A garden can become a source of joy and comfort for some people, especially given the pandemic we're experiencing now. It can be a way to let out emotional stressors while growing something beautiful and edible. The idea of starting a garden may seem daunting but with the right mindset, it can be done.
You don't need to have a huge backyard to start one. A garden can come in all shapes, sizes, and purposes too. If you want to start one but don't know how, our team has made a guide on how you can make that happen.
Benefits of Starting a Garden
An hour of light gardening can burn up to 330 calories. If you’re a newbie, slowly go up on your workload to avoid shocking your body with laborious physical activity.
It can be a great stress reliever, a study conducted in the Netherlands compared adults who gardened for 30 minutes a day versus those who didn’t and it showed that those that did were more relaxed, saying that gardening had a psychologically soothing effect on them.
Owning a garden also means that you will be outside a lot more than usual. Humans need to be exposed to a healthy amount of vitamin D. Researchers find that people living near green spaces have much lower rates of diseases.
Learning to try new things
When you’re doing your weekly grocery run, you will gravitate towards things that you usually get. Growing your own vegetables will open doors to you expanding your palate.
Growing produce yourself will also ensure that there are no preservatives or pesticides in them. This will essentially be you and your household practicing farm to table.
Save you money
Produce can be a bit costly because you use it for every single meal, especially if you’re a large family and you don’t have a habit of eating out. Having your own garden will save you money in the long run and ensure that what you’re using is fresh.
Gardening doesn’t have to be a lonely hobby. You can start doing it with a family member, loved one, or even someone you just met. As long as both of you want to do it, there will be a sense of fulfillment as you watch the seeds you plant grow into a beautiful thing.
A guide on how to start your own garden
Plant according to your climate
A successful garden isn’t all about putting in the labor. It’s also about knowing what works in your location. Countries with warmer climates are more suited for tropical fruits and vegetables like mangoes, bananas, beans, etc.
Find your climatic region and read up on what is best to plant so you don’t waste your efforts on planting something that isn’t suitable for your particular location.
Determine what you want to grow
With your constraints in mind, you can now freely decide on what you want to grow. Is it going to be a flower garden that will bloom into beautiful and colorful flowers? A herb/vegetable garden that will save you trips to the grocery or local market? Or will it be a combination of both to give you pretty flowers but also something edible.
Purchase basic gardening tools
After figuring out what you want and where you want them to be, you can now buy the tools you need to finally start planting. You can start with gardening gloves, trowel, hoe, fork, spade, rake, and a wheelbarrow.
Most hardware stores sell these tools in a pack but if you want to you can buy them separately too.
Test you soil
A soil test can determine the current fertility and health of your soil. By measuring both the pH level and pinpointing nutrient deficiencies, a soil test can provide the information necessary for maintaining the most optimal fertility each year.
Prepare the soil and make a garden bed
The ideal time of year for prep is either spring or fall because that is when soil is the most stable. You can start prepping the ground by clearing away all the weeds that are currently growing.
You can either do this by hand or purchase a chemical weed killer and pour it over the soil. Once you’ve cleared the area of the debris, you can spread compost around the growing area.
Decide if you want to transplant seedlings or use seeds
To learn which plants grow best directly seeded in the garden and which plants are better as transplants, you can inquire at your local farmers’ market or join internet groups that are enthusiastic about plants.
If you choose to plant seeds, it is a less costly but more tedious process. It requires patience while waiting for your seeds to germinate. Buying seedlings from the local nursery will be more costly but it will save you time and effort.
Plant your seeds/seedlings
When you are planting seeds, make sure to sow them at the proper depth indicated on the seed packet, tamp the soil firmly over them with the palm of your hand, and water them whenever the surface of the soil dries out.
On the other hand, seedlings require you to carefully transfer it from the pot to the ground, making sure that you don’t damage the roots. The hole that you dig should be around the same size as the root mass.
Maintain your garden
Remember to water your plants sufficiently. There is a seasonal rhythm when maintaining your garden. Spring is all about keeping the weeds from getting a toehold. Summer requires extra vigilance to keep the garden well watered. Fall is the season for cutting things back and cleaning up. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by letting your garden look messy and untidy. A service like lawn maintenance or Lead Removal Atlanta don’t cost a lot, but make a huge visual difference to your garden if you either don't have the time, or inclination to regularly care and maintain your new garden.