Skip to main content

HappySprout may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

These are the best gardening tips — straight from the pros

Everyone wants to create a perfect yard with a beautiful garden filled to the brim with their favorite vegetables and plants (especially when their neighbors get jealous). However, whether you are an experienced grower or a budding beginner, there are numerous tips to help you create a dream garden.

There are many steps to think about while gardening, and everyone has their own tips and tricks. How do you know who to trust? Well, if you want to learn pro gardening, what better way to improve than reading tips straight from the professionals? Learn the best ways to upgrade your garden and see your skills skyrocket.

Planting tips and tricks

gardener planting vegetables

No, you can’t just dig a hole and throw your plants in it. Well, you could, but they would grow terribly. Instead, follow these few tips to make sure you are setting your plants up for success right from the start:

  • It’s important to invest in high-quality potting soil. Whether you have orchids or cacti in pots, your initial investment will work wonders in the long-term. Go for the organic stuff with compost for best results.
  • A simple trick to immediately set your plants up for success is to start with digging the dirt/soil. The hole should be at least twice as wide but no deeper than the root ball for each plant. Once planted, it’s important to consistently water your garden so your plants establish proper roots.
  • How much moisture should you give to keep the plants healthy? One inch of water each week is optimal.
  • Each plant is unique, and each one requires different areas to properly grow. Make sure the plants have enough room to spread their roots, and group plants together that have similar attributes, such as watering needs.

Soil and mulch tips and tricks

person handling soil

Think of the soil as the heart of your garden. If your plants are not growing properly, chances are the problem is your soil. Here are two tips to make sure your “heart” is as strong as possible:

  • Each new area needs as much love and care as possible. This means tilling the soil and/or adding organic materials like compost. If you soil is the heart of your garden, then the better the soil, the better the garden.
  • In spring, one of the best things you can do is apply mulch. This helps control weeds and helps the plants retain water, especially during the dry months. Apply the mulch 2 to 3 inches thick on top of your soil, but do not put it on too thick; the roots can grow shallow.
  • Try your best to avoid nonorganic products, such as gravel or rubber mulch. They won’t hurt your plants, but they won’t help either. Some organic options include natural cedar chips or pine bark.
  • Once you begin mulching, stick with it. Do not remove a layer of mulch because that will dry out the soil and potentially cause injury to the roots.

Pruning tips and tricks

woman pruning flowers

Pruning is the oft-overlooked part of the gardening process. Most people do not realize that plants need some TLC to look and grow their best. Thankfully, pruning is not difficult. The bottom line? Gently pull with your hands or clip with shears. However, the timing is important. Don’t worry, these tips have got your back:

It can be confusing figuring out when to prune different plants and flowers. For spring-flowering plants, prune them right after they flower. For most summer-flowering plants, the best time is later winter/early spring before they flower.

  • Azaleas need to be pruned late spring or early summer right after the blooms have faded. Make sure not to wait too late because pruning in the mid-summer could affect next year’s blooms.
  • Boxwoods should be pruned in spring or summer, and avoid pruning in the late summer or fall because new growth has to harden before frost appears. It is best to hand-prune, but shears can be used if you need them.

Gardening can seem like a difficult hobby, especially if you’re starting from zero. Fortunately, with a little help from professionals anyone, from beginners to experienced gardeners, can learn new tips and tricks to make their garden as beautiful as possible.

Editors' Recommendations

Niko Vercelletto
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Niko Vercelletto lives in Lansing, Michigan. He is passionate about going into depressive spirals thanks to the Detroit Lions…
Everything you need to know about choosing the best rocks for landscaping
From pea gravel to cobblestones, find out which landscaping rocks will fit your outdoor space
Pathway made of flagstone rocks

Stonescaping is a very common, sleek, and clean approach to sprucing up a garden. Stones help create a different texture among the greenery in a garden, and they’re perfect if you want to create a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance outdoor space, because they can function as mulch for your foliage plants.

With a wide variety of rocks out there, you can build entire rock gardens (such as a serene zen garden), using stones to create focal points and provide accents. While you can place statement, stand-alone rocks, piles or blocks of stones can also be functional for walls, pathways, and seats in your garden. 

Read more
Focus on color: Bring some sunshine to your garden with these orange plants
Add color to your home with these orange garden plants
Potted marigolds

If you're looking for a way to add more color to your life and prep for the upcoming spring season, then a few warm, sunny orange plants might be just what you're after. From dark, burnt oranges to delicate pastels, orange flowers can match any aesthetic sense or style.

Plant them with red and yellow flowers to create a fiery gradient, or mix them with blue flowers for a lively arrangement. Whether it's creating a border of marigolds or hanging a charming goldfish plant inside, you have a wide range of options when it comes to incorporating orange into your space. For ideas on which plants to use, here are some of the most striking orange garden plants out there.

Read more
6 tips you should keep in mind when building your own drought-tolerant garden
Build a drought-tolerant garden to save water and money
Border garden planted with drought-tolerant flowers

Watering can be a grueling chore during the summer, and it’s no secret that your water bill can skyrocket if you have to tend to a lawn. Enter drought-tolerant gardening, also known as xeriscaping or water-smart gardening. The driving concept behind this gardening approach is simple: Create a plant space that thrives without too much water.

Designing a drought-tolerant garden is rewarding, but it can be difficult to begin. There's an upfront cost of time, energy, and money to consider. In addition to new, drought-tolerant plants, you may also need to get mulch, rocks, and tubes for an efficient watering system, and setting everything up can take a lot of time and effort. In the long run, though, your low-maintenance garden will be well worth it. You’ll have a garden that's friendlier for the environment and your budget!

Read more