The first step in starting a home garden is getting the soil prepared; this will ensure that the seeds/plants you choose have a good start. Remove all the weeds from the area, turn the soil over, and water it before you plant. Another tip is to start with small plants from a nursery instead of starting from seeds, as seeds are hard to start with. Lastly, becoming familiar with the plants that do well in your region is important. This will give you a good idea of what to plant according to the climate of where you live.
This website provides tips on how to start a home garden. The Main ones include: select plants that do well in your area, turn the soil over with a spading fork or shovel and remove all weeds before you begin the procedure. Most important of all the tips, have fun!
1) Talk to your neighbors who garden, offer to help them. They can provide a wealth of information on what to plant that will work in your area. If you desire to grow organically you will need to know what diseases and insects are a problem.
2) Start small. I highly recommend raised beds. They are a lot easier to maintain. If you go with raised beds forget about the advice to use soilless “dirt”. I use composted manure, find a farm and offer to clean out the barn.
3)Location, the ideal location is south facing, full sun, gently sloping so water drains, close to a water source.
4) Start off with “Easy” to grow plants. Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Herbs, and beets are on my short list. And companion plant, tomatoes really do love carrots.
5) Compost everything, grass clippings and leaves turn to black gold in a year. You will need the compost next year to amend the soil and eliminate the use of fertilizers. All kitchen waste except animal waste can be composted.
6) Find a great garden center/greenhouse. One that agrees with you on the type of gardener you want to be. My rule of thumb, if they sell Roundup keep looking.
7) Mulch heavy. I use straw and mulch hay. I don’t worry about weed seeds in hay because I buy early first cutting. Mulching helps retain moisture and keeps the weeds down.
8) Learn to start seeds. For every plant variety you can buy there are hundreds of seed varieties especially tomatoes and peppers.
9) Work your garden everyday, avoid early morning when there is dew on the plants you could easily spread disease that may be present. You will want to weed and look for diseases and bugs. Catch them early and you won’t have a problem later.
10) Have fun. Gardening takes work but is very rewarding.
See also answers from yesterday. There are many others if you search GreenAnswers.
I think it’s easiest to start small and grow your garden each year as you learn more. A great deal depends on where you live. This will help determine what plants do well and where in your garden to plant them. I live in a very warm environment, so I start seeds early and plant them in raised beds that I can move as the direct summer sunlight becomes too intense or hot. Many herbs are easy to grow and you can use them fresh or dry them for cooking so they are incredibly rewarding and don’t take up a lot of space. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, carots, lettuce is pretty easy as well. You can buy plants from local nurseries, but at some point you may want to begin from seed. Try to get heirloom seeds that are organic so you know they are not GMO, no pesticides or fertilyzer has been used on them and you can be comfortable serving them to your friends and family.
Before purchasing anything or touching soil, it is important to first plan your garden. Come up with a list of plants you would like in your garden, then consult the USDA Hardiness Zone map (http://www.garden.org/zipzone/) to help determine what will grow most readily in your area. Keep in mind the map cannot predict all weather extremes.
In addition, remember when siting your garden that properly draining soil is even more important than highly nutritious soil. If sited well, composting can make up for a lack of nutruents. Commercial fertilizer is another option, but must be used judiciously to avoid fertilizer burn. After siting and treating your garden, it may help to test the soil pH level, which you would like as close to 7.0 as possible. Tips for adjusting pH can be found at the link below.
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