Grow Massachusetts!

Get the dirt: beginner gardening tips

We’re so excited that you are thinking about planting! Maybe you’ve never planted or just planted a little bit.  Maybe you just bought a house and daydream of a flower garden by the white picket fence. Maybe you want tomatoes at your fingertips. Maybe you bought the dirt and think, now what? This page has tips and projects for beginners!

The biggest piece of advice for beginners is to start small. One mistake that first timers tend to make is planting too much and having enough to feed the neighborhood or more weeding than you want to think about. So start small and don’t get overwhelmed. Enjoy!


Butterfly gardens

Butterfly Gardens

Attracting butterflies to your garden Run time: 02:14

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Special Mulching

Published in Get the dirt

Special Mulching for Special Plants A handful of plants need special attention. Many roses fit this category. Some of the old roses and new roses can be very tolerant of our winters, but a lot of roses that were developed in the mid to late 1900s have a terrible hardiness record. You need to protect […]

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Fertilization

Published in Get the dirt

The Why While plants will often survive on their own, most of us are not willing to settle for survive. We are looking for flourish, prosper, or thrive! Many soils in typical residential areas are poor at best, all the good “stuff” was taken away before you moved in. We humans are impatient beings! When […]

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Watering

Published in Get the dirt

Few things are as easy and as important as good watering! Plants need water as much as they need nutrition, sunlight, and support. If it goes without those other things a little too long, they will recover. If the plant goes without water too long, it may not recover. First let’s talk about plants growing in […]

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Flowers for Cutting

Published in Get the dirt

Using Garden Flowers Indoors Rule 1: There are no rules! Have fun. While some blooms may last longer than others once cut it is more important that you try, than that you do perfectly the first time. Here is a list that was originally put together by Ralph Winslow, Extension Educator, University of New Hampshire. Annuals […]

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Growing tip: Easy Herbs

Published in Get the dirt

Basil grows best from transplants. There are many types of basil, even with purple leaves!

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Growing tip: Growing Herbs

Published in Get the dirt

Plants valued for their flavoring, scent or as medicinal remedies are called herbs. For example, basil, oregano, and fennel are used for Italian cooking; lavender and lemon verbena to make potpourri; or chamomile and mints to make your own teas.

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Growing tip: Holiday Plant Care—Spring

Published in Get the dirt

Colorful spring plants arrive at local garden centers just in time to rescue us from winter doldrums. Time to embrace the new season!

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Shade Gardens

Shade Gardens

Published in Get the dirt

Stay cool and bring color and texture into your shade garden Run time: 02:14

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Fall Planting

Published in Get the dirt

Fall is actually better than spring to plant trees and shrubs—for both you and your plants! Cool air temperatures make planting more enjoyable for you, and plants establish quicker as they are less apt to suffer drought stress. In addition, ideal soil conditions exist for root growth, because the soil is still warm from the […]

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