How To Start Your Own Garden

If you're ready to put in a few hours of preparation and care, you can enjoy fresh vegetables or fragrant blooms of your own.

There's something about growing a garden that's like balm to the soul. Tending the earth, planting seeds or seedlings, and watching them grow is very meaningful to a property owner with a secret yearning to farm. What better hobby is there than tending young life for aesthetic or nutritional purposes?

If you are ready to stop buying produce and bouquets and plant your own instead, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Select the best patch of ground on your lot. This may be located beside the house, along the yard's perimeter, adjacent to the shed, or atop a landscaped island anywhere in the lawn. Look for a well-drained area where water will not collect to nourish fungus among your plants. The plot should lay in a sunny area to ensure proper light and heat that will be needed for growth. You'll want to choose a spot that will be convenient for your work and attractive for viewing.



2. Choose your crop. Perhaps you want to grow just tomatoes the first year, using them for salads, shish kebab, or canning for sauce during the winter. Or you may opt for several crops, depending on the size of your lot, such as a few pumpkins, corn, cucumbers, and melons. If your lot size is limited, plant a few berry bushes on your property's border and enjoy the fruits of your labor as they ripen.

3. Or plant a flower bed. A row or cluster of rose bushes will keep your yard smelling and looking lovely all summer and into the fall. You can plant lilac bushes by the driveway or mixed wildflowers along the fence. Tall sunflowers at the rear of the shed or short marigolds outside your garage will ensure color and variety all season long. Keep in mind that after planting the young plants or seeds, you will need to keep them watered and de-bugged as well as weeded to ensure attractive and healthy results. Plan on checking your garden several times a week to be sure the young plants don't die from heat or being choked by weeds.

4. Wait for the best time. If your schedule is already full, don't take on the added burden of a garden just yet. Wait until things settle down, the children get older, or you finally retire. At that point you will be in a position to give your garden the full attention that it deserves to avoid disappointment and wastage. Start early spring for best results, and follow instructions provided by a nursery or greenhouse.

5. Assemble needed tools and supplies before you start. This will help to ensure that you have the budget and the time to do your garden justice. You don't want to till the land, dig your holes, plant seeds, and then find out you can't afford fertilizer and fungicide as well as a watering hose to finish the job.

Planting a garden requires thought, planning, and organization. If you don't have time for these tasks, it may be better to wait until you do.

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