The question is not if you should start a garden or if you should not. The question is, when are you going to start your garden?
Having a garden around your home is not something that should be debated. It’s something that’s necessary. There are several reasons why it is good that you start or have a garden around your home.
A garden invites life or breaths fresh air around our homes. Beautiful flowers attract beautiful birds who get their sweat nectar from the flowers. Trust me, the song these birds produce is so refreshing and suiting. No wonder there are apps produce bird sounds to help you relax.
Why download an app to get bird sounds. Start a garden instead, real birds will come naturally.
Apart from that, plants are the source of the oxygen which we breathe in. Without plants, no oxygen, no air. With a garden around your home, you’ll not be short of fresh air around your home.
The food we all feed on, the flowers we use in all our happy ceremonies are just few of the reasons to start a garden.
Luckily, most people recognize this, and they just want to know what it takes to start a garden around their home.
In this post, I’ll be highlighting 10 steps you need to take to start a good looking and relaxing garden around your home.
What are the steps to start a successful garden?
1. Plan ahead: Choose the type of garden
It’s important to plan ahead before you start digging out your lawn to get anything planted. What type of garden do you want to cultivate? Do you want to start a flower garden, a vegetable garden, a herb garden, or a combination of them.
You need to make this choice beforehand so that you know what to expect after starting your garden.
For instance, if you’re starting a flower garden, you need to decide if you’re planting annuals which usually bloom for longer periods of time, but you have to replant each year, or perennials which bloom of a shorter period of time but grow by themselves each year.
So, put pen to paper and get everything sorted out theoretically before any manual work.
2. Start Small
If you’re not an expert gardener, there is no need starting a garden that is one acres large. No, you need to start small and taste some success first, then later you can enlarge your garden if you want to.
Failing after starting a small garden will not be as painful as failing after starting a large garden. In fact, if you are not a professional, a large garden can actually overwhelm you as time goes on which can result in failure.
So, start small and get your feet wet first before going full throttle.
3. Choose a Site
After choosing the type of garden you want to grow, the next step is to pick a place around your home to grow the garden. Putting into consideration the type of garden you’re growing and the amount of sunlight the plants require to grow.
That is why step 1 is very important. Make sure you know what the plants need to grow well and blossom. If you don’t know, do thorough research. Ask other gardeners you know, or even the staff in your local garden center.
Also, make sure the spot you pick to start your garden is not a place you don’t usually see. If you see your garden every day, you will be able to notice all the changes that goes on and take necessary steps to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
4. Clear the site
It’s time to put on your gardening clothes and footwear. Get your gardening equipment and get to work. Once you picked a place, the next thing is to start preparing the place so that it can be ready to receive your plants.
That involves removing the turf from the place. Here you have two choices. The quickest one is to dig out the turf or sod especially if there’re some nasty weeds there. Then you can move on to the next step
On the other hand, if you still have some few months before starting your garden, you can save yourself the labor and smother out the turf in the place.
This you can do by just covering the turf with some sheets of newspaper. Make sure they’re thick enough. Put some compost over the newspaper and wait for about 3 to 5 months.
This will not only do away with the turf in your chosen location but it will actually turn them to manure which will enrich the soil there.
5. Prepare and improve the soil
Once the turf is gone, the next thing is to shift your attention to the thing underneath it. The soil. You have to prepare, improve and get it ready to receive the plants.
This usually involves adding organic matter to the soil, such as manure, compost, grass clippings and so on. This will improve the nutrients in the soil, which is very essential for a healthy garden.
If you want to go further than that, you can carry out a soil test on the soil to discover what the soil is lacking and how to add it to it.
6. Dig the soil or don’t
Digging is an important part of soil preparation, provided the soil is not too wet and sticky or too dry. Digging the soil and getting it raked out makes it easier for plants root to penetrate the soil.
It also helps mix the organic matter and soil together.
7. It’s time to pick your plants
You know the type of garden you want already, you’ve also picked a place in your yard to grow the garden. You know the condition of the place, how much sunlight it receives, the type of soil.
The thing you haven’t done is you haven’t picked the actual plants that you will grow in your garden. This is not so difficult though since you’ve already made a lot of preparations already.
You can simply go to your local garden center and pick the plants you like, that can adapt to the condition of the site you chose.
Checking plants catalogs or browsing the internet for plants is also fine.
8. Start planting
Once you’ve picked your plants, it’s time to put them in the ground. However, you have to be aware that plants grow by seasons.
So, you have to do your research and know when and how to plant each of the plants you’ve chosen. You should know how deep you should plant them, and how far apart they should be.
An easier method you can adopt is to buy young plants and transplant them in your garden.
9. Start watering
Plants need water to grow especially when they just started growing. So, make sure to water them daily. Transplants will quickly die off if they’re not watered properly in the early stages of transplanting them.
So, water them adequately. Remember not to water the plant leaves. Water the soil instead.
The best time to water is usually in the morning to minimize evaporation due to sunlight.
10. Control Weeds
You need your plants to grow, not weeds. So you have to keep weeds out of your garden. To do this, you need to start mulching. Cover the exposed part of the soil with mulch to deprive it from sunlight, make it impossible for weeds to grow.
If you planted annual plants, use mulch that decompose easily in months. On the other hand, if your plants are perennial plants, then you can use mulch that takes a longer time to decompose.
Mulching does not only prevent weeds from growing, but they also minimize evaporation of water from the soil, keeping the soil moist enough for your plants to thrive.
At this point, you’ve done the major work and your garden is set to grow. All you have to do now is to keep an eye on it, and provide proper maintenance when needed.
Water adequately and apply fertilizer as required. If you’re using solid fertilizer, then you should add it to the soil about halfway through the plant season.
If you’re using liquid fertilizer, you can apply it every month in order to promote a healthy growth in your garden.
Like I said earlier, it’s not a question of whether you should start a garden. It’s a question of WHEN you’re going to start your garden.
The steps highlighted above are the steps you need to start a beautiful and thriving garden around your home.
The ball is now on your court. You can now start your own beautiful garden. As always, the question is when are you going to?