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Gardening for Beginners

The Ultimate Guide

Gardening Basics

Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter known as green waste (leaves, food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months.

Container gardening or pot gardening is the practice of growing plants, including edible plants, exclusively in containers instead of planting them in the ground.

Garden design is the art and process of designing and creating plans for layout and planting of gardens and landscapes.

A fertilizer is any material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is applied to soils or to plant tissues (usually leaves) to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.

Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper.

A basic definition of organic gardening is gardening without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. But organic gardening is much more than simply replacing manmade chemicals with those derived from natural sources. It is a philosophy of gardening that supports the health of the whole system.

Raised-bed gardening is a form of gardening in which the soil is formed in three-to-four-foot-wide (1.0–1.2 m) beds, which can be of any length or shape.

Irrigation is the application of controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals. Irrigation helps grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall.

Grow Fruit and Vegetables

Eruca sativa is an edible annual plant, commonly known as rocket salad or arugula; other names include rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, and roquette.

Momordica charantia, known as bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, or balsam-pear, is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit.

The Brussels sprout is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages, grown for its edible buds. The leafy green vegetables are typically 2.5–4 cm in diameter and look like miniature cabbages.

Cabbage or headed cabbage is a leafy green or purple biennial plant, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads.

Cantaloupe refers to a variety of the Cucumis melo species in the Cucurbitaceae family. Cantaloupes range in weight from 0.5 to 5 kilograms. Originally, cantaloupe referred only to the non-netted, orange-fleshed melons of Europe.

The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow cultivars exist. Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia.

Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea in the genus Brassica, which is in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed.

Collard greens describes certain loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea, the same species as many common vegetables, including cabbage and broccoli.

Maize, also known as corn, is a large grain plant first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago.

Cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and seedless.

Edamame, or edamame bean, is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod, found in cuisines with origins from East Asia. The pods are boiled or steamed and served with salt.

heirloom vegetable is an old cultivar that is maintained by gardeners and farmers, particularly in isolated or ethnic minority communities of western countries.

Pachyrhizus erosus, commonly known as jicama, Mexican yam bean, or Mexican turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant’s edible tuberous root.

Kale or leaf cabbage refers to certain vegetable cultivars of the plant species Brassica oleracea. A kale plant has green or purple leaves and the central leaves do not form a head.

Kohlrabi is a biennial vegetable, and is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Edible preparations are made with both the stem and the leaves.

Lettuce is an annual plant of the daisy family, Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable, but sometimes for its stem and seeds.

Brassica juncea, commonly brown mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, leaf mustard, Oriental mustard and vegetable mustard, is a species of mustard plant.

Okra or okro, known in many English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingers or ochro, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods.

The onion, also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable and is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. Its close relatives include the garlic, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion.

The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Pea pods are botanically fruit, since they contain seeds and developed from the ovary of a flower.

A pumpkin is a cultivar of a squash plant, most commonly of Cucurbita pepo, that is round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and deep yellow to orange coloration. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp.

Radicchio is a cultivated form of leaf chicory, sometimes known as Italian chicory, and is a perennial. It is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red leaves.

The raspberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus of the rose family, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves. Raspberries are perennial with woody stems.

The rutabaga, swede, or neep is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip; it is also sometimes called a turnip.

Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae native to central and western Asia. Its leaves are eaten as a vegetable. It is an annual plant growing as tall as 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions.

Cucurbita is a genus of herbaceous vines in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, also known as cucurbits, native to the Andes and Mesoamerica.

The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens.

The tomatillo, also known as the Mexican husk tomato, is a plant of the nightshade family bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico and were cultivated in the pre-Columbian era.

The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock.

Watermelon Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus is a scrambling and trailing vine in the flowering plant family Cucurbitaceae. The species originated in southern Africa, and there is evidence of its cultivation in Ancient Egypt.

Grow Herbs

Cinnamon basil is a type of basil. The term “cinnamon basil” can refer to a number of different varieties of basil, including as a synonym for Thai basil, as a particular cultivar of Thai basil, and as a separate cultivar in its own right.

Lemon basil, hoary basil, Thai lemon basil or Lao basil is a hybrid between basil and American basil. The herb is grown primarily in northeastern Africa and southern Asia for its fragrant lemon scent, and is used in cooking.

Basil UK; US, also called great basil or Saint-Joseph’s-wort, is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae. It is also called the “king of herbs” and the “royal herb”. The name “basil” comes from Greek βασιλικόν φυτόν, “royal/kingly plant”.

Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, catswort, and catmint, is a species of the genus Nepeta in the family Lamiaceae, native to southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East, central Asia, and parts of China.

Allium tuberosum is a species of onion native to southwestern parts of the Chinese province of Shanxi, and cultivated and naturalized elsewhere in Asia and around the world.

Chives is the common name of Allium schoenoprasum, an edible species of the Allium genus. Its close relatives include the garlic, shallot, leek, scallion, and Chinese onion.

Coriander, also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking.

Fennel is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves.

Lavandula is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and is found from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands.

Lemon balm, balm, common balm, or balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae and native to south-central Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Iran, and Central Asia, but now naturalized in the Americas and elsewhere.

Cymbopogon, better known as lemongrass, is a genus of Asian, African, Australian, and tropical island plants in the grass family. Some species are commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons.

Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widespread in cultivation in many regions of the world. It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species.

Spearmint, or spear mint, also known as garden mint, common mint, lamb mint and mackerel mint, is a species of mint native to much of Europe and Asia.

Oregano. It is native to temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm (7.9–31.5 in) tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm (0.39–1.57 in) long.

Parsley or garden parsley is a species of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region, naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.

Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, with nearly 1000 species of shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and annuals. Within the Lamiaceae, Salvia is part of the tribe Mentheae within the subfamily Nepetoideae

Salvia elegans, commonly called pineapple sage or tangerine sage, is a perennial shrub native to Mexico and Guatemala. It inhabits Madrean and Mesoamerican pine-oak forests between 6,000 and 9,000 ft.

Stevia rebaudiana is a plant species in the genus Stevia of the sunflower family, commonly known as candyleaf, sweetleaf, sweet leaf, or sugarleaf.

Tagetes lucida Cav. is a perennial plant native to Mexico and Central America. It is used as a medicinal plant and as a culinary herb.

Thymus vulgaris is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy.

Thymus citriodorus is a lemon-scented evergreen mat-forming perennial. There has been a great deal of confusion over the plant’s correct name and origin.