Ask a Question forum: Getting started

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Las Vegas, NV
IvanaM
Nov 18, 2017 8:30 PM CST
Hi,
I have never gardened before but I am ready to learn. What is the best way to get started?
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
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LizDTM
Nov 18, 2017 8:47 PM CST
I would suggest that you get the Sunset Western Gardening book. You can find it at almost any thrift store Smiling then start reading. It will help you understand what you can do in your area. You have a real challenge with your weather, as do I here in the Phoenix area. This book will help you know what plants you will likely be successful in growing.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Nov 18, 2017 8:52 PM CST
I agree That book was my bible back when I first started gardening for real. If you don't have shade, try to get some with a shade sail, trees, pergolas, or whatever you can find. Having some shade makes a huge difference in how well things will grow for you.
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Nov 18, 2017 9:13 PM CST
Sunset Western Garden Book is still my bible! It's invaluable to the West coast with all our varied climates. USDA zones don't mean anything here.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Nov 19, 2017 8:17 AM CST
I would say - go outside and get dirty? Smiling
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Nov 19, 2017 12:04 PM CST
I do agree with "jump in" but I'm sure nobody is saying "do your initial learning simply by trial and error".

Obviously getting information (reading/taking a course) for gardening in your area is one key to your future successful gardening.

I'm glad you're also getting advice from folk who sound like they garden in conditions like you might be gardening in. For instance, the advice about shade above. Here, however, shade from one's own or from a neighbour's trees can impose real limits on what one can do with a garden. It tends to mean that you can have plants blooming in spring, but not thereafter. The natural floral environment here is deciduous woodland and tends to parallel the gardening situation. The time when you see flowers here in the natural environment ("spring ephemerals") is before the woodland canopy fully closes over.
[Last edited by SunnyBorders - Nov 19, 2017 12:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 20, 2017 11:47 AM CST
Firist, I think you need to deterine WHERE you are gardening: Inside or out? In the ground or in a pot? The answers to those questions will be a major factor in what you grow.

Daisy (from slightly north of you Smiling )
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 20, 2017 5:40 PM CST
LizDTM said:I would suggest that you get the Sunset Western Gardening book. You can find it at almost any thrift store Smiling then start reading.


If you cannot find the book at a local thrift store, you can find it online from several sources; here is one example:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com...

Don't be afraid to try and fail. We have all failed at some point. Each time you try, it will be a learning experience. Before you know it, you will be here giving advice to new gardeners! Thumbs up

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Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
Arizona Gardener
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LizDTM
Nov 20, 2017 8:03 PM CST
Charlie, shade in the southwest is not a limiting factor at all. It's protective. The sun is so fierce here that plants need shade, especially in the summer. This is a brutal climate, so a lot of the "normal" gardening advice doesn't apply here where you spend a month over 110 degrees.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
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lauriebasler
Nov 20, 2017 8:23 PM CST
Sunset Western Garden book is just what I would recommend. How cool, to find so many others started like I did. If you have a gardening fool for a neighbor befriend them, and learn from their lead. Find a nursery with wise employees, to help picking out plants. Look for a gardening club around you, to join. Spend time in your yard every single day, rain or shine. If you fall in love with a plant and someone near you calls in invasive, don't plant it until you know for yourself.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Nov 21, 2017 8:00 AM CST
Very interesting Liz. I'm always amazed at the different gardening opportunities offered by Aurora, Ontario (namely here) and St Pete, Florida (which we know quite well).

I can really identify with Laurie's advice about avoiding plants which are invasive in your growing conditions; namely avoiding bad runners and seeders. It can be quite difficult to get rid of one once you've got it.



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