My friends have asked how I maintain a garden and the kids. My answer is typically, I have no choice. It became important when I decided to make my own baby food and a necessity due to expensive fruits and veggies. After over 10 years I have a couple of simple tips on how to start a garden.
There are a couple of ways to start a garden. I started years ago with just a couple of herbs in a pot. Whether you decide to start your garden in a planter box or in the ground, here are a couple of simple tips on how to start a garden.
Simple Tips on How to Start a Garden
Where to Start
No literally, where? Depending on what you are thinking about growing, you need to figure out how much sun that plant needs. If your plant needs 6 hours of sun (like a tomato plant), you should make sure the area you put it in gets at least 6 hours of sun.
It’s all About the Foundation
Having well fertilized soil is very helpful when planting a garden. Whether planting in the ground or in a planter box it’s important to make sure there’s a good foundation. That means breaking up ground soil or choosing a soil/potting mix that has the right ph balance for your plant. If you know you’re forgetful, buy soil that retains water or water storing crystals for your container plants.
In our garden, we aerate the soil, add fertilizer and add soil before we transplant when it is needed. In the containers with our blueberries, we added peat moss to help with the pH of the soil.
Keep It Simple
If you’ve never gardened before, it’s important to start small. Start with just one or two plants. The less you have to worry about the better.
To make life even easier, use transplants instead of seeds. I used to start my garden from seeds, but in the last couple of years have been crazy and it’s just easier to buy plants.
Some plants are easier to manage than others. Tomatoes were one of the first successes in our garden. Then we moved to cucumber plants and peppers. The great thing about tomatoes is that there are hybrid versions specifically made to be grown in a container.
Water Your Plants
For our garden we use a sprinkler. According to hubby we have a compact gear drive sprinkler. We’ve tried many different methods of watering our garden and this has been the best for us. We (I mean hubby) adjusted the radius so it only waters the area we want it to. We have this sprinkler for several years now and it still works well and we’ve continued to adjust it as we’ve expanded the garden.
If you decide to start your garden in containers, I’d suggest using a watering globe. When I first started growing herbs in a container I used a watering globe. It was particularly helpful when we went on vacation. I’m going to be honest, one day I was in a pinch and I just filled an empty beer bottle with water and used that as a watering globe. Hey, recycle, reuse and reduce.
If you’re still hesitant, try a plant that’s less needy like a mint. It grows like a weed and can stand up to almost any type of weather and its an annual with very hardy roots, so it will come back year after year.
Now that’s how to make the most of your dollar. If you’re looking for a couple of other ways to save money or just reduce your ecological footprint, read my post about how to reduce food waste.