Gardening is more than just a hobby; it's a great way to improve your physical and mental health. From reducing stress to providing delicious and nutritious goodies, gardening is an activity that can benefit everyone. If you're looking to get your hands dirty and start growing your own food, check out these 10 plants that don't require a gardening expert.Pansies are one of the toughest flowers you can find in the United States. With over 300 varieties, including those specifically bred for hot or cold climates, pansies are a great choice for any garden.
The ideal time to plant them is when the soil temperature is between 50 and 60 °F, but you can also buy fully grown plants from garden stores and deposit them directly in the ground. If you plan to grow some from seed, place each one in moist soil about 7 to 12 inches apart. In colder states, pansies grow better in direct sunlight, while in warmer states like Georgia or Texas, they should be shaded and given an inch of water each week.Tomatoes are another popular choice for home gardens. To germinate tomato plants, you'll need a constant soil temperature of 65° to 80° F and seeds should be planted six to eight weeks before the expected date of the last frost in your area.
Start indoors or buy tomato plants at your local garden store, place the seeds about a quarter of an inch below the surface, spray the soil with water (make it moist, but not soaked), and maintain a constant room temperature of 70° to 80° F. When the plants sprout four leaves each, move them to larger containers; pots with a height of 4 to 6 inches will be perfect. When the last frost date arrives and the soil has warmed up, add 3 inches of compost and cover it with a little more soil before transplanting the seedlings there. Depending on the type you're growing, you'll want to place young plants between 12 and 48 inches apart.Basil and tomatoes make a great combination in spaghetti sauces, and in your garden, they can help each other grow.
Basil serves as a natural insect repellent that scares away unwanted insects that might otherwise eat grass or chew on tomatoes. Some also speculate that planting the two close to each other somehow gives the tomatoes a much better flavor. Mint is another tough herb that's ridiculously easy to grow; however, it can take over an entire garden if left unchecked. Mint needs moist soil with good drainage and it tends to grow best when kept in an area that receives a moderate amount of shade during the day.
To prevent it from taking over your garden, consider planting it inside a long tubular container with an open bottom and thick walls or along the edges of patios and driveways.Sunflowers are another great choice for first-time gardeners. They don't need much fertilization, can thrive in all but the most soaked soils, and are very adept at withstanding droughts. Plant yours outdoors and be sure to keep them a reasonable distance from any other plants you may be growing as a row of tall sunflowers can cast unwanted shade on neighboring vegetables. To start, wait until the last frost date has passed in the spring and then plant the seeds in 1-inch holes; for best results, space them at least 6 inches apart or if it's a larger species, increase that number to 24 inches.Gardening is an excellent way to reduce stress while enjoying nature's beauty.
With these 10 plants, you can create a stress-free gardening experience without needing any special skills or expertise. From pansies to sunflowers, these plants are easy to grow and will provide you with plenty of delicious produce throughout the year.