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National Gardening Day on April 14 is the perfect excuse to plant the seeds of a new hobby or relish in the green thumb activity you have already picked. 

Founded in 2018 by Cool Springs Press, a publishing company specializing in DIY home and garden books, the day is meant to both recognize gardening and encourage experts to share their tips and tricks with homegrown newbies. 

According to Master Naturalist Martelle Luedecke of Burnet, people’s taste in gardens can vary as much as their taste in cars. 

“You have your practical, fast, and playful (approaches),” Luedecke said. 

She and her father, Bill Luedecke, write a weekly column, “In the Garden,” published online at

Sunflowers are a good starting point for gardeners geared toward aesthetically pleasing, fast-growing outdoor spaces. Pretty and persistent, these flowers can grow up to 6 feet tall and do well in most soils. Plant once you’re sure the last frost has passed. Because of their visible progress and easy upkeep, sunflowers are also great plants to get “little helpers” involved. 

For quick-start vegetables, Luedecke suggests summer squashes. Plants like zucchini and spaghetti and yellow squash do well in warm climates, making them perfect for Texas gardens. They can be harvested in as little as two months. In addition to the yummy green veggie, the zucchini plant also yields edible yellow flowers that are both beautiful and delicious. An added bonus: Bees love them!  

Shooting to plant frequently used fruits, vegetables, and herbs is a great way to add practicality to your garden, Luedecke said. She suggests rooting around your grocery list for ideas of where to begin.

“There’s a sense of satisfaction of eating your own food that you would have normally bought at the grocery store,” she continued. 

For even the slightest interest in gardening to bud, remember that it’s your turf. Plant practical and keep it simple. Whatever your nature, get your creative juices growing, whether in pots or plats this spring. 

“It’s an adventure, and everyone has a green thumb,” Luedecke said. “You just have to find the right plants and be patient with yourself.”