Starting your first garden is an exciting adventure, and yet intimidating. Unless you have some experience through the advice of others or you’ve assisted a friend or family member with their garden, The information found online can be quite overwhelming. Everyone seems to have the secret to growing a magnificent garden. Allow me to ease your worries with this quick guide that will help you understand the basics and start your first garden without all of the stress.
Simple Tips on How to Start Your First Garden
These tips on how to start your first garden are just what you need to get going! And once you start, you’re never going to want to stop!
Decide what to grow in your garden
When deciding what to grow, your options are almost endless. This wide variety can make it incredibly difficult to choose, but not impossible. More than likely, you already have a few choices in mind. I suggest making a list of foods that you would like to grow. Next, take the time to check with your local extension office or do a web search to see which plants normally do well in your garden zone.
Your local extension office can provide a wealth of information such as which plants do well, when is the first frost, when to plant, etc. Once you have decided what you want to grow, you’ll then need to figure out how you want to start your garden.
Seedlings are one of the best ways to start your first garden. These plants are already established and have been thinned out so the best plants are what remains. While this is a great way to get your garden started, even if you have a late start or have a tendency to forget about tender new plants, it can be really expensive to start out with live plants.
Seeds are the most common way to start a new garden. Seeds can be started indoors in the winter to give them a head start allowing you the benefits of starting with seedlings without spending a large amount of money on your first garden. Heirloom seeds get you the best return on your investment because you can save the seeds to grow year after year.
Another way to start your first garden is with cuttings. These plants come from taking a small cutting of a well-established plant and rooting it to form a new plant. While starting your own cuttings can be a fun experience, it is not in your best interest to rely on cuttings for your first garden unless you are buying them from an experienced grower. Cutting is the best way to get started with some trees, shrubs, and plants to speed the production that takes more than one season to produce.
Where to start your garden
It’s all about the foundation. You want quality soil, plenty of sunlight, and water. Look for a place in your yard where your plants will get the most sun possible for the best production. If you live in a very hot climate, look for an area where shade may protect your plants in the afternoon but give them full morning sun.
Planting your garden in the ground is the most affordable method, but it’s also a lot of work. Be prepared to do a lot of digging to make the soil usable. Instead of paying for planters and premium soil, you are paying for your first garden with hard work. All you need is a sunny spot where weeds tend to thrive and a shovel to get your first garden bed ready.
Above ground or raised garden beds are popular because they do not require as much work to get started and allow you to have full control over the quality of the soil. These garden beds can be raised to a height that is better suited for gardeners that can not get down on the ground. If you are in an area where the soil is very sandy or contaminated this can be the best option for starting your first garden.
Potted gardens are great gardens for those that need to make space for their garden in a small area. Planters can be created out of large flower pots, planters, and even grow bags to allow you to move your plants as needed. Patio gardens are also a popular alternative in tight areas.
How to feed your garden
When you start a new garden you need to be sure you are providing your garden with quality soil. This means feeding your garden both at the start of the season by mixing nutrients into the soil as well as adding compost and fertilizer to your garden later in the season.
Start by adding fresh compost and organic matter to your soil to improve drainage. This can be accomplished by purchasing compost from a garden store or local composter. Compost that has been left with large chunks of twigs and wood mulch can be used to add organic matter at the same time.
Later in the season, you will want to add another round of compost, compost tea (made by blending compost with water), or a natural fertilizer to help your plants thrive.
Mulch and water
Get a head start by providing your garden with what it needs. Using a garden hose to water your garden is much easier and more sustainable than expensive watering cans. If you’ve tried growing house plants but seemed to be neglectful of tending to them, you may benefit from an automatic watering system. Some of these can be quite expensive, but you can also find some affordable DIY watering systems that are easier on your budget.
Mulch can help keep your first garden alive even if you tend to forget about it. Adding plenty of mulch will slow down weeds that can prevent your garden from thriving and trap water, which is beneficial for your plants.
These tips can easily help you learn how to start your first garden!
More Garden Resources
- 18 Ways To Save Money In Your Vegetable Garden
- How To Start A Garden With Kids
- So You Want To Homestead?
Lastly, don’t forget to grab your garden planner from our store! Just click the image below to head on over!