Are you looking to start a garden but unsure where to begin? Don’t worry; we’ve been there! Here, we’ll cover how to create a garden and some basic gardening tips!
Figure Out What You Want to Grow
If you don’t eat or like certain foods, don’t plant them in your garden! Instead, save the space for herbs, vegetables, and fruits that you or your family will enjoy the most. It’s also important that your top crop choices will work where you live. To figure out your gardening zone, enter your zip code into the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Pick a Place
One of the best things about starting a garden from scratch is being able to pick the location. Many vegetables and fruits will need full sun; root vegetables, herbs, and leafy greens grow best in partial shade.
Plan Out Your Beds
Once you have your garden location, decide what type of bed you want. Raised beds are easier to work in and are more attractive than other options, but they dry out faster. Garden beds should be 3-4 feet across and narrow enough to reach the middle from both sides.
Gather the Right Tools
The proper tools will make working in your garden a lot easier. Basic tools include:
- Scuffle hoe
- Garden hoe
- Leaf rake
- Dirt rake
- Garden shovel
Test the Soil
Before you start planting, you need to test your soil: Is it alkaline, neutral, or acidic? Do you have clay, rocks, sand, silt, or a mix? Is there a risk of contamination from surrounding areas? Does your soil have a decent amount of crucial nutrients? It’s important to know these things to make adjustments for the plants you want to grow.
Prepare the Ground
Most plants prefer fertile soil that drains easily and is rich in organic matter. Be sure to research garden soils; there are different options, depending on your needs.
Choose the Right Transplants or Seeds
To learn when to start growing certain plants, consult a seed-starting calendar. You can also purchase plants from nurseries, but starting your own transplants is often more rewarding.
Plant With Care
Once you have everything set up, you can start planting! Most transplant containers and seed packets come with basic instructions, but as a general rule: Plant seeds about 2-3 times as deep as their diameter, unless otherwise instructed on the package. For transplants, plant them at the same depth they were growing in the pot.
Take Care of Your Garden
Many plants need around one inch of water per week. Overwatering is just as bad as under-watering, so always check your soil. You’ll also likely have to deal with weeds; the easiest way to grab them is with a scuffle hoe.
Enjoy Your Harvest
As your crops mature, harvest them quickly for the best quality. The flavor typically peaks after the morning dew has cleared and before the afternoon heat. You can always sample throughout the day to see when the flavor is best.
Do you have any tips for starting a garden? Share them with us in the comments below!