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
wertinio / Shutterstock

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…
How to propagate dracaenas from cuttings
Make more dracaena plants to share with fellow foliage lovers
Close up of dark and light green dracaena leaves

The dracaena is an interesting plant with many unique varieties. It can be either a tree or a shrub, and it comes in several different shades of green, plus a few shades of red. This easy-to-care-for tropical plant is a big hit for both indoor and outdoor gardens. If you already have one, you might even be itching for a second or third dracaena. Of course, you can get an entirely separate dracaena plant, but you can also propagate your own dracaena at home. Not sure how to get started? We’ll help you out with this step-by-step guide on how to propagate dracaenas from cuttings.

Why and when should you propagate dracaenas?
The why is easy to answer: Because it’s a great way to get more dracaenas! Propagation works by cloning the parent plant, often, but not always, through a cutting. The cutting grows into a second, separate plant that is genetically identical to the parent plant. This means that you have a second plant of the same type, to plant, give away, or propagate further as you wish.

Read more
A guide to growing rosemary indoors from seed to spice up your dishes
Tips for a delicious rosemary harvest
Potted rosemary plants on a table

Many herbs can grow indoors under the right conditions. Rosemary belongs to this lot. The easiest way to do it is to purchase existing seedlings and repot them at home, leaving them with room to grow. Because of that, many people don’t readily know how to grow rosemary from seed — at least indoors and in a way that will help the plant thrive.

Some of the most important questions to keep in mind when growing rosemary indoors from seed are: What kind of soil does rosemary like? How do I care for my indoor rosemary? By answering those queries, we’ll help you grow successful rosemary plants.

Read more
Ensure your succulents thrive in winter with these 4 tips
How to keep your succulents warm and healthy in winter
Succulent in planter

Succulents are known for their hardiness, but they do appreciate extra consideration during the wintertime. Most plants, including succulents and cacti, become dormant during the winter. They need less water, light, and fertilizer, but the trade-off is that they can be damaged by the cold. If you experience especially chilly winters where you live, succulent care can be intimidating. Caring for succulents in winter doesn't need to be difficult, though. These tips and tricks will help ensure your succulents stay happy and healthy even in the coldest months.

Our ultimate guide to thriving succulents
While you might keep your succulents indoors, they're still bound to feel the effects of a seasonal transition. Here's how to make sure the winter weather doesn't hurt your beloved plants.
Cut back on watering and fertilizing
The cardinal rule of succulent winter care is to cut back on watering. As plants go dormant in the winter, they won't use as much water, so overwatering can lead to root rot. Water your succulents and cacti thoroughly but infrequently. Once every one or two months should be sufficient for most succulents. The best time to water is when the soil is dried out and the leaves look slightly wrinkled.

Read more