Starting a garden at your own home is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling things you can do! Many of you might have a hobby of gardening. Avid gardeners usually have all the know-how of plants, seeds, photosynthesis, etc.
But I believe there are still some people who are not familiar with the basics but may be willing to get on the bandwagon. Hang in there because today’s article is for you!
1. Decide what you want to plant
You can consider any of the three following options.
- A vegetable or fruit garden
- A nice floral garden
- A herb garden.
Now the choice depends upon your area of interest and expertise.
If you’re someone who despises using fruits and vegetables from the market, then growing your fruits and veggies will be a sensible option. After all, what’s better than planting your food organically at home? All your worries about preservatives will go away.
Secondly, someone who is a fan of ayurvedic medicine or homoeopathy may like to go for a herb garden. There are loads of varieties when it comes to herbs. Well, obviously, you might not be able to plant all the herbs in the world but you can the most that you’d like to use in your daily routine.
On the other hand, if you love fresh flowers, go ahead and start a blooming garden full of sweet-scented roses and orchids.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to have a look at the following steps so that you don’t make any mistakes.
2. Identify the right spot
Now, this is important to remember. How will your garden thrive until it receives an adequate amount of sunlight? Generally, almost all plants or herbs need a maximum of six to eight hours of full sun every day. Having said that, you need to be careful about the weather conditions as well. Some plants may grow well in summers while others grow better in the damp, winter months.
You must figure out which part of your backyard receives the most sunlight and which areas receive partial sunlight. For more guidance, you can reach out to the staff at your local garden centre, and they will surely cater to all your doubts.
Here are some tips:
- A wise decision is to pick a flat spot as it will be easier to handle and maintain rather than a sloping area.
- Keep an eye for windbreaks. Strong winds may be harmful to your plants.
- Bonus tip: if your garden is close to a water spigot, it will be a lot easier for you. Otherwise, you will have to carry buckets of water across the backyard every day.
3. Ensure that the ground is clear
If you happen to have a sod covering in the area where you want to plant, it is better to remove it as soon as possible. Here’s what you can do:
- Take a spade and slice under the sod covering.
- Cut the sod area into sections. In this way, it will easier to get rid of it quickly
- Next, put in the compost pile to decompose
- Cover your small garden with six or seven sheets of newspaper. Use more sheets if your chosen area is bigger
- Now, spread a four-inch layer of compost on the newspaper.
- Approximately, it will take about three to four months to decompose. As soon as the spring season arrives, you will have a rich bed full of soil ready for growing plants.
If you want vegetables in summer, you must do this in spring.
4. Enrich the soil
Now, this goes without a doubt! The more fertile your soil is, the faster our plants will ripen. This applies to fruits, veggies and herbs too. Also, if you just shifted to a new place, you will have to give extra attention as the topsoil is usually stripped away in new homes. You need to check if your soil is either too acidic or alkaline, too wet or infertile.
If you can identify any of these signs, then take precaution by following these steps:
- Include organic matter. All you need to do is add two to three-inch layer of compost or manure.
- If you are not willing to dig, then just leave the organic matter as it is.
- It will soon turn into humus and earthworms will most likely mix it the subsoil
- If you want to take one step further, consider going for a soil test. The results will tell you about the current condition of your soil and what steps must be taken to enrich it further
5. Water your plants at the right time
Your seedlings must never dry out. Until the roots of the transplants are well established, make sure to water daily. To reduce evaporation, it is best to water in the early hours of the morning.
Once the seedlings are established, then the amount of water your plants need solely depends upon the weather conditions.
If you’re still confused as to whether or not your plants need more water or not, you can check the soil three to four inches below the surface. In this way, you will probably get a fair idea.
Also, don’t just splash water hurriedly. Take your time to water the plants so that it soaks nicely instead of just running off the surface.
Some tips for maintaining your garden
Just setting up the garden once and forgetting about it is not enough, my friend. Just like you keep your house spic and span and free from any dirt, your garden also needs utmost care and attention to bloom and thrive. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Water the plants regularly
- Remember to remove the dead, dried vegetation
- To keep insects at bay, you can pick all of them and gather in a bucket and spray an insecticidal soap
- Pay special attention to tall plants such as tomatoes, stake or tepee.
Here you go! That was all about the gardening tips and guidelines that every beginner must follow. Once you get the hang of the gardening basics, you are good to go! Happy gardening!