So you want to start gardening? It’s a great hobby that can ease stress and help you get closer to nature. If you decide to grow vegetables, you’ll get to have that feeling of accomplishment when you can finally cook dinner with fresh foods you grew right in your own backyard.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you run out and start planting things. This will help you make the most of your new garden and keep it thriving and healthy for years to come.
- Know what grows where. Knowing what will grow where you live will help you out tremendously. Where you’re located plays a huge part in what you buy and grow. Some plants just can’t survive in certain climates so it’s important to know what will thrive where you live before you go shopping.
- Put your ideas down on paper. Before you actually go out and start digging and planting, draw out a diagram of what you want your garden to look like. Decide on the size, what you’re going to plant, how many, and where in the garden you’re going to plant it. This doesn’t have to be a set in stone plan, change it as you wish, but having a plan will help you get what you want out of your garden.
- Follow the “5-for-4” rule and save water. Adding organic matter, such as compost, to your garden will help conserve water and provide your plants with extra nutrients. For every 5 percent of organic matter that you add to your garden, it will store four times more water.
- Don’t dig so seriously. When digging the holes you’re going to put your future plants in, don’t put too much thought into it. Don’t try to make them perfect holes. This can actually hinder your plant’s root growth.
- Plant when it’s cloudy and gradually add the sun. Your plants will get a much better start if you plant them on a cloudy or rainy day. And if the plants you bought weren’t in a sunny spot, start them off in a partial-sun spot and gradually expose them to full sunlight.
- Water deep. You don’t need to water your plants every single day, all the time. If you live in a pretty even climate, watering once a week should be fine. Leaves don’t need water as the roots do. When watering focus on the root of the plant, not the leaves. Use a soaker hose to get the water deep into the soil to encourage deep root growth.
- Get rid of slugs with beer. Bury empty tuna cans or other small containers in the ground so it’s even with the soil. Fill the cans halfway with beer and a half with water. Slugs will be drawn to the yeast and they’ll fall in and drown.
- Rotate it. After your first successful year of gardening, you’re pumped for year two. You know exactly where the plants thrive and you can’t wait to set it up again. This time, however, move the plants around. Rotating the plants keeps the soil rich.
- Compost. There aren’t enough good things that can be said about composting. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your garden and it could save you some money. What could be better than that?