23 Practical Gardening Skills Every Gardener Should Have Handy

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Do you want to take your gardening skills to the next level? Growing a plant or two can be easy, but becoming a certified green thumb will require you an upgraded set of gardening skills. Fortunately, anyone can learn these gardening skills including you. Check them all out below!

RELATED: Common Gardening Mistakes And Tips On How To Avoid Them

Must-Have Gardening Skills For The Ultimate Gardener

Skills Can Also Be Learned

There was a time when all I knew about gardening was buying a potted plant and watering it. Now I can say I’ve come a long way since I’m practically growing our own food.

Although I used to think gardeners were born and not made, now I realize anyone can get hooked on gardening and be good at it. Even my kids are starting to develop a set of gardening skills I’m pretty sure they’ll use for life.

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If you’re just starting to discover your skills at growing plants, you might want to read on to check what else you’ll need to develop further to really become an expert.

1. Knowing Your Gardening Basics

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Most of the time, the hardest part of any project is getting started. You’ll always have a lot of ‘buts and what-ifs.’ Sometimes, it’s the complicated guides which stops you right in your tracks. So if you know your gardening basics by heart, everything will be easy peasy from thereon.

2. Starting Seeds

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While you can directly drop the seeds onto the ground, a professional gardener opts to start seeds first and transplant them when they’re ready. Apparently, this increases the likelihood of growth success. You don’t need to buy expensive seed-starting kits. Check out the many ways to germinate seeds from recyclable materials.

3. Garden Planning

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As with any project, planning is important to increase the chance of success and avoid costly and time-consuming gardening mistakes. This is gardening 101 that every gardening pro always considers. You can check out these common garden planning mistakes and how to deal with them for success in garden planning.

4. Soil Testing

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For the gardening beginner, this will not present much concern at first. After all, as long as the soil is a nice rich loam, anything will grow. But by and by, as you progress in gardening, you’ll find the acidity or the alkalinity of your soil will have effects on certain plants and you’ll need to make amendments, another skill which you will learn more about here.

5. Improving Garden Soil

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Self-sufficiency and gardening go hand in hand for the expert gardener. An inferior soil is not a deterrent for growing plants. Rather, it’s a chance for them to showcase their skill at working out or improving the soil just the way they like it.

6. Knowing Gardening Terms

Green Leaved Plants | Practical Gardening Skills Every Gardener Should Have Handy

It isn’t just about knowing the gardening language and being able to define a word once asked. It’s about knowing the techniques and tricks to apply to grow plants successfully. Most of all, it’s about knowing about the plants you are growing–to know about the plant types is to know their needs.

7. Determining Gardening Zones

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Most gardening beginners make the mistake of growing plants outside their season simply because they were not aware of the hardiness zone. So start checking your area on the map now to determine your hardiness zone and know what plants to grow in every season, as every gardening pro does.

8. Storing Seeds

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Have you heard about heirloom seeds? This a gardening practice most gardening forerunners have managed to keep. These seeds, apparently, are able to keep the best traits of a plant variety. Besides propagation, seeds are some of the most long-storing food, like beans and nuts, which every gardener with survivalist tendencies should become an expert in.

9. Indoor Gardening

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Every gardening beginner can grow an indoor garden. In fact, you can even start gardening with an indoor garden. A true blue gardener, on the other hand, understands indoor gardening as a way to grow plants beyond their season. An indoor garden or indoor plants also purify the air, literally freshening up a room.

10. High Tunnel Gardening

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Every self-sufficient gardener will want to grow crops even beyond the growing season. Give thanks to innovative gardeners who made this possible through a greenhouse or high tunnels.

11. Composting

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While you can buy compost from garden supply stores, a true blue gardener will want to make their own. After all, they have all they need to cook up some organic compost. They’ll make their own compost in their own DIY compost bins.

RELATED: Garden Season DIY: How To Make A Compost Bin

12. Vermicomposting


If you used to be freaked out by slimy wiggly worms as a child, they’ll now be your best friend when you become a gardener. As gross as they are, they produce what’s hailed by gardeners as ‘black gold’, a rich compost that’s perfect in organic gardening.

13. Companion Planting: Identifying Beneficial Plants

Green Succulent Potted Plants | Practical Gardening Skills Every Gardener Should Have Handy

Plants, like people, have likes and dislikes too. As a gardener, being able to understand this matrix in plants allow you to grow organically and grow more in limited spaces. Knowing what plants grow well together will help prevent pests and diseases naturally.

14. Dealing With Pests

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No gardener at any level will ever say they have never been bugged by pests in their garden. So dealing with pests organically is definitely a must-have skill for every gardener for safer and healthier plants.

15. Dealing With Weeds

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One of the nuisances to a gardener are weeds. They just keep on growing, despite being so despised, even outgrowing the very plants you care for. Mulching is another skill you can master to deal with weeds naturally. It doesn’t only keep the weeds out but also helps keep your plants moisturized.

16. Pruning

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As you progress in gardening, you’ll find pruning as an essential garden practice both in landscaping and vegetable gardening. Choosing the ideal pruning shears for you is the start to get you skilled at pruning.

17. Organizing Garden Tools

Hanging Gardening Tools | Practical Gardening Skills Every Gardener Should Have Handy

You might say gardeners have control issues but getting organized is a practical gardening skill every gardener should practice. Having clean, well-maintained, and secure garden tools will save you a lot of time and money down the line.

18. Maintaining Gardening Tools

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Like any other tool, unkempt and neglected garden tools function poorly, which can be frustrating. It’s a hassle I know, but maintaining garden tools is a must-have gardening skill if you want to save money from repairs or buying new ones.

19. Making Organic Fertilizers

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It’s no secret most vegetables from the market were grown with chemical fertilizers, which got us into growing our own organic food. Making homemade organic fertilizer sure is a gardening skill every gardener should practice, especially frugal and practical gardeners.

20. Raised Bed Gardening

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Growing in raised bed requires you to build a structure which can be quite a hassle, but growing in raised beds has benefits. They help extend the growing season and you can control the soil in your raised bed. For these points, raised bed gardening is definitely a skill to add to your set of gardening skills.

21. Container Gardening

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Whether you’re a gardening beginner or a pro, you’ll find growing flowers or vegetables in containers convenient and fun. Container gardening is a skill you can definitely have a  use for both in vegetable gardening and ornamental landscaping.

22. Propagating Plants From Cuttings

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Growing more plants from cuttings is probably one of the best measures for a gardening expert. It’s truly a feat not all gardeners have great success at, but growing more plants from cuttings can be convenient. You’ll need to master this technique to be a certified gardener.

23. Keeping Garden Records

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It won’t seem so at the start but keeping garden records will prove to be very helpful as you upgrade to grow more crops. This will help you avoid the same gardening mistakes you did as a beginner. Keeping a documentary of your garden plants can be inspiring, too.

Check out some secret tips for growing an ultimate vegetable garden in this video by Great Home Ideas:

How’s your checklist of skills going so far? Do you think you have a lot more of learning to do? Well, it is always a work in progress, but the job becomes easier when you’re enjoying it. Who knows, pretty soon you’ll be the one friends and family turn to for some gardening advice. Have a great time fine-tuning those gardening skills!

Got a couple or more you wish to add to this set of gardening skills? I’d be delighted to hear all about them in the comments section below! 

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Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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2 thoughts on “23 Practical Gardening Skills Every Gardener Should Have Handy”

  1. What a great article! I have some skills listed but th his list is inspiring. I just found your blog and it looks really helpful. I’ll be sure to stay connected.

  2. Nice post, when I first started gardening I thought it would be hard, then, after learning some tips I started gaining confidence. I´m not a pro but this article really helps me to get to the next level. Thanks

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