Gardening can be a great escape. You’re outside planting beautiful flowers and the end result is rewarding. But, if you don't know what you're doing, the results don’t last long.
Today in St. Louis’ Allie Corey spent some time with a horticulturist over at The Botanical Gardens to find out what any of us can do to be on our way to having ‘a green thumb.’
Ben Chu has been growing and caring for gardens for forty years.
"I know a little bit, there's always something new to learn," Chu laughed.
Chu knows a lot more than most, so he's our guide to gardening greatness.
"The most important thing for people to remember is that gardening starts at the soil," he said.
The roots are what support the plant through its lifetime, Chu says. So, he recommends getting a soil sample first.
"Find out what's required, what’s in the soil. Whether they may need to add compost or any other elements that are necessary for plant growth," he explained.
Next step is location, location, location.
Chu explained, "You have to select a site that’s going to be appropriate to the type of garden that you’re going to put in."
Vegetable gardens need a lot of sun. 6-8 hours per day. For perennial gardens, it depends on what kind of flowers your looking to plant. You should know if they are shade lovers or sun lovers before you pick your spot.
Chu says you should also consider water flow when choosing where to put your garden.
"I think it’s important to make note of that so you can match your plants to those conditions," he explained.
Once you picked the spot, it’s time to plant. Dig the hole as deep as the pot, loosen the roots, fill it in with some garden soil and water.
"Most plants will thrive with about a one inch of water per week," he said.
Chu explained, "I don’t really believe that anyone has a black thumb. If you study the plants and know what you’re going to grow and give it the correct growing condition that anyone can have a green thumb."