If you’re new to gardening, it can feel intimidating. But there are plenty of easy-to-grow vegetables and flowering plants that even beginners can try out.
A key aspect of a successful garden is good soil. It should be well-drained and contain lots of organic matter.
Start with a Plan
If you want to try your hand at gardening, the first thing you need to do is decide how you will use your garden. That will help you plan the location and design.
You also need to decide what type of soil you have. This will influence the types of plants you can grow and how you plant them.
It is a good idea to do a soil test before planting so you know what will work best in your yard.
Once you have a general idea of what you will be growing, it is time to make a list of plants that you wish to include in your garden. Using a plant guide will make this easier.
Start by choosing plants that will do well in the amount of sun that your garden receives, and group them together by water needs. You can do this by creating natural-shaped clumps or sweeps, or you can group odd numbers of perennials and annuals (such as 1 to 3) in a row.
Decide What to Grow
Deciding what to grow is one of the most exciting parts of starting a garden. But, it can also be a bit overwhelming.
First, decide what vegetables you and your family will eat. That will help you avoid planting something you won’t eat, and will save you a lot of time and effort when the harvest is ready.
Next, choose vegetables that grow well in your climate. This includes soil type and available sunlight.
You should also consider how much space you have to work with. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start small.
After you’ve chosen what to grow, order seeds. You can find them in your local gardening store or online. But, be sure to order early to ensure availability.
Think About Your Soil
Soil is the foundation of your garden and plants need it to grow. Start by testing your soil to determine the best soil type for your needs.
Soils are typically categorized as clay, sand or loam (a combination of the three). All have their own strengths and weaknesses, but all need to be amended with organic matter in order to improve plant health.
Healthy soil has plenty of underground animal and plant activity, including earthworms, fungi, nematodes and microorganisms. It’s also rich in organic material, which is the main source of nutrients for soil organisms and plants.
Soil tests can be done for a small fee at your local extension office or online. They’ll tell you what your soil lacks and what you need to add to improve its nutrient level.
Gardening should be a fun, relaxing hobby. However, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing and have no experience.
If you’re a beginner, start small and learn as you go. That way, you’ll have the confidence to expand your garden as your skills improve.
You can start by planting a vegetable garden, or even a few flowers. Whatever you choose, make sure to choose a spot in your yard that gets enough sun.
Vegetables, herbs and most fruits need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to thrive. A spot that gets too little sun will mean your plants won’t grow well, and you’ll end up with a smaller harvest.
You can also try container gardening if you don’t have the space for a full-sized vegetable garden. A few containers on a deck or balcony can provide you with fresh veggies all summer long, and they’re easy to care for.