Starting a garden sounds like a noble endeavor. You have good soil and good seeds and a will to succeed, but you have no idea how to get started. Have no fear! Follow these tips and succeed!
We love to garden at our house so I thought I would share some tips with the wanna-be gardeners out there to keep them from getting discouraged. It IS possible to have a successful garden!
Important Steps to Take When Planting a Garden:
Decide where you will plant your seeds or plants. Do you have a plot of land ready? Will you need to dig up an area? Do you want to start some seeds or plants in pots?
Get good soil. No matter which area you choose for your garden (already established, never tilled, or pots), some good organic fertilizer is always a good idea.
Make sure you have good drainage. If you are starting plants in pots, make sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom. You might need to get a diamond cut drill bit to do this, but it will be worth it.
If you are planting in the ground, make sure your plot is not in a low spot. If it is in a low spot, just dig a small trench directing the water away from your planting area.
Get good seeds and/or plants. Although it’s tempting to buy cheap seeds on sale that were leftover from last year, don’t do it. You want to be successful from the beginning and old seeds are not good for success. In this case, get some nice fresh seeds slated for this year. I prefer to get organic or heirloom seeds, but choose what works for you.
When buying plants, make sure you choose plants that look healthy. Ask an attendant to help you pick out good plants if you’re not sure.
Now You’re Ready to Plant!
Get your seeds or plants in the ground. Check the frost free date in your area and plant around that date. When you plant at that time, if you have seeds that don’t come up you have time to replant.
If you wait until late in the season to plant, it’s harder to replant if needed. In Ohio we usually plant around Mother’s Day each year.
Check over everything around the beginning of June and anything that didn’t come up can be planted again. That way you’ll still have time for the plants or seeds to grow and ripen before it gets too cold.
Water the seeds or plants when you plant them. This sounds elementary, but necessary. When you get your seeds or plants into the soil, give them a good watering. Check them every few days and feel the soil. Water them if the soil feels dry.
The best time to water is in the morning or evening each day that your soil needs water. Be sure to not water too late in the evening so that the water has time to soak in and benefit the roots of the plants.
Be prepared to maintain – If you think you can just throw seeds in the ground and never touch them again, you are sorely mistaken. Gardens don’t have to take a lot of work, but they do need to be watched. Just check your garden/container each day. If it feels dry, water it. If it has some weeds popping up, pull them.
Enjoy the harvest! This is the fun part. Most seeds will tell you how many days it might take before you are able to harvest. Be patient. It will be worth the wait. Keep watching your garden each day and pull those weeds out!
You Can Do This!
Gardening is work and yet it is so rewarding when things go right. If you start with good seeds and good soil and watch your garden every couple of days, you will reap a harvest.
If you get stuck or see that your plants are looking sad, there are lots of great YouTube videos out there to help. Search the site for what you need and, chances are, there is a video explaining your exact situation.
Our favorite garden books for adults: