Gardens are simply beautiful; they represent little pieces of heaven on Earth with nature’s colors of greens, browns, and rainbows of flowers and leaves. They offer instant comfort, fresh air, and a peaceful haven where one can relax and reflect. If you were one of the lucky ones with enough space to start a garden, we absolutely recommend it!
Starting a garden can be one of the most rewarding endeavors, and taking care of one is a very relaxing activity that gives you a chance to reconnect with nature, watch live beings grow, and be one with the planet. Whether you’re growing fragrant flowers, starting an herb vegetation, or planting trees with the help of a tree service specialist, everyone can benefit from getting their hands dirty. Needless to say, knowing where to start doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
This article aims at easing you into starting a garden so you can enjoy beautiful visuals, colorful blooms, and delicious flavors.
1. Decide On What You Want
Your first step is deciding on the kind of garden you want; herbs, flowers, trees, or vegetables. If you’re opting for vegetables and/or herbs to add a twist to your cooking ingredients, then you might want to talk to your family members about what everyone wants to eat or try. On the other hand, if you decide on a flower garden for beauty and fragrance, then you will need to decide whether you want annual blooms that blossom for most of the summer but need to be replanted in the spring, or perennials that offer a shorter bloom period but keep returning year after year. This is because each type of garden has its unique set of requirements, including upkeep and maintenance needs.
2. Choose the Right Spot
You have to be smart about where you place your plants. For instance, you will want to pick a relatively flat area for your garden, as taking care of a sloping garden can be challenging, time-consuming, and a little pricey. You might also want to consider locating it near a windbreak (like the wall of your house or your neighbor’s house) to protect your plants from harmful strong winds.
Sunlight, on the other hand, is another vital factor in your decision. Most plants need about six to eight hours of sunlight to flourish, so depending on your choice of plant, base the location accordingly. If your yard has little sunlight throughout the day, then you might want to go back and revisit your decision about the type of plant and choose something that can thrive in the shade.
3. Clear Out the Space
Now that you know what you want and where you want it, it’s time to clear out the ground as an initial preparation step. You will want to remove all the grass from the area you are going to plant, and while covering it with newspapers is an easy way to accomplish this, it takes time. Alternatively, you can slice the layer under it using a spade; cut the sod into sections that are easy to remove, then add it to your compost pile to decompose.
4. Fertilize the Soil
In most cases, the soil in any yard probably lacks the necessary nutrients and proper pH levels for healthy plant growth. To prepare your soil for receiving plantations, you want to enrich it with some organic matter. This can basically be a layer of compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings, or old manure about 2-3 inches deep. While doing so, you can either decide to start digging the bed yourself, or leave the matter to decompose as earthworms take care of mixing it into the subsoil.
5. Start Digging
Digging and tilling are the two ways you can prepare the soil to welcome new roots, allowing them to easily penetrate the bed, facilitating their access to water and nutrients. If you are preparing small beds, then digging is your best bet. Using a sharp spade or spade fork, gently turn the top 8 to 12 inches of soils, mixing as you go. Remember to only do this when the soil is wet enough to form a loose ball in your fist, yet dry enough to crumble when you drop it.
On the other hand, if you are setting up a larger bed area, then you might want to resort to tilling – which is basically the process of cultivating soil using a mechanical device like a rototiller. Bear in mind that this process is for the more experienced, as it holds the risk of disturbing the natural rhythm of useful microorganisms and earthworms. If done excessively, and when working soil that is too wet or dry, tilling can also damage soil structure and plant roots.
6. Plant Away!
Depending on the plants of your choice, you should research the best season, time, and way to plant them for best results. It is, however, generally recommended that beginners should start by planting young plants that come with a set of easy to follow instructions.
For healthy plants that will live a long, happy life, always remember to ask your supplier, or read up on your own about the various watering needs, methods, and times, as well as fertilizer quantities, trimming routines, and other plant maintenance measures.