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Though good gardening may seem like a minefield to some people, there are a few fundamentals one must know to avoid the mistakes beginners can make. Here are basic lessons from Jamie Durie, landscape architect and host of HGTV's The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie:


Positioning is everything. Analyze where the sun falls in your yard and make sure your plant gets the light it needs and protection from harsh elements such as wind, hot afternoon sun or bad soil.


The soil you put your plant into can be the insurance system, so make sure you have good drainage. If soil is high in clay, add gypsum, washed river sand and organic matter, then mix well. If soil is depleted in nutrients and too high in sand, adding organic matter can improve the quality.


All plants need a reliable water source. If you are irrigating, drip irrigation systems are the most effective and conserve the most water. Granules release over a 14-month period and are the most sensible way to give plants the nutrients they need. You should have about 3 inches of mulch. Mulch provides nutrients, reduces weeds and stops the evaporation of moisture and nutrients.

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