So you want to start a garden this spring or summer. Great idea! Caring for a garden is a very rewarding endeavor, and one you can share with the whole family. If you’re new to gardening, though, it can be a little tough to know how to know how to get started. By following these tips for how to start your own garden, you’ll reap the fruit (and vegetables) of your labor.
Decide what to plant
What kind of garden do you want? The type of plant you choose will dictate the requirements for maintaining your garden. Pick something that makes sense for you and your family. Do you want herbs and vegetables that will eventually make their way to your dinner table? Flowers to decorate and add fragrance? It’s all up to you.
Pick a spot
Most plants need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day to thrive. Research the light requirements of the plants you have chosen for your garden and pick a spot for your garden that best meets those requirements. Make sure that spot isn’t susceptible to strong winds. It’s also a good idea to ensure it’s not out of the way, where you could easily forget caring after it. As they say — out of sight, as of mind.
Improve the soil
Your plants aren’t likely to thrive if you simply plant them into the existing ground. You’ll need to get rid of the sod covering the ground and create rich soil using compost and/or other materials. You’ll also need to work the soil to help your plants’ roots better penetrate it and access crucial nutrients and water. The science of soil is too complex to cover on this page, so we recommend consulting other resources.
When your soil is ready, it’s time to plant. However, not all plants should be planted at the same time. Most annual flowers, for example, don’t tolerate the cold very well. Always follow the instructions inscribed on the seed packet. Planting is a fun and easy activity, so make sure to involve your kids!
Protect and maintain
Gardens need regular care to grow healthy plants. The amount of water a plant needs varies depending on its age and the type of soil it is growing in. Seedlings and transplants need water daily, but larger plants with established roots may only need to be watered weekly. Additionally, you should protect your plants from encroaching weeds with mulch, which will also usefully keep the moisture in.
Bill Harris GM hopes these tips will help you and your family grow a beautiful garden in Ashland this spring!