Are you wanting to tackle a garden for the first time this year, but are unsure where to begin? The truth is, anybody can start a garden–if they plan and prepare properly. Here six quick steps to give you a rundown on starting your perfect summer garden.
1. Pick a location.
Before cutting into your garden bed, measure what kinds of sunlight hit which parts of your yard at different times of day. Most vegetables need a lot of sun, whereas most flowers like a little shade. When you know what you want to plant, do some research on which plants need more sun and which areas of your backyard are the most sunny. It’s also good to take into consideration which spots of your yard have the easiest access to water.
2. Clear the ground.
Next, dig the sod out. There are several options for how to do this–here’s a great article that outlines four different ways (digging, tilling, smothering, and using herbicides).
3. Improve the soil.
This can also be done in a number of ways. Use organic matter–such as compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings, or old manure. If you’re digging or tilling the ground, consider mixing this organic matter in with your soil.
4. Start planting!
Every plant varies–some can handle the cold, others can’t, some can start from a seed in the garden, and others need some indoor nurturing before going outside. Make sure you’ve researched your plant and know what each one requires to grow healthily.
While plants are small, they will need to be watered daily so that they don’t dry out. Once they get a little larger, you can simply water them every other day. After that, your watering schedule will depend on your soil, how humid your climate is, and how often it rains. Water slowly and deeply–preferably in the early morning.
6. Mulch & Weed.
Laying down mulch regularly will help keep weeds out and water in. Weed regularly as required.