Gardening is not just a popular hobby for those who own property, but a family activity and even a profession for some. As with any endeavor, gardening is a lot easier if you know a few things before you get started. Read on to learn some pieces of advice sure to make your thumb a little greener.

Planting a bare-root rose. Bare-root roses are best planted at the beginning of their dormant period to lessen the shock of transplanting. If the roots look dry, soak them in a bucket of water for a few hours before planting. Remove diseased or damaged stems, and trim any thick roots by a third. Place the rose in a freshly dug hole, spreading out the roots and checking that the bud union is slightly above ground level. Backfill with soil and water thoroughly.

If you are new to gardening, be sure to keep it simple. Overplanting at first can lead to stress and a backyard that’s a mess rather than a beautiful garden. Also, larger gardens are more prone to weeds. Keep it small at first, and you will have a better experience.

When the vegetable season is over, grow a shoulder season crop if possible. Fruits like strawberries or raspberries bear fruit very early or very late in the season before or after the summer vegetable crops take over and can be planted. Raspberries can be planted to bear fruit in the fall and strawberries can be planted to bear fruit in the spring.

Divide large clumps of perennials. Some perennial plants lose vigor and flower less well if the clump becomes too large. Plants like Shasta daisies, bearded irises, phlox, chrysanthemum and coneflower benefit from being divided every three years. Without division they become congested, and the center of the clump will begin to die out. Simply dig the entire plant out, keeping the root ball intact, and divide it into pieces using a shovel. By doing this, you will have at least two or three new plants!

A spicy solution to ridding your garden of pests is to spray your plants with a hot mustard or red pepper mixture (one tablespoon of hot mustard or red pepper to one quart water). The solution is safe to spray directly on your garden foliage and pests can’t stand the taste of it!

To cheaply obtain supplies for your garden, try visiting your local army surplus store. A parachute makes an excellent canopy, and army fatigues and boots are the perfect clothes to wear while gardening. Ammunition containers are also a great way to store your gardening supplies. Supplies are often cheaper if you don’t buy things specifically aimed at gardeners.

You were told in the opening of this piece that if you read on, you would learn a few things about planting and growing. Hopefully, that has taken place and you are ready to go out in the yard and plant some seeds. Keep in mind what you have learned, and you’ll have fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers in no time.