant should die it’s a good excuse to get a new one.

Don’t get discouraged!
Hopefully you will succeed first time, but if your plants die don’t give up learn from any mistakes and perhaps try a different plant that might be better suited to your garden.  Its only a failure if you give up.