We all have that list of things we have always wanted to do when we just “find some time.” One thing that this year has given us is just that, and a lot of it. During this season of staying home, many people are picking up new hobbies and taking this time to learn some new skills. Along with learning how to bake banana bread, starting a home garden has been one of the top pastimes people have begun to take on.
With the unpredictability of store inventory over the last few months, the weather getting nicer and the monotony of staying inside all day growing with each passing day, the idea of growing produce in the backyard took off overnight.
Here are six easy steps to starting your own backyard garden:
1. Figure out the best location and layout for your garden
Location and layout play a big part in building a garden space that will provide the greatest opportunity for your plants to thrive. Take a moment to ask yourself some of these questions:
- Do I have enough space to plant my garden in the ground or will my plants grow better in pots and planters?
- How big does my garden space or pots/planters need to be to best accommodate the produce I am planting?
- Are the plants I am growing going to need more sunlight or shade?
- What type of soil do my plants require?
2. Prepare your soil
In addition to the right amount of sunlight and water, plants (especially produce) require the right type of soil environment to be successful. Take some time to find out what kind of soil your produce needs to succeed. Also consider:
- What tools do you need?
- What kind of fertilizer does your soil need?
- Are you going to do countertop composting for your garden? If yes, what effect will that have on your garden?
3. Invest in starter plants
As more people begin their at-home gardening journeys, seeds are starting to become harder to come by in stores. The best tip nowadays, unless you are an experienced gardener, is to invest in starter plants! Especially with herbs, starter plants make it easy to get your garden started and growing fast.
4. Set up a schedule
Once your garden is in the ground and ready to grow, set up a schedule for watering. Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a successful garden. Be sure to match and measure your watering schedule around the weather in order to know whether you will need to water more or less than usual.
5. Maintain pest control
Along with watering, maintaining pests that love to snack on your newly planted produce is also a regular action needed to make sure your plants are thriving. Helpful tip: plant some marigolds! In addition to the pop of color and beauty they will give your garden, marigolds act as a natural pest control, attracting insects like ladybugs that prey on harmful garden pests.
6. Harvest your produce
When your plants begin to produce, make sure you keep harvesting often. Harvesting at the right time allows your produce to begin preparation to start new growths. This will keep your garden happy, healthy and thriving!
Good luck and happy gardening!