How to Start a Garden | Step by Step Guide to Start Your Own Garden | Easy Gardening Tips
As soon as Ryan and I bought our house, one thing we were looking forward to was the garden we were going to create! The house we bought did not have a garden so we had to build it from scratch. We used 1x6 pieces of wood to create a bed for the garden. We just measured out the space, cut the wood accordingly, and used screws to connect the pieces. We just placed it on the old mulch and put it in a few inches down. We filled the bed with garden soil and top soil and used about a 50/50 ratio between the two.
Our first gardening summer was in 2015. We planted cherry tomatoes, green and red peppers, broccoli, basil, and strawberries. They grew like crazy! I learned that we get like 9,000 cherry tomatoes and strawberries are a pain in the ass to grow & they spread ...
The key is that they get really good morning sun until about 3 pm (the hottest point of the day). I water daily (unless it rains of course) and pick weeds every few days.
This is a picture of our first garden!
I will say that the garden was too crowded that first summer! We definitely didn't expect them to grow that well so it they were a little close together. Be sure to limit and space out the plants.
If it is your first time in your garden, I suggest planting a few things to see how they grow and then the following year you will have a better idea of what you want. Some produce just does better than others! We have the same climate as my parents (10 mins away from us) and our cherry tomato plants are like twice the size of theirs! I'm sure it has to do with sunlight, but I definitely was expecting plants the size of theirs...we got so much more!
About the Broccoli...It takes up an incredible amount of space and you only get one small crown. It is not a plant I will try again. It's unfortunate because we eat so much broccoli! I might try it again when we make some raised garden beds next season though...
So, for the real reason you are here...lets get you started with your own garden!!
Do you have what you need?
Do you have a space already built? If you don't, choose a space in your yard that gets good sun in the morning. If you can, find a spot that gets sun until about 2 pm. That way, your plants will be in the shade for the hottest part of the day. You can choose whatever size you want, but read below for a tip to save some time!
Do you have a hose that will reach the garden? Just make sure you have a long enough hose so you can water daily!
Do you have the right tools? You don't need much. Most can be found at your local hardware store, but you need:
Have you figured out how to keep out unwanted animals? You don't want to put all this effort into growing your garden only to find that the bunnies have eaten all of your tomatoes! In the picture above, you can see that we used some chicken wire for the first few years. This year we upgraded to the white picket fence, and I love it!
We got super lucky that our garden was the perfect size for the fences we bought at Lowe's. If you are building from scratch, it would make your life easier if you planned ahead for how you will block off animals and make your garden size according to what method you choose.
We did have to modify one piece of wood, but we used a saw to cut to size, removed the pegs with a hammer, and re-attached the long peg to the correct position. It was like a 5 minute process.
What is the climate like? I think it's tough to find information on what you can plant in different types of weather...but you can try to do some research before you plant. Are you trying to plant summer crops? or fall? or spring? Just look into what you want to plant and see what time of year it should be planted! You can always ask your neighbors and see if they have a garden :)
Ideas of what to plant
Well, it really depends on what you eat as a family and how much space you have. We literally get hundreds of cherry tomatoes, so I give a lot away. But I am not going to grow stuff I wont use, that's just wasteful! I also find that some things do better in pots because they can start to spread big time...I generally put my spices and herbs in pots!
Our favorites for the garden:
Zucchini (train it to grow tall - ours is huge!!!)
Our Favorites for Pots:
Things I have tried that I will never again:
Broccoili (too big)
Strawberries (tough to grow and spreads too much)
Chamomile (also spreads like crazy so if you plant it, definitely use a pot!)
I hope this helps! What are your favorite things to plant? What have you tried? Comment and let me know!
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