Tips on How to Start Gardening


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Starting a garden on your own can be an overwhelming project to take on for your home, but with the added aesthetic of blooming bright colors and fresh green plants peppering your yard, making your backyard feel like an oasis or stepping up your curbside appeal,  it’s well worth it.

The Plan

image: serc.carleton.edu

First and foremost, you need to develop a set plan for your garden before you actually go about planting it. Taking this approach will make the entire process of growing your garden a lot easier leaving you less stressed and overwhelmed leading you to ditch the project altogether. Having a plan while going in will can also serve as a constant guideline for whenever you have too many things going on at once and you aren’t sure of what your next step should be. In short, The Plan when it comes to gardening is essential – read on to see what should be a part of it.

Decide what you want.

Take into consideration all of the different types of gardens that are out there from food gardens lush with fruits and vegetables to flower gardens teeming with blooming petals. Do you want your garden to be out in the open for everyone to see in your front yard, or do you want to have a personal relaxing oasis in your backyard? Ask yourself questions like how much space you want your garden to take up, or even how much space you have to offer? Don’t feel obligated to stick with only one idea however – feel free to mix it up with herbs growing in one corner and daffodils in the other; the great thing about setting up a home garden is that you can make it whatever you want to be that best suites your own personal taste. Tip: If this is your first time having a garden – start small! It will be less overwhelming and once you master maintaining a smaller sized garden, your likelihood of being successful with a larger garden will increase, and you will waste less time and money.

 Select your plants.

But don’t buy – yet. You want to have the plants you would like already picked out before you actually go and make your purchases because different plants require different things, and you want to ensure that you will be able to provide them with a suitable environment that also fits your own lifestyle in order to have a successful garden. When looking at flowers for example, they are split into two categories: annual and perennial; annual flowers have bright blooms that last a long period of time and need to be replanted every year,  while perennials have shorter blooms that come back year after year. Taking your environment into consideration is a very important factor as well – If you have a sunny spot picked out, make sure you purchase plants that thrive in the sun rather than shade, and if you are leaning towards plants that need more water, ensure that you will be home regularly to water them or get your sprinkler system in order.

The Gardening

Now that you have your plan all laid out, it’s time to put your thoughts into action by beginning the gardening process. An important thing to keep in mind in order to have a successful garden is to maintain your patience, depending on how large of a garden you are opting for and how much time you have to devote to  it, you may not get it done overnight, or even over the course of a week. Always remember that it’s a process and that you will finish when you finish to avoid over-exerting yourself, getting flustered and ditching the project altogether.

Tend the soil.

The first step in tending the soil is clearing the ground where you want to put your plants. Remove any rocks, weeds and other debris so you will have a clean slate to work off of. In most cases, the soil that is naturally present will not have enough nutrients to sufficiently feed your plants so you will need to buy additional soil from your local nursery that has these nutrients incorporated with the dirt. Dig up the already present soil to loosen it up and incorporate the bagged soil to make an effective foundation for your plants to grow out of. This is typically the part where most Gardening newbies give up, it can be hard work clearing out the area and tending the soil depending on how many rocks and weeds are present. Don’t give up though! Keep envisioning your dream garden, all of the effort will be worth it.

Plant

If you are planning on planting a ton in your garden, you might want to make purchases as you go just to ensure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.  For example, if you plan on getting around 20 flowers, settle for 10, and once you successfully plant those 10, revisit the store to purchase more. You may even find that you actually prefer the lower number, or that you just don’t want to put in that much effort. Depending on the plant, they have specific distances they need to be placed from each other so they will have more room to grow. Take care to either look up online or on the seed packaging to see what spacing would work out best. Once you are finished planting, apply a few inches of mulch to keep weeds from getting in and ruining all of your hard work and to also keep water from coming out.

Maintain

You’re finally finished! All you need to do now is maintain the garden you have created and water regularly and replace mulch as needed. Enjoy your garden!

 

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