Friday, January 17, 2020

Planting Your First Garden: Beginners' Guide

Planting Your First Garden:  The Beginners' Guide

 



NOTE:  Today's post is a guest post from our friend at EcoKaren.com


Whether you want to plant flowers or vegetables, starting your own garden is one of the most rewarding things to do.


Apart from learning a new skill, it also offers a way to stay active during the weekends.

But the process can be difficult to start especially when you have never gardened before.  There are several factors you need to consider if you want your garden to flourish with colorful blooms and delicious flavors.

Here is how you can get started.

1.  Choose the Right Site


Almost all vegetables and flowers need about 6 to 8 hours of sun for healthy growth.  So take the time to observe your yard to find the right spot for your new garden.  If your yard is so shady for plants, such as tomatoes you can trim the trees.  However, hostas and ferns do well in shades.

Also, ensure the spot is flat as it can be difficult to deal with a sloppy garden.  Pick a site where you can't ignore the garden such as near your mailbox or front door.  Ensure the site is close to a water spigot or you'll have to connect a water hose.

2.  Improve the Soil


Before you plant anything, you need to prepare and improve the soil quality of the garden.  The soil must have three essential elements:  nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.  It should also contain calcium, magnesium and sulfur.

Add organic matter to improve air supply in the soil.  You can purchase it or make your own.  Make sure you have watered the garden and mulch it to prevent water loss.  Also, add fertilizer to provide the soil with all the essential nutrients.

3.  Identify the Ideal Plants


You can use a catalog to pick the right plants for your garden.  That however, can be complicated if you don't know some plants by names.  For beginners, great vegetables to start with include tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce and peppers.

Sunflowers, cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias are great annuals, while for perennials, you can opt for pansies, daylilies, black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers, and lamb's ears.  You can use a helpful seeder like this to plant seeds quickly in your garden.

4.  Water Your Plants


The next essentail part is watering your garden and you need to identify the right time to do so.  Also, watering should be moderate.  Waterlogged gardens cut off the air supply to the roots and the microorganisms that live in soil leading to various diseases.

Seedlings and transplants should be watered daily until the roots are strong enough.  After that, watering frequency depends on your soil type and your locations's climatic conditions.  Clay soil loses water slower than sandy soil, so it won't need regular watering.

If you're not sure when to water the garden, feel the soil about 3 to 4 inches down with your finger.  If it's dry, then it's time to water.

5.  Protect the Garden




As your plants continue growing you need to protect the garden to ensure the plants grow healthily.  Cover the soil with much to prevents direct sunlight hitting it.  This menas you won't have to water as often.  Also, it helps to prevent the growth of weeds.

Find time to uproot any weeds and get rid of diseased or dead vegetaion.  Also watch out for destructive insects and get rid of them.  Always strive to keep the garden as clean as possible.

Final Thoughts


Gardening is not as difficult as you might think.  Even if you don't have a spot for a typical garden you can try raised gardens or container gardening.  Strive to work on you garden and you will see the results of your efforst within two to three months.  Remember to harvest vegetables when ther're ready to prevent spoilage.

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