The primary requirements of a plant/tree are light, water, and soil. Along with these primary needs there are some other needs one has to consider like pruning and fertilizing. With time and experience one can become better at gardening and grow various plants.
Choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight and has a well-drained soil. It is also important that you select a garden patch, which doesn't have any trees around it. When you are planting certain plants next to each other, check if they are compatible with each other. You can form group of plants which have similar light, water, and soil requirements.
Buying Plants and Tools
You can buy plants or seeds of the specific variety that you wish to grow from the plant nursery or online. You can also buy garden tools and pots from the nursery or online. Make sure you choose healthy plants or seeds and select the varieties which are resistant to pets. If you are buying the plants or seeds in bulk, you can always bargain at the nursery for lowering the prices.
Soil requirements for individual plants differ. Cactus do well in well-drained soils. Most vegetable gardens require soil which is rich in compost. So study the individual requirements of each plants before using the soil mixture. Perlite is easily available and can be added to the soil mixture for good drainage. You can also sterilize the soil in an oven, before you use it.
Most plants require minimum 6 hours of sunlight daily. Light is an important factor for the plant health, and one needs to tend properly to the individual plant's light requirement accordingly. Certain varieties of plant start bending towards a particular direction, for example barrel cactus starts leaning in one direction after some time if kept indoors. Such plants need to be rotated after specific time intervals.
Water is an important basic need of plants. Some plants might needs a lot of watering, and some like cactus might need watering once in a month. There are also problems associated with over and under watering. So, study individual plant watering needs and supply the water accordingly.
When watering cacti, insert a wooden rod or pencil in the soil and check if the soil is dry. If the soil is moist do not water it; water only if the soil is dry. I have a rose plant and used to water it regularly, but after some time the roots started getting exposed and the leaves went dry and started to fall off. Later on, I found out from a gardener that this happens if you pour water directly over the base stem. So, you can always ask the gardeners or knowledgeable friends for advice on watering and other plant needs.
Certain plants require certain type of nutrition, however some plants don't need to be fertilized at all. You can buy the fertilizer from a nursery. Alternatively, you can add compost to the soil mix and use it as a fertilizer.
The key to pest control is to maintain a healthy plant. If you tend properly to the primary needs of the plant, then there will be no need of any pesticides. For pest control buy the commercial pesticides or make one at home. To make a pesticide at home, take a spray bottle and pour 1 teaspoon of dish liquid soap and a cup of vegetable oil in it. Shake the mixture well and then add 1 cup of water to it. Again shake it well and use it after every week on the plants to get rid of the common pests.
Pruning is required for maintaining the plant shape and health. It is important that you don't trim the tree branches during growing season. Prune out the diseased and damaged branches and between each cut you should apply some mouthwash to prevent any infection. Mulching around trees or plants is a great way to provide nutrition to the plants. It also prevents running of any lawn equipment over the plant. Put clay plates below the containers for proper drainage and humidity. Do not overexpose the plants to the sun, and make sure that you maintain the soil and watering needs of the plant during the spring.
All this information might seem overwhelming and a lot of hard work, but you can always start with low-maintenance plants. After you gain more confidence you can start growing other plants too. So, start with a small garden patch and follow the above tips to grow happy-healthy plants!