When it comes to learning how to start a garden from scratch, most gardeners will be pleased with themselves and proud of the achievement. These folks were able to take what they loved, what they knew, and what they wanted to make into their own gardens. With this seemingly easy method to start a garden, these individuals went from hauling dirt around their community to having an abundant and beautiful garden right in their very own back yard. They even carried it on for the next 15 years or so.
Most people will start a garden by simply planting seeds and letting them grow from those seeds. This is not only convenient, but also a very time-consuming and labor-intensive method. If you are looking to get a head start on planting your vegetables, fruits, or herbs, look at local nurseries that plant solely for their profit and those that specialize in only offering certified organic products and/or compost for their customers. This way, you can be sure that what you are planting is certified organic and will not harm the environment and soil in any way.
It is important to know how to tell if a plant is ripe for planting before you actually do it. One way to tell is by smelling it. If a plant smells sour or bitter, it may not be ready for harvest. You should also see some of the leaves change from green to purple as they begin to turn colors from green to brown. These are all signs that the plant is nearing harvest.
There are many types of seeds that can be used to start a garden. These include beginner wheat, summer squash, radish, kidney bean, alfalfa, winter squash, kohlrabi, fenugreek, and cress. Vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, beets, parsnips, beets, peas, and herbs such as basil, chives, parsley, marjoram, oregano, thyme, tarragon, and sage. While these are all excellent choices for garden plants, remember that they each have their own distinct features that will affect the taste of the finished crop. It may be helpful to experiment with these varieties until you find the right combination for your garden.
Raised Beds: If you live in an area that does not receive enough sunlight, consider planting your garden in raised beds. This allows you to plant taller plants closer together and enjoy the benefits of partial shade during the hotter parts of the year. You can plant vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit on the bottom two or three feet of the bed and use wooden planters for taller plants and plastic pots for roots. Raised beds are great for gardening, but they take up more space than traditional gardening and will cost you more to install.
Gardening With Seeds: Many people think that seeds are used to germinate plants and then when the plant grows it becomes a garden. However, seeds are simply the food source for the plant. A gardener should know which varieties and what conditions are best for growing seeds. There are a number of good guides available to help you learn how to start a garden with seeds.
Use Compost Instead of Mulch: Most people think that planting plants next to mulch is a no-no. But, in many cases, it is the mulch that actually attracts unwanted insects and pests. Instead, plant your plants about one to two feet away from mulch. Garden mulch also stinks and is difficult to work with so consider using compost or other organic materials instead.
Plant Seeds Properly: After learning how to plant seeds, you must follow proper procedure when you plant them. For example, it is important to fertilize your seeds before you plant them. Most gardeners do not know how to do this properly. So, find a good eBook or guide that will show you how to properly plant seeds.
Ready to begin learning how to start a garden from scratch? The first thing you need is a good place to grow up your garden. Here are some things to consider:
Do: For starters, give your seedlings a good start by preparing the soil for them. Measure the sunlight carefully. Take photos of your gardening area at different times of day to see how much sunlight it receives. The amount of sunshine will dictate which plants you should pick and when to begin a garden. If you are starting a garden indoors, make sure that the soil can get at least six hours of daylight, otherwise too much heat or too much rainfall can kill your plants.
Don’t: Plant too close to a tree or bush. All plants require a certain amount of shade or exposure to sunlight for optimal growth, but some require much more sun than others. Choose plants that are best for your home climate, if you’re planting in a window or patio garden, keep away from planting directly under a large tree or plant, especially in the winter.
Do: Prepare the soil by removing all weeds. If your soil is loose and you are not digging or spraying, you have an edge. If you are performing both methods (dirt or spray), dig as much as possible. Once you have cleared the area, apply a light layer of fertilizer. If you are using a rototiller, add one-half cup of fertilizer per 1 square foot of soil.
Don’t: Grow any vegetables or fruits that don’t require full sun. Sunlight is essential for photosynthesis, which converts light to energy useful to plants. Most vegetable vegetables will do better if they get at least six hours of full sun. Fruit trees don’t like full sun, and fruits that are eaten directly need at least four hours of direct sunlight. Even tomatoes benefit from direct sunlight.
Do: Plant grass, but keep in mind that grass needs at least three feet of water for optimal growth. If your area is not going to receive enough water, consider purchasing a sprinkler or adding a pond or well to make water readily available. Remember to mulch, fertilize, and water your garden. Mulch keeps weed seeds from spreading, fertilizing the soil, and keeps it moist.
Don’t: Grow any vegetables or fruits in a place that is too hot or cold. This will stunt your plants, cause disease and destroy the quality of the fruits or vegetables. It is critical that the plants are planted in a grow bed that has received adequate sunlight, warmth, and moisture. Any further heat or cold will damage the plants or kill them before you ever have an opportunity to see the results. In most places, temperatures that are below 55 degrees for extended periods of time are ideal for growing most vegetables and fruits.
Do: Research the proper amount of fertilizer and soil additives needed to make your planting area healthy. Fertilizer should be applied after the first rain, while the soil is still damp. Soil additives are used during the first week of May and throughout October. After planting, test the soil with a soil test kit and add the appropriate amounts of fertilizer. When the weather is nice, try to sit on the garden for a few hours and take a look around.
Don’t: Avoid frost as much as possible. Frost makes it hard for most perennials to grow roots. If possible, plant your seeds in the fall and move them indoors as soon as possible. Many plants, such as radishes, beets, and carrots, will begin to grow again in the spring as long as there is frost.
Do: Mulch. Mulching can help keep soil moist and prevent weeds from growing. However, do not over-fertilize with mulch. It does not feed the garden, but rather provides a layer of protection from the elements. You should mulch every year. Do not, however, mulch in excess.
Don’t: Grow grass or turf in your garden unless you live in an area that has a frozen mulch. The grass will break down very quickly. Turf can contain chemicals and salts that are bad for plants, especially in the summer. A good soil test can help you decide whether you should use turf or grass in your garden.