Starting a garden is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Whether you plan to grow fragrant florals or tasty fruits and vegetables, planting is the beginning of a new journey that can provide delicious food and gorgeous views for years to come.
When it comes to getting your first garden off the ground, there are a few things you should do to maximize your success and minimize your headaches. Follow these first garden tips and you’ll be well on your way to growing a garden of your very own.
1. Choose Your Plants Wisely
Plants, shrubs and trees grow best when they are suited to your local climate, soil and wildlife. If your yard is subject to deer, drought or pests like moles and voles, for example, you’ll want to select plants that are resilient to these challenges.
You’ll find plenty of resources online that can help you choose the right plant for the job. It’s also a good idea to learn about the basics of proper care for your new plants, such as how to water and prune them.
2. Get Your Soil Ready
Before you can plant your garden, you must first get your soil ready. That means testing it for nutrient deficiencies.
To do this, take a sample of the soil in your garden or in a nearby spot. This sample will be used to make a soil test that will give you the nutrient levels your plants need.
You can also improve the texture of your soil by adding a few inches of compost or aged manure. This helps to break up the clay in your soil and enrich it.
3. Plan Your Garden Beds
Building your garden beds is a great way to add a personal touch to your home landscape. They can help you maximize your space, gain better control over the soil, reduce soil compaction and care for your plants more easily.
The most popular material for raised beds is untreated rot-resistant wood, but stacked stone is also a great option. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to use framing materials that will not cause problems with fungal and bacterial growth.
To ensure level ground, make a mark on the ground along each side of the bed to set your level across. Then, place a board on top of each side, across the span and tap down to get a reading. This will ensure that the soil is level all the way through.
4. Choose Your Crops Wisely
When it comes to vegetable gardening, it’s a good idea to focus on the crops that will give you the most bang for your buck. These are the ones that will require less time to grow and harvest than other crops and produce a larger yield.
Choosing your crops wisely also means strategically planting them. For example, plant taller plants such as corn and tomatoes to the north of your garden to prevent them from shading out shorter plants.
It’s important to choose the right plants for your climate and soil type. For example, if you live in a colder area, plant a crop that is hardy enough to survive light frosts. Having the right plants in place will help you reap the benefits of your efforts for years to come.
5. Take Care of Your Plants
Whether you’re new to gardening or just want to keep your current plants healthy, there are a few basic tips you should know. From knowing when to water your plants to making sure they get the sun they need, these expert gardening tips will help turn you into a pro.
Plants need water to thrive, but too much can lead to root rot and even kill them. That’s why it’s essential to give your garden a steady supply of water from the start.
To determine when your plants need water, stick your finger in the soil to see how dry it is. If the dirt feels crumbly and dry, it’s time to water them.