Spring has sprung and it's the perfect time of the year to start a new gardening project. Working with nature and its natural elements is tranquil and promotes a sense of well-being. Be it a small or a big garden, there are lots of benefits to being outdoor. It keeps you moving, it connects you with nature and it also helps to reduce stress. And of all, it also is rewarding when the fruit of your hard labor starts to bloom.
So, if you have been thinking about gardening for some time, now would be the perfect time to start. Here are some essential tips and tricks that you can use to easily start your own garden.
1. SPOT THE RIGHT SITE
Siting makes all the difference when it comes to gardening. It's all about the location. You would want it to be at a place that is easily visible to you at all times. Let this not be an out of sight, out of mind scenario, because that will happen if you are starting it for the first time specially. A helpful tip here is to pick a spot that's relatively flat. A sloping space can be very difficult to work with.
2. PICK YOUR PLANTS
It's important to choose what is suitable to the climate you are on. Some plants grow better in humid conditions, while some do better in dry conditions. You will need to do some homework on this regards to find out what grows better where you live. Also depending on the space that you have, you want to be wise in selecting what to grow. You can't choose a climbing plant if you are limited in space, or you can't choose a pumpkin either in that case. So be wise and depending on your space, pick something that you can take care of and help it grow. Another important factor to consider is if you want a herb garden, vegetable garden , flower garden or a succulent garden. Do your research.
3. SPOT THE SUN
Plants do better when they get 6-8 hours of sunlight everyday. Spend a few days to see how the sun falls on the spot you have picked and whether that will be ample or not. All the magic lies in making sure that your plants have enough sunlight to grow in. This can either make or break your garden.
4. PREP THE GROUND / POT
Soil is an important piece of the gardening puzzle. It is always a good idea to invest in a nutrient rich soil and well-drained soil. You can consult with your nearest garden center to find out what's best. Depending on the area you pick, its always good to layer the soil. If you are starting on the ground, adding in a all purpose nutrient rich soil to the mix would be a great idea. If you are planting on a pot, then layering it with various mixtures with the nutrient rich layer on the top will help make for a better growing environment.
5. KNOW YOUR FROST DATES
Timing is the key when starting your own garden. You do not want to start early on a plan that does better in fall or winter. Frost date is basically the average date of the first or last light freeze that occurs in spring or fall. Here is a easy tool that will help you find out your frost dates based on your location.
6. PLANT YOUR PICKS
This is the fun part, where you actually get to sow your seeds. Depending on what you have decided on, plant your picks on the area you have prepped so hardly. Its important that you read the seed-instructions before you begin. Most plants will require a prep time before you can actually plant them. There are specific instructions on how or where to start, so read them carefully. Another hack here is to start with young plants, called set plants or transplants. These may be easier if you are setting on this for the first time. You will need to dig a deeper bed on your prep area and plant them. Make sure that the roots are intact while you take them out of the pot. You can use your finger or a fork to make this easier.
7. ADD MULCH TO PROTECT YOUR PLANTS
Mulch helps to keep weed out of your garden and also locks moisture in. This means that you will not have to water your plants as frequently. There are plenty of options in the market, and you can consult with your garden center on the best one. The kind of mulch will also depend on the kind of garden you have. For a short lived versus a long term perennial garden, the kind of mulch use differs. So make sure to look for the right kind for your garden. The best way to add mulch is to sprinkle about 2 to 3 inches around your plant.
8. FEED YOUR PLANTS ( AKA WATER )
Now that you are past the initial phase, it is important to water your plants frequently. Water, sun and soil are the key components to the success of your garden. If its seedlings, it's important to keep them moist, so water once every day. If its past that phase, then watering twice every week is recommended. Please do note that it will also depend on your garden type, the climate and humidity, so your initial research when you picked your plants will come in handy here in deciding the appropriate water time.
9.MAINTAIN YOUR GARDEN
Gardening will keep you busy if you are really into it. Weed out any dead or diseased plants or even weeds. Clear out any obstacles in the spreading of the root. Adding in some super food from your garden center will also nourish the plants further. Its important that you upkeep with the regular garden chores, so you can see the fruit of your labor bloom.