Starting a garden is something that promises to be profitable. It is either you will be blessed with a lush and beautiful well-scented flower garden or a fully-grown vegetable garden. All in all, to start a garden is something that requires a lot of hard work and planning.
If you are looking to start a garden: be it a flower garden or a vegetable garden; a lot of planning needs to take place. For instance, you need to consider the size of land available to you for your gardening, and then you decide the type of plants to have in your garden, maybe a scented flower, a beautiful one, or some vegetables or a combination of all three. After those, you can decide on the type of compost to use on the land.
After all these efforts, you can sit back and watch your garden grow to your satisfaction, albeit with a little work. These works include watering the garden because you wouldn’t want it to become withered, pruning it every now and then to allow for space amongst your plants.
If you’re looking to start your own garden, considering that you have land available to you, this piece will expose you to those little efforts that you will need to put in to grow it into the garden of your dreams without needing to invest a lot of money.
#1. Prepare the Soil
The first thing to do immediately after you’ve decided to start your own garden is to prepare the soil. Start by clearing the ground. Clear all the sods around the land by cutting them out. You can slice under them with a spade to completely eliminate them. You can add them to your compost pile to decompose.
After this, improve the soil by adding a good layer of compost or old manure. It is a well-known fact that the more fertile your land, the better your garden. This is why it’s essential to prepare the soil. It is also a good idea to do a soil test to know if your soil needs improvement and how to go about it.
The next and last step under the preparation part is to work the land by tilling or digging the ground. Tilling involves the use of a device called rototiller to cultivate the soil. This is always good when you need to do a large number of amendments on the land. The only side effect of tilling is that it disturbs microorganisms and earthworms. Too much tilling also destroys the soil structure. Digging is a more effective method for preparing small beds. It is best to dig when the soil is moist.
#2. Pick the Plants
This is one of those parts that give those who want to start a garden a lot of headaches. Some of them will pore over catalogs for several weeks, even months in some cases, while some will just head to the garden center and buy anything at a sight that captivates their attention. Any of those is good, but fortunately, there is a third option which is, you can handpick your seeds yourself. There are different types of seeds for different types of gardens - there is the cutting flowers, butterfly/bee/hummingbird mixtures, wildflowers and more. You also have the annual plants, the perennials, the vegetable, etc.
It is always advisable to get your seeds locally. This way you can always get a perfect mix for your area. If you’re in a quandary as to which mix to buy, you can ask for advice from the store clerk. It is also good to look for seeds that suit your soil condition. These include plants for shade, sun or part-sun.
#3. Plant the Seeds
Here, the best thing to do is to mix the seed packet together and scatter them in the prepared bed and cover them with a thin layer of garden soil. When doing this though, it is always good to watch out for the seasonal plants among your pick.
For instance, tomatoes and most yearly flowers are better suited for warm temperatures. Planting them during autumn or late winter will not be good for them. Plants like pansies and kale are best planted during cold seasons.
There are also plants that are easy to grow directly from seeds like sunflowers and lettuce. The best thing to do is to get in-depth information about the seeds, like the planting time, the recommended spacing and the depth.
To avoid your plants from withering, as a result of your garden drying out, it is always good to water the seeds as they were sprouting and germinating. The seeds and young plants need a lot of water to germinate well.
After their roots have become sturdier, you can taper off on watering. The frequency of watering them will be determined by the soil type, rainfall, and humidity. Clay soil dries out slower than sandy soil. Cool or cloudy weather will retain water better than windy or sunny weather and so on. Furthermore, you can check every now and then to determine whether the soil is dry or not.
#5. Thin Out the Garden
Scattering your seeds in the garden during the process of planting will give a kind of dense planting, which will require you to thin out as they start growing. This is quite easy to do. You just need to give the seeds enough time to start germinating. As they start sprouting, you start pulling out those ones you think are not really needed to give room to those that are needed.
For those that are just starting out as a new gardener, you might be confused as to what plants will blossom from the flowers around you, so it is good for you to give the plants time to grow bigger before you start thinning them. This is very important if you want your garden to come out in the best possible way.