Growing your first garden of plants, vegetables, or flowers can be a very exciting event! I believe there is a gardener in all of us patiently waiting for our day to shine! Today that gardening journey begins with you! Focus on some key elements required before you get started and you’re off and running from there. Here you’ll find some helpful tips and careful first steps to launch your dream of building a garden.
Purchase needed supplies. Visit your local Lowes, Home Depot, or another store’s Home and Garden Department and pick up some top soil, plant food (such as Miracle Grow), a hose (if you don’t already have one), a spade, gardening gloves, a small potted starter plant for tomatoes, or other vegetable, flower, or bedding plant. By picking up a few starter plants, you can achieve success in having a thriving garden sooner. It’s still good to purchase some seed packets for other plants, flowers, or vegetables to plant as well, but this way you are giving your garden your best efforts to start it out right. Placing starter plants that you take out of their pots and plant into the ground in the beginning stages of your garden will quickly establish good roots and help give your garden instant life.
Choose Your Garden Location Carefully
If you’ve ever experienced the taste of a salad grown with your own garden fresh vegetables, you know how that feeling of complete satisfaction can fall upon you and drive you forward to keep up the great work on your gardening goals. One of the most important parts of starting that garden is being wise in choosing the exact spot in your yard to create the garden. Keep in mind, plants require sufficient sunshine and rain (or water from a hose or watering can) to grow, so you’ll need to pick your garden location based on what the best place is to give these plants full or partial sun and plenty of rain (or within reach of the hose).
When deciding whether to have full sun or partial sun, remember that most flowers and vegetables desire full sun exposure. This means they need a minimum of six hours of full sun in order to grow healthy and stable stems, leaves, and blossoms.
Close Access To Water
Watering your plants can be a tough job sometimes if you don’t choose to think through the best location for your garden. Plan ahead to make sure the garden location is able to receive rainfall appropriately without run off on a slanted hill dragging the topsoil and nutrients away. Be sure it also has close proximity to your outdoor faucet. This may sound strange, but you will wish you had taken this advice once you realize how heavy and hot it gets in the summer months trying to haul water buckets or watering cans to a garden out of reach of the hose.
Determine the Size
For beginners, it is recommended to start with a garden of about 3 feet by 3 feet in size. Another rule of thumb for the garden dimensions would be to only allow enough room for starting with 6 plants, vegetables, or flowers. Using this limitation will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and keep things more manageable until you get the hang of it. You can map out the location and dimensions on paper and then measure the length outside in person for purchasing enough supplies to fill that length of a garden. This general length is a good place to start as you figure out how long it takes to weed and water your beautiful garden masterpiece. It should be just the right size to yield a decent harvest (enough for a family) if planting vegetables, or other herbs and greens.
Nurture Your Garden With Good Soil
All flowers and plants live by the nourishment brought to them through their roots. These roots are grounded in the soil. Therefore, the most important element for your garden would be to make sure the soil environment is top notch. Unfortunately, in most cases, the immediate soil surrounding homes is not ideal for growing plants without help. It’s extremely vital that you do your best to improve that soil environment by providing some enriched top soil, compost, or other organic matter to boost the quality of the ground soil the plant roots will be growing in. Having compost or other organic matter within the ground for your garden helps tremendously in assisting plant’s roots to have needed water in dry times. It also improves breaking up the denser soil so there is room for the roots to thrive and grow and allows excess water or rain to flow away easily after a storm.
Get A Jump On Planting Season
It’s no surprise that many of our favorite, tasty vegetables take the most care and usually need to be started with planting in the ground from seed many weeks before it’s actually safe to plant them. How does one accomplish this then? That’s where your starter plants come in! Purchasing these starter plants grown from a commercial garden usually gives you the head start you need so when the right time comes for planting that particular vegetable, herb, or flower, you are ready to go with no worries. When is proper planting time you ask? Normally, this would be in the later weeks of spring, but it may vary by geographic location based on your planting zone.
Go ahead and sow your seeds from the seed packets you purchased as well and follow the rules for planting during late spring or according to your growing and planting zone’s suggestions. While your starter plants begin establishing their roots, you will also have the joy of watching your seedlings take form and grow. It’s always amazing to witness the developmental process of a seed growing all the way to a mature plant. You can try sowing seeds from some of these easier to grow plants if you are still concerned about achieving a successful garden. It’s best to try sunflowers, beans, peppers, lettuce, or if you want something different – try blueberries as a container plant. These are all fairly simple to grow and keep alive and if you are following the tips above, you should be all set to achieve success.
Low on space? Check out Beginners Guide: How to Start A Container Gardening
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