The onset of warmer weather, the spring showers, and the winter frosts behind us, that means one thing: it’s gardening season! Because Charlotte sits in one of the prime growing regions in the country, it’s a gardener’s paradise. We sat down with the expert at Blackhawk Hardware’s Garden Center to get some tips and tricks on how to build the perfect garden, no matter your experience level.
PICK YOUR TYPE
The most important thing to consider when planning your garden, according to Blackhawk, is the kind of garden you’re building. Because certain plants need different levels of light, it’s important pay attention to where the sun shines in your yard, so that your plant shade-loving plants and sun-loving plants in their favorite spots.
FRUIT & VEGETABLES
Luckily for us, Charlotte gets a lot of strong, Southern sun, and can easily “accommodate most tropical plants.” Don’t forget about the vegetables, either! Blackhawk says the best summer vegetables to plant are peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and squash. You can also plant olive and citrus trees, but they have to come inside before the first frosts in October.
HOW TO PLANT
If you’re wondering how on earth you get these plants into the dirt, Blackhawk has some advice on that too, don’t worry. They suggest the essentials like “a watering can, gloves….and a small shovel.” Some items are dependent on the size of your garden, or whether or not it’s a raised garden. Blackhawk also states that as your garden grows, so will your pest problem, so be sure to get some repellants.
The most common question for new gardeners is often about watering, and the frequency of watering for a garden. Blackhawk says when you start a garden, you water as needed. They also mention that you “get to know the plant,” but to take notice of the plant’s soil moisture and whether it’s been a windy day, as these all affect water needs.
Most importantly, Blackhawk says that once the temperatures are in the 90s daily, you should water your garden every morning. Even if you don’t have a large greenspace or backyard, you can still get into gardening! Blackhawk recommends succulent or cacti, as they are both easy to care for. Cacti, according to Blackhawk, “love humidity and sunlight” but don’t require a lot of water.
It’s important to consider that no one is born with a green thumb, and it just takes a little bit of practice, a little bit of love for your plants, and a lot of dirt thumbnails to get a good garden growing. So, whether or not you’re seeking to plant a tropical paradise in your backyard or a cute, little potted cacti on your apartment balcony, these tips from Blackhawk will arm every summer gardener with what they need to get started now.
words by: Elizabeth Salerno