If you’re interested in creating your own garden, know that you can do it. While it requires time and effort, the process is actually quite simple, not to mention rewarding! Whether you envision vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, or a little bit of everything growing in your backyard, you can make it happen with these six simple steps from All Outdoors:
1. Hire a gardener
Review your budget and see if you can bring on a professional with gardening expertise to help start your garden. Not only can a gardener help you plan the perfect garden for your needs, but they can also advise you on planting, watering, weeding, and any other aspects involved in creating and maintaining a garden. Or they can simply handle these tasks for you if that’s what you prefer!
2. Choose what to grow and where
What you want to grow will help determine the location of your garden, as well as the other steps on this list. Gardening Channel recommends only planting crops that you will eat (besides flowers); otherwise, you won’t experience the reward for your hard work. Also, consider the region you live in and what crops will grow the best there.
Once you know what you want to plant, pick a location in your yard for the garden. Think of sunlight exposure, since most vegetables and fruits need plenty of sunlight throughout the day, and be alert to potential drainage concerns. Also, you want the garden in an easily accessible place for you to tend to it, and you want to minimize the damage done by animals.
3. Design the layout
This part is fun. Look at where your garden will be, and plan out the design in your mind. Take measurements, think about what you want to plant, and plot out the dimensions on paper.
If you decide to use raised beds, be sure to incorporate those into your layout. University of Georgia Extension advises that your beds don’t exceed four feet wide so you can work with them properly. Also, think about how much space you will need for walking between the beds.
4. Get the right tools
As with any task, having the right tools is essential to making your gardening experience efficient and enjoyable. You will want to acquire items like hoes, rakes, shovels, and hand tools. To save money, look to stores like Ace or Target to find what you need. Just be sure you get quality tools if possible; otherwise, you could waste time and energy, not to mention put unnecessary strain on your back. And after each use, clean your tools to keep them in good shape so that they will work better for longer.
5. Prepare the soil and plant
With your layout in hand, mark where your garden will be, and dig out the existing lawn in those areas. Once the grass, sticks, and other debris are removed in your planting areas, add fertilizer or compost to enrich the native soil. Then, you’re ready to add your plants!
Be sure to check the instructions included with each crop so that you can plant it at the right depth. Once you’ve dug the appropriate holes and placed the plants in the soil, fill the holes in with surrounding soil, pack down the soil gently, and water the plants to help settle the soil.
6. Keep up the garden
Finally, you need to make sure you maintain your garden after you create it. Regularly check the soil to determine how often to water it, keep weeds and grass from intruding, and periodically add fertilizer to the soil. And of course, monitor pests to make sure they are not destroying your crops.
While there’s a lot involved with starting and tending a garden, planning it out and committing to a reasonable amount of work each day will help to make it a rewarding experience. Consider hiring a gardener to get started on the right foot, select your plants, arrangement, and tools, and then dig in. Thanks to your thoughtfulness and care, your garden will thrive!
Clara Beaufort reached out from Gardener Gigs to write this wonderful guest blog for us. Clara is a retired business owner, who is currently working in community gardening. Gardener Gigs aims to connect local gardeners with those who need them.
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