Hi, I'm New and Brand New to Gardening- HELP

Grove City, OH

Hi There, my name is Ali and I am a 42 year old Mother of 3. My family and I live in Grove City, Ohio right outside of Columbus. I found this site while doing a search on the internet. I am very excited to learn as much as I can from everyone. I have very little (and I mean little) gardening experience. I love beautiful things and have always wanted to challenge myself to learn how to garden. For some reason...I did not get the "green thumb" gene in my family :-)

Anyways, I was wondering if someone can direct me to articles I may want to read as a beginner. Their is so much information, I am not sure where to start? I have no landscaping currently at my home other than a few shrubs that don't look very nice. I was wondering if you can suggest some great starter flowers, bushes or trees for my zone. I would love to have re-occuring blooms if possible, are these called annuals? Also, is their a book I should read first in order to get myself acquainted with the basics? As I said, I am a complete newbie...but I want very badly to learn. I have no family to help make suggestions as my Mother recently passed away...so I am looking for as much advice as you can throw my way. Thank you so much for reading my post and I look forward to getting to know you! Ali

This message was edited Mar 13, 2013 5:01 AM

Clinton, IN

Ali, Agood way to start is right here, go to the forum list, look through the list and start reading the ones you want to use first. There is so much information on any gardening subject you are intrested in. After reading something then ask all the questions you want and someone or several someones will answer your question. The answers may not all be the same but things work various ways in different parts of the country Trying new ways keeps things interesting.
Lots of Amish in your area,lots of good gardeners . Fred

Grove City, OH

Thanks Fred :-)

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Hi Ali,

I noticed you have a subscription which opens up many of the great forums and resources.
Check out the Tree & Shrub forum so that you can get some help with recommendations. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/tas/all/
Perennials are typically flowering plants that come up year after year. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/perennials/all/
Annuals are only for the year you plant them and then they die. :-(
The Garden Design forum is great spot to get some creative group thinking going: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/landscaping/all/
Also take a peek at the newly redesigned Garden Showcase to get ideas: http://davesgarden.com/showcase/
Using the advanced search in plantfiles can be very helpful in narrowing down what type of plant and the characteristics you're looking for: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/advanced.php?sname=Plants
Get your camera and start taking pictures so you can Identify the plants you have and maybe get some recommendations for their rejuvenation. It's also helpful for the design. I recommend a few pieces of paper and sketch out what you have in different parts of the garden so you can visualize how you'd like it to look.

New Madison, OH(Zone 5a)

Hi Aunteum,
So glad you joined us! I am Marcy from NW of Dayton, Ohio.
Let me just say this too. Your local library should have much good information also. Books not only tell you ..but have pictures to show you.
We have a gettogether called a round up..here in Ohio...at least once a yr. You might be interested in joining us? People come from all over Ohio..plus Indiana, Kentucky, W. Virginia too. We have a carry in and some bring plants to share as well..but that's not mandatory. It's a lot of fun.
Why dont you join us over on the other thread above this one? Sorry, cant think of the title right now...something about spring. We all chat there.
We would love to have you!

Columbus, OH

Hi Ali! We live pretty close, I'm on the east side of Clintonville ;)

I agree with the recommendations for checking out the forums, and also spending more time than you think you need amending your soil before you plant beds, esp. if you have that lovely central Ohio clay.

Lexington, KY(Zone 6b)

Hi Anteum! I'm new to this forum, though not to DG. I absolutely LOVE DG. You will learn SO much!! There's tons of information, pictures, articles. . .it's a gardener's dream. I, like you, found it on the internet about three years ago. Chatting with others and learning from them is one of the most satisfying aspects of the whole experience.
A couple of things I've done as a gardener that I've really enjoyed is (1) I plant a new perrenial every year. They come back for you every Spring or Summer and it's so rewarding. I have daffodils, Knock-out Roses (they're real easy if you like roses, they don't draw Japanese beetles, they have a long bloom time and they come in lots of colors), daylilies, shasta daisies (another of my favorites), Evening Primrose, Purple Coneflowers, and others, and (2) I took gardening classes at our local extension agency. They are a real good resource too if you have one close. I'd say the two most important things in gardening are to prepare your soil (there's lots of info on here about that) and to choose the appropriate plants for the location(s) you are planting. By that I mean, watch the sun this Spring and Summer (it changes with the seasons a little). Chart it for a few days and see how many hours of sun the areas you are interested in planting get. Then when you look at the pictures on here and in books, you can see what will work for your areas. That's really important, because if you buy the wrong thing, you're wasting money and time AND you'll get frustrated. BTW, the perrenial thing will save you lots of money too. Annuals can get expensive! I sort of envy you-I wish I had a clean "slate" and could pick out new flowers to grow. I'm running out of room after all these years! That happens too! HAVE FUN!!!

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

The first thing I would do is take at least one year and do research. Go around the area and see as many gardens as you can. While your doing this, you can be looking at the sunlight at your home, getting soil test, determining if you have typical Ohio clay, checking to see if there are any restrictions on what you can plant (home owner associations etc) find out where your electric, sewer, septic is located so you can plan around it.

Your new enough, it sounds, that first thing you need to do is figure out what you like. Maybe you'll find you like foliage better than flowers... You look at foliage and form a lot longer than you look at flowers. You want to plan out a season of bloom so you don't have a big bang of bloom in spring and then nothing the rest of the year.

I would not buy any books right now, but the library is a great place to start. One book I learned a lot from was The New Victory Garden by Bob Thompson. Another one is The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques by Tracy DiSabato-Aust. I have been told she used to live in central Ohio. I think any of her books would be worth reading.

One of your best places to go to see trees and shrubs is Dawes Arboretum.
They are a fantastic resource for finding what does well in central Ohio. You can drive through there and see what is blooming. Each tag tells when the tree or shrub was planted. They have thousands of trees and shrubs. And it is free to go through. They also have classes you can take to learn that are fairly inexpensive, especially if you join. About half hour east of Columbus just north of Rt. 70 on Rt.13

For perennials, another great place to visit is Kingwood Center in Mansfield. They have really wonderful plantings of hosta, peony, roses, daylilies -- although I must admit it has been a few years since I have been there.

Daylilies do well in central Ohio, and Franklin Park in Columbus has a big collection of daylilies hybridized (bred by) people here in Ohio, so they are a good bet that they will do well here. Ohio has had some really outstanding daylily hybridizers, past and present.

There are other Columbus Parks, such as Inniswood, but I am not familiar with them.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6b)

And Ali, and ALL, feel free to join us at the Spring Roundup to be held on May 25th.
There will be many OH/KY and IN gardeners there w/ many many plants grown for this area.

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