Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Beginners in the Garden

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
~Ruth Stout

A guest post today by Maria Cannon:

Spring Gardening Tips on a Budget: A Guide for Beginners

Photo via Pixabay

For many states, winter seems to last forever, and then one day, it’s suddenly spring. It can be difficult to know how to plan for a nice garden when the weather is all over the place, and if you’re a beginner who doesn’t have a large landscaping budget, it may seem like your options are very limited.

However, there are some tips and tricks you can use to get a stunning garden started; it’s mostly a matter of knowing the best time to make your move and how to make the most of a small space, or a large space on a small budget. Start planning when the temperatures are still cold so you’ll be ready to go. Not only will this help you get an idea of what you want so there are no mistakes, it will also allow you to start seeds indoors so they’ll be ready to harvest once it warms up outside.

It’s important to pick out a section of your yard for a garden space that gets plenty of sunlight but will be protected from animals, especially if you have pets. If you live in a very dry area, think about the best ways to keep your plants watered. This may require an irrigation system or special plants that are drought-resistant. Do a little homework to figure out what will work best for you. For some tips on choosing your garden site, click here.

Here are a few tips on starting a garden for beginners:

Pick your seeds

Before you start planning your garden, you’ll need to think about what type of garden you want. You can integrate flowers and veggies or keep it strictly edible; the latter will save you money on your grocery bill if you plant what you and your family enjoy eating. Consider the climate where you live before choosing your seeds and make sure they will be easy enough for you to maintain.

Get the soil ready

Before you can start seeds, you have to make sure the soil is ready. After you’ve chosen the spot where you want your garden to go, dig up the sod, till the soil, and add a layer of compost, manure, decayed leaves, or dry grass clippings. These will boost the soil with extra nutrients so your seeds will take root easily and grow, and are more cost-effective than buying pre-made fertilizer.

Know when to seed

Some plants—pansies and kale, for instance—can handle cold temperatures, so you can plant them in fall or winter. Others don’t fare so well in cold weather and need warmth to take root, such as tomatoes and beans. If you know you want to plant some veggies but the timing just isn’t right, think about starting the seeds indoors while it’s still cold out and let them flourish in the warmth until you can transplant them or harvest them.

Know how to water

We already know that seeds need sunlight, water, and good soil to grow into healthy plants, but it’s important to give them enough of each of those things (and not too much). New seeds need watering every day so they don’t dry out, but as the plant takes hold, you can scale it back a bit. Every plant is different, so do some research into which ones will be best for your lifestyle.

Starting seeds may sound like a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, but with a little research and a good plan, you’ll be able to garden with the best of them. Be sure to look into organic pesticides if your garden has a bug problem in order to keep your family and your pets safe.

1 comment:

HWY said...

These are very good tips...and I'd like to add one more: container gardening. Just Google it and you'll find lots of good advice on how to grow lettuce, spinach, and even tomatoes in containers. Containers are good for limited spaces AND you can move them around to catch more (or less) sunlight. You can also bring them inside (if they aren't too heavy) in case of a surprise frost.