Starting a garden from scratch can be a daunting task, but with the right information and tools it can be an enjoyable experience. In this post, we will outline the steps you need to take to create your perfect garden. So, whether you are a first-time gardener or just looking for some new ideas, read on for some helpful tips!
Decide what you’d like to grow:
-For some people, this is the most difficult part of creating a garden. You need to determine what you want to grow, how much space you have available for your garden, and which plants will work best in your area (some plants do better than others).
-You should also consider where you intend to plant your garden; many vegetables require 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. If you live in an apartment or condo with limited access to sun, it might be wise to pick another option like spices or flowers.
-If possible, try thinking about what you enjoy eating. Remember that growing a garden isn’t just about aesthetics! A few common vegetables are carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. Gardening can be so much fun, don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new!
-For beginners, it is often recommended that you start small. Even if you only have a windowsill available for your garden, trust us…it will be worth it! You can always expand the size of your garden as time goes on and/or your gardening experience grows.
Choose a location:
-It’s typically best to choose a south-facing location for your garden.
-Make sure that the soil is free of trash, thick roots, and twigs before you start digging! It is also recommended that you add some amendments to the soil (these can be purchased at any gardening center). Some common amendments are peat moss, compost, manure, and leaf mould. You may also want to consider fertilizers depending on what you plan to grow.
–Garden design is a very personal choice, but for garden beginners it can be helpful to follow some basic design principles. Plant your taller vegetables towards the back of the garden and shorter ones in front. Also keep in mind that you will need room to walk without damaging your plants.
-If you are planning on building a raised bed, make sure that it isn’t too large or complicated for a beginner. Raised beds offer many benefits including increased water retention and weed control but require more upkeep than typical gardens (they also come with their own unique set of challenges). You may just want to start out by digging a traditional plot until you have gained some experience under your belt.
-You should always leave room to add compost, manure, and fertilizers. In addition to this, make sure that there is enough room for you to tend your garden regularly without damaging the plants or soil.
Invest in basic garden tools:
-This step is simple and very important. You will need a shovel, gardening gloves, hand-trowel or small spade, watering can (if you don’t plan to use a sprinkler system), and some type of devise to mark your rows with (e.g., wooden sticks).
Test your soil:
-If you are creating a new garden bed it is recommended to test your soil before planting. You can purchase a home-test kit at any gardening center, but if you want an accurate reading it might be best to contact your local cooperative extension office for testing facilities.
Prepare the soil:
-Once you’ve tested your soil, it’s time to get dirty! Remove all weeds and debris from the ground and break up large dirt clumps with your shovel. Then add amendments as necessary (it’s usually easier to do this step after loosening up the dirt).
Choose the right seeds or transplants:
-If you are growing vegetables, look for the specific ones that will grow well in your area. Some flowers and herbs can also be grown from seeds. Most vegetables require full sun, so keep this in mind when choosing a location.
-If you’re just starting out with gardening it may be best to purchase some transplants or starter plants at a nursery or gardening center. It can be more cost effective if you plan!
Plant with care:
-Unless you are trying to grow wildflowers, it is best to plant in rows. Plant tall plants towards the back of your garden and shorter ones near the front for full coverage.
-When planting transplants dig a small hole just large enough for the roots and place them into the ground. Make sure that there isn’t any extra slack in their stems, or they could blow over in heavy winds. If you have larger plants, holding them upright until they take root can also be helpful.
-Don’t worry about spacing too much at this point. You can always thin out plants, if necessary, after things start growing!
Plant flowers or edibles together:
-One fun idea is to mix some edible plants with your flowers. Planting these types of plants together will help keep pests away from your vegetables and you can also have a little snack while tending to your garden!
Nurture your garden:
-Water your garden on a regular basis. You may need to water more frequently in dry climates.
-Weed as needed and add mulch after the soil has warmed up a bit in springtime. Mulches can help retain moisture, prevent weed growth, and improve overall soil health.
Harvest with care:
-When harvesting vegetables, they should come out easily and naturally (i.e., not yanked or ripped from their roots). For tomatoes, it’s best to cut fruit from the vine rather than pulling them away.
-Since flowers are grown for aesthetics and edibles like fruits and vegetables are grown for food, harvest those types of plants at different times of the year if possible! This will give you maximum time to admire your beautiful garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
-Gardening can be a rewarding hobby, but it requires work! It is best to start small if this is your first time, but don’t let that discourage you. Everyone has to start somewhere!
-Remember the importance of proper preparation before planting anything in your garden. You will need to tend to it regularly and will likely have bountiful results if you plant carefully and water often.