Having your own garden can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience. It can make your property look better, it's fun to do so, and you can benefit from having direct access to your product. But all of these benefits can only be gained if you know how best to care for your garden, and all of them are hard to do if you're a beginner. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
Choose the right location
Before you begin your gardening process, the first thing you must consider is the specific location where you want it. The location of your garden will affect the garden's growth process and success, as you will need to place it in a sunny, easily visible area.
Especially for vegetable gardens, you need to choose a location where the plants receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. The site should also have easy access to a stable water supply. You don't want to be dragging buckets of water across the yard just to water your plants, so you'll want a hose or tap next to the garden.
Finally, you want to put it in a place where you can see it regularly, as this will encourage you to deal with it more often.
Know the right time to plant in your area
Depending on the type of plant, some plants require you to grow them year-round and in different climates. In other words, you need to consider the hardy area you live in. Hardiness zones can be found online and will eventually tell you what time of year you should start growing vegetables based on the temperature in your area.
Choose the Right Kind of Garden
There are many different kinds of gardens that you have the opportunity to choose from to meet your specific needs. Depending on where you want your garden to be, your space may be limited.
Some beginners opt for a more compact space to be more organized, so they choose to utilize a single square foot garden, dividing each particular plant evenly throughout the square. Especially for beginners, raised gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years.
They function just as their name suggests, they are physically removed from the ground. For those with limited space, or if you have poor soil quality, a raised garden is a perfect idea.
Raised gardens are beneficial because they give you better control over the soil, they easily limit the number of weeds and pests in your garden, and they help you be more organized, allowing you to separate plants according to specific needs.
Plan the garden before planting
By planning out the design of your garden before you start planting, you can optimize your existing space. This can be written on drawing paper or in a journal. But you'll eventually want to draw the design of the garden and plan out what plants you'll grow and where.
Some plants grow more efficiently when planted next to each other, so you can also do some research to keep this in mind when deciding what types of plants to put where. People often simply plant vegetables in random Spaces, making it hard to remember where they all went. This can lead to a mess with random plants everywhere. Planning your garden ahead of time can help you become a more successful and organized gardener.
Conduct soil tests
The health of the soil directly affects the health of the plants and the overall benefit of the garden. Soil is responsible for providing nutrients for your plants, and if the soil is poor, your plants will not survive. That said, you will want to conduct soil tests in the ground or soil you plan to plant your garden in.
Soil testing helps ensure that your soil is healthy enough to nourish your plants. The test will measure the pH of the soil and the levels of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil. These are important because only under the right conditions is the soil capable of transporting minerals and nutrients to the soil. To perform a soil test, you can purchase the test online and follow the included instructions.
Many experienced gardeners find that placing mulch on top of the soil can help improve the overall condition of their garden. Mulch itself has many benefits for the garden. Mulch helps the soil retain water, they say, and it breaks down over time, improving the soil's fertility.
In addition, it helps control weed growth throughout the garden, prevents erosion, and helps repel many pesky pests. It can even improve the overall appearance of your garden, making it look healthier and more attractive.
Use of chemical fertilizer
Fertilizer is one of the most common ways to help improve the overall health of your garden. There are many different types of fertilizers available to you, so it's important that you do your research and find out what works best for you.
Some of them contain strong chemicals that can actually harm your garden or other substances around it. Overall, fertilizers improve your garden by adding minerals and nutrients to the soil.
Choose plants that are suitable for your area
Certain types of plants will grow more efficiently in certain climates, so you should do some research to find out what types of plants are best for your area. Urban Farmer Seeds is a website that allows you to find the best plants for you based on the specific area you live in. Not only that, the site provides you with frost dates for certain areas and professional planting plans for the best overall results.
Grow only what you will use
There's no point in spending time and effort growing vegetables you don't need or like to eat. Many beginners seem to just choose what they think looks good or what is standard in most gardens.
But there's no point growing vegetables if you don't use them, or at least sell them to others. That is, consider what types of vegetables you would personally use and grow only those.
Even if there are only a few vegetables, you can use other Spaces around the vegetables and grow flowers or other plants there.
Rotate crops every year
Especially recommended for those planning to pursue a garden for a longer period of time, you should do annual crop rotation. This is a process utilized by the most advanced gardeners, and it can help you make the most efficient use of your soil.
More specifically, it involves rotating certain crops according to how soil nutrients are used each year. Different types of plants affect soil in different ways. HarvestToTable, for example, explains that some crops are light feeders, some are heavy feeders, and some are soil builders.
By planting different kinds of crops in specific areas of the garden each year, and then rotating them each year after that, you'll be able to make the best use of the nutrients in the soil. Crop rotation helps prevent the soil from drying out over time or causing any other damage.
Use companion planting
Companion planting is the process of placing certain plants closer together in order to improve the overall quality of each plant. Putting certain plants together can help you make the best use of space throughout your garden and can also provide an added benefit to your garden.
More specifically, companion planting can help control the number of pests throughout the garden, increase soil fertility, provide natural trellis, control weeds, and can also help control the amount of shading. Gardenista provides a more in-depth guide to how you can benefit from companion planting in the long run.
Label the plants you grow
Many beginners struggle with garden organization because they seem to forget what crops they grow and where. More advanced gardeners find that by labeling their crops as they grow them, they can avoid any confusion and help keep the garden more organized. You may not think this step is necessary, but you'll soon realize how easy it is to forget about it. When you forget, you have to dig up the seeds again, which can be a waste of time. So remember to label your plants and stick labelled things to the ground.
Have the Right Gardening Tools
When you're first starting out, you'll want to make sure you have the right tools for your gardening process. Having the right tools can make gardening more effective and manageable. The most important tools are waterproof and breathable gloves, a spade, a weed whacker, scissors, a crossbar, a manual pruner, a wheelbarrow, and a manual rake.
Use a hose with a nozzle
In addition to the necessary gardening tools, you should also make sure you have a reliable source of water. More specifically, you should have a hose that is compatible with the nozzle attachment. The attachment allows water to pass through a variety of spray Settings to ensure that water reaches certain parts of the garden under specific pressure arrangements.
Water the garden at the right time
Not only do you have to water your garden, but make sure you do it at the right time of day. Usually, the best time to water a garden is before the sun is directly in the garden, as the soil has the ability to absorb water rather than being vaporized by the sun's heat and energy. More importantly, you should water the garden and only water it once or twice a week. You should also make sure that you meet the water needs of each plant.
You must remove weeds from the garden while they are growing. Many people have the misconception that if they just let weeds grow, their crops will do fine. This is problematic because they don't take into account that weeds are also plants, and they absorb many nutrients from the soil. In other words, the nutrients available to crops are limited.
In general, make sure to remove weeds as they grow. They end up stealing all the nutrients from the soil, and they take up space in the garden. If you're worried that the weeding process will take too long and involve too much work, you can easily remove weeds from your garden with a standing weeder. Or you can use a backpack sprayer to spray a large area of herbicide. This saves you time and energy.
Remove dead flowers from certain plants
Another problematic thing many beginners do is simply leave dead flowers on their crops. Not only do these dead flowers look bad, but they also prevent new flowers from growing. So to help regenerate the newer flowers and essentially encourage more vegetable growth, you can remove the consuming part of the plant.
But you shouldn't remove them in any way. Usually you should use your fingers to pick it up, garden shears or scissors. This video can help you learn more about the proper way to remove dead flowers.
To attract Mason's bees to the area
Bees can help improve the health of the garden by pollinating flowers and promoting their growth. That being said, you can improve your garden by attracting Maison bees. You can do this in a variety of different ways.
You'll want to spread some bee food around and provide a good source of mud around the bee's house. The bee house is basically made of wood with small holes in it. Ecolandscaping.org provides more detailed information on attracting stonecaps.
Correct seed storage
Especially for those who plan to plant every year, you can make the most of your gardening process by properly storing seeds from certain plants after harvest. If you store them correctly, then you can use them to grow other crops in the future. To store them properly, you need to keep them in a closed jar, in a place where both temperature and humidity are constant.
Use migration if necessary
Eventually, you'll want to grow most plants in your garden. But for plants that take longer to grow, you may benefit from transplanting certain crops. If done correctly, you can save time and effort.
Use a garden journal
Finally, it is highly recommended that you keep and use a gardening journal to document your gardening process. It helps you keep all of your tracking information in the same place so you can easily see your progress from year to year. You can track what crops you grow, where you grow them, and their progress. You can even include photos in your journal to more accurately record the garden's progress as it appears. Finally, using a garden journal can help you become a more productive gardener.
Taking care of your own garden in general can be a daunting task, especially if you don't have any previous gardening experience. With time and patience, you have a chance to grow the garden of your dreams. Hopefully these tips for beginners will help make your garden more successful. You ultimately have to think about what you want to grow, where you want to grow it, and how you want to grow it. Tracking your gardening progress is one of the most important steps because it will help you get better over time. Just start with these tips and keep learning, and you'll be a professional gardener in no time.