Some people have green thumbs while others do not, but that does not mean that you cannot pursue gardening. Flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fresh fruits have a unique way of making your yard look brighter. And it can also help you eat healthy even when you are practicing frugal living. If you are new to gardening, there are many things you must know before growing plants.
You can visit this gardening website to get some of these basic information. In this article, we will be focusing on giving you simple tips that can help you start a backyard garden.
Things You Need to Know about Starting a Backyard Garden
Here are the things you need to know before starting your garden:
1. Know the Type of Crops to Grow
The success of a garden begins with knowing the crops that will grow well in it. Plants have requirements for growth. They include temperature, humidity, and the type of soil. Before you buy seeds or seedlings, read the plant labels or seed packaging to know if they will grow well in your location.
2. Find the Best Place to Grow the Plants
When you have an idea of the crops to grow, you will be able to find a suitable place for them in the garden. There are plants that prefer growing in a shade while some others prefer direct sunlight. You can get this information from the plant package.
3. Perform a Soil Test
You can ensure that your soil is good for growing plants by sending a sample to a soil lab. You can also use a kit to check the soil pH at home. Different vegetables and fruits require different levels of soil pH. Apart from potatoes, melons, and eggplants, crops generally do well in soils with a pH of 6.5 – 7. Meanwhile, you need to check if nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen are present in the soil. If the results of the tests are not looking good, you can get some additives to take care of the deficiencies.
4. Use Raised Beds
As a beginner, you need to aim to be successful in your first attempt at gardening. And using raised beds may help you achieve that. Although this may cost you more, you will be able to control the soil, pests, and weed. If you love to DIY, you can find useful information on how to build raised beds: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/g20706096/how-to-build-a-simple-raised-bed/ Raised beds are very useful when you need to separate crops according to growth requirements. In a raised bed, you can have various sets of crops that are grouped in different patches.
5. Mapping Out
You already know the type of soil that is available to you, the crops that can grow there, and where to place them in the garden. What you need to do at this stage, is to map out the garden before you start breaking the ground. Doing this will help you make sure you are maximizing the space.
6. Get Your Farming Gear
Every profession requires using the right set of tools. And gardening is more than just a hobby, it is a profession. So, you need to get the essential tools like a hand trowel, garden fork, loppers, pruners, waterproof gloves, wheelbarrow, watering can, watering wand, a hose that has an adjustable nozzle, a hoe, and a rake.
7. Get Seed Starter Packs
Using seed starter packs is one of the sure ways of ensuring that the plants will sprout. They come in multiple or single-use trays, providing perfect growing conditions for the plants. Starter packs give you the opportunity to start the germination process inside the house when it is quite early to start planting outside. You can transplant it to the garden later when the conditions are favorable.
8. Start Small
You need time and diligence when taking care of plants; they are like babies. While you are excited about growing plants, do not be carried away. It is better to start in small portions. This will enable you to take care of each plant as much as you can.
9. Label Each Plant
Labeling each plant is a good idea, even if there are only 3 different plants in the garden. It will help you know what you planted, where and when you planted it. With the other activities you carry out on a daily basis, this information may be forgotten easily, so a label or plant tag is essential.
10. Use Companion Plants
Companion planting means growing various crops within the same space. This is done for several reasons including providing nutrients, preventing pests, and utilizing the space. Some plant varieties thrive when planted in close range, while others will stunt the growth of each other. For instance, tomatoes produce large yields and ward off flies and mosquitoes when they are planted with basil. Other companion plants for tomato are spinach, parsley, marigold, lettuce, onions, celery, carrots, and asparagus. It is important to note that tomatoes do not go well with rosemary, potatoes, dill, fennel, corn, beets, and cabbage.
11. Use Compost
If you are big on going green, then this will be your favorite. Composts are organic materials that you can add to the garden to boost plant growth. These can be eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags, lawn trimmings, fur, and ashes. Adding organic substances to the soil can help to retain moisture, promote the growth of good bacteria, and fight diseases and pests. Also, it is a useful way of reusing waste in order to lower carbon footprint.
There are lots of gardening tips for beginners, but we have discussed a few in this article. Now, go out there are get your hands dirty as you plant your favorite spices, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
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