What do you need to do? Where do you start? These are the things you usually ask yourself when you want to start a garden. If you’re getting into gardening, or it’s been a long time since you’ve had a garden and want to get started, this article will help. Whether you’re in a country setting, a suburban setting, or even in an apartment, wherever you are, you can start a garden.
There are so many ways to start a garden, whether you have smaller plots, container gardening, or even just traditional gardening.
10 Steps to Follow
Step 1: Picking a Location
When you’re planning to start a garden, you need to ask yourself where you will put it? You need to pay attention to your yard and especially pay attention to where you get the most amount of sunlight.
Generally, most of your crops you’re going to grow will do well in full sun, but it all depends. Some crops like leafy greens and other things are going to do okay and part shade also.
Step 2: Selecting Crops
Generally, people who start a garden, especially new gardeners, want to try many different types of seeds. While there is nothing wrong with experimenting, I would encourage you to stay focused on something that you eat the most and things you can preserve.
For example, if you eat a lot of tomato or tomato products, you want to grow many tomatoes. It’s always great to start a garden and try experimenting with different things to see what grows best in your environment, but you also want to make sure that at the core of what you’re growing are things you’re going to use.
Step 3: Buying Seeds
Once you have some ideas of what you want to grow, it’s time to look at buying the seeds. Now, the best thing for you to do is buy your seeds earlier in the year.
Buying seeds at the beginning of the year helps you get the best deals as not many companies don’t mark up prices when the demand isn’t there. If the stores around you don’t even have seeds on the self at the beginning of the year, you can always buy them online.
Step 4: Starting Seeds
Now that you have picked out the seeds that you want to grow, it’s time to plant them in a seed starting tray. It is crucial to have your seeds in a controlled environment like inside to monitor their growth and needs, such as water or airflow. You may want to also look into having supplemental lighting such as grow lights.
Pay attention to the back of your seed packet for the plant’s needs, as well as what time in the year is best to start the crop to get the largest harvest.
Step 5: Preparing Garden Space
Now is a necessary time to map out where you want everything to be growing in your garden. You want to ask yourself what type of garden you want, such as an in-ground garden, otherwise known as traditional gardening, container gardening, or a raised bed garden. All three have unique benefits and what you choose comes down to your space. No matter what you choose, one of the essential things in your garden is your soil.
We recommend amending the soil with items such as worm castings to naturally fertilize, coco coir to retain some moisture and some perlite for good drainage. If you are looking for a premade soil with all these amendments in it already, here is one.
Step 6: Start a Compost Pile (Optional)
We already went over the garden space as well as the soil amendments. We can’t talk about that without talking about organic compost. If you haven’t already started a compost pile— it is the easiest way to get perfect soil every single year for your garden. Kitchen scraps, yard waste such as grass clippings, leaves, whatever you have around you can use in a straightforward composting method. All you have to do is take a section of your yard or somewhere suitable for you and make a pile. It’s as simple as that. You could also invest in a compost bin, here is a quality one.
Every once and again, mix up the compost to help it break down. After about a year, you can use it by mixing it in with your garden soil. Fresh compost is a great way to get nutrients for your garden plants.
Step 7: Planting
When planting your garden, make sure you reference each plant’s care needs and keep them in an accurate environment. For example, make sure not to put plants that like the shade in a place in your yard that gets direct sunlight for long hours.
An easy way to organize your garden is to have the tall plants or vining plants to the back and make sure they have something to lean on, such as a trellis. Have the smaller plant towards the front. This helps, so when it is time to harvest, you don’t have to sort through a lot of foliage.
Step 8: Caring For Your Garden
Caring for your garden is extremely important. Once you have things planted, you’re not done. Gardeners’ biggest mistake, especially new gardeners, is letting the weeds get out of control and take over the garden. Try to at least get into your garden once a week to weed your garden. Remember, when you pull weeds out to pull them out as close to the roots as possible; otherwise, the weed will grow back continuously.
Water is also very vital, especially for plants that are young and are adjusting to your garden. You may even want to try a sprinkler. I have found this is the best way to water a garden unless you’re going to use some permanent irrigation system with drip irrigation. Sprinklers are easy to move, and they are very gentle on your garden.
Step 9: Harvesting and Preserving
Harvesting time is the reward for all the work and time you put in. Make sure to be prepared for what you’re going to harvest. If you are going to preserve part of your harvest, make sure to have the canning supplies ready.
Vacuum sealing and freezing is also a great way to preserve your harvest for later use. They’re an inexpensive investment, and it’s effortless if you dice things up. There’s nothing worse than growing a big healthy garden with all your love and then wasting so much food because you didn’t take the time to preserve the harvest.
Step 10: Prepare for Winter
Once you have all of the fruits and vegetables harvested from your garden, you’re not entirely done yet. Cover the top of your garden with a layer of wheat straw, leaf compost, or other things around the house. This protects your garden from the frost of winter and prevents stuff from growing in your garden unknowingly.
Starting a garden and growing your own food is a fantastic thing to try. Gardening is hard work, but the payoff is well worth the work.
There is something special about eating something you grew yourself from seed. This article should help you get started, and I’m sure that you will learn a lot more by the end of your first year of gardening.
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