Starting a garden may seem like a big project, but you can get ahead of the game by being prepared and ensuring you know how to keep your plants alive and well. You should also test the soil so you know what plants will thrive near your home. Here’s how you can start a new home garden.
Take photos of the area where you want to start your garden at different times of the day, including morning, noon, and night to see how much sun it gets throughout the day. This will determine what type of home garden you can have. For example, vegetables need at least six hours of sun daily, so if your garden area gets only three hours of sunlight, then your vegetables won’t thrive.
If you want to have a vegetable garden, consider moving the location to somewhere else on the property. However, if you want to have a garden of shade plants, then a location with fewer than 4 hours of sunlight will be perfect for your plants.
If you have an area where you want to plant flowers to make your home’s exterior look beautiful, then you’ll need to pick plants you know can thrive there. However, if your garden’s location is flexible, you can choose your garden’s location based on the types of plants you want to have in your garden.
Make an Outline
Once you know the location where you want to plant your garden, you’ll need to outline the garden bed so you can be happy with the layout before you start digging. If you do start digging and realize you want to move the garden, you can use lawn products to help your grass grow back in less time.
When outlining your garden bed, be sure to use a garden hose or landscaping paint that won’t ruin your lawn. Make sure you avoid tight angles that would be difficult to mow. Instead, aim for curves or even a circle to make managing your garden easier.
Next, walk around your property so you can see how your garden will look at different areas of your property. If you don’t like the shape, you can easily change it since you haven’t started digging yet.
Once you decide on your garden layout, make sure you don’t have any underground utilities where you’d like to plant.
Test Your Soil
If you want a healthy garden, you’ll need to know what type of soil you have so you can add lime, nitrogen, or potassium to make it healthy for plants.
You can buy a test kit at your local garden center or hire a service that will do this for you and give you recommendations based on the type of garden you’re planting.
Now it’s time to grab your shovel. Before you start digging, consider edging your garden bed by using a shovel to cut around the edge of your outline so you can follow the shape as you remove more grass.
Once you’ve edged your garden, dig a few inches down around the perimeter so you have a tiny trench that can prevent the herbicide from reaching your grass and killing it. These trenches can also be helpful to prevent your pets from getting into your garden.
If you’re removing grass, then you can’t just start digging since it will likely grow back among your plans. You can get a sod cutter from a garden center to cut away the sod in your garden. You can also remove the grass with:
When you’re done getting rid of the grass, create a border for it so it can’t creep back in and start growing in your garden. You can use plastic dividers for this.
Fertilizer will make your soil an ideal environment for your new plants. You’ll know the type of fertilizer you need based on your soil test.
You can also consider enriching the soil by working organic matter into it with a shovel. You can add anything from compost to manure to add nutrients and improve drainage.
Grab Your Seeds & Transplants
Now that your soil is ready, it’s time to start planting. You can plant seeds or use transplants so you don’t have to wait as long to grow your garden. Some plants grow best in a seeded garden, while others work best when they’re transplanted. You can also choose to grow your transplants from seeds for a variety of plants in your garden.
Now that it’s time to start planting, you’ll need to be careful with your plants, whether they’re seeds or transplants. Seeds should be planted according to the packaging, while transplants should be planted the same depth as they were growing in the pot.
Remember, young plants can be damaged easier than older plants, so make sure you’re gentle throughout the entire process.
Maintain Your Garden
The work isn’t done after you’ve finished planting your plants. You’ll have to maintain your garden for as long as you want for it to be beautiful and healthy. You can learn how to care for your plants at your local garden center or read the seed packaging or transplant pot instructions.
When it comes to watering your garden, be careful. Your plants will typically require one inch of water each week during peak season. While underwatering can be bad, overwatering can be detrimental. Always check your garden’s soil before you start watering. If the soil is too wet, roots can rot.
You should also be careful of bugs, which can eat your plants. If you have healthy plants, you won’t have very many bugs, but you might have a few wild animals that will be interested in what you’re growing.
Enjoy Your Garden
Now that your garden is complete and you’re taking care of it, the only thing you have left to do is enjoy it. If you’re growing vegetables, you can eat healthy food from your garden. Having a garden can be a rewarding process because you get to watch it grow from the ground up, and enjoy the tastiness of your hard work.
Written by Marné Amoguis
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.