Starting a garden at home has now become very popular as an offshoot of the rising cost of food and the growing awareness of the health benefits of eating organically grown vegetables. While gardening is a pleasure for many, some people are not overly excited by it, most probably because they do not have the correct information on doing it the proper way, and as such have been frustrated by their results of their effort. If you are in this predicament but are still interested to learn, the internet is full of ideas on home gardening. You can also get like minded people to show you their tips and advise you regardless of what level you are at, and most are more than willing to share.
Starting a garden is not as difficult as one thinks but it is important that you increase your knowledge before you begin to have the best chance of success. Planning is important if you want to have a home garden that is not only beautiful but one that gives you a bountiful harvest as well. It is also vital that you know the principles of sustainable gardening so that you will not be destroying your soil and at the same time producing chemical free vegetables. For those who want to roll up their sleeves and work the soil, here are some useful tips for you:
1. Evaluate your home garden conditions
When I say garden conditions, I am referring to two important factors: sun exposure and soil. In planning your home garden, you need to know how much sunlight you are you getting in your area so that you can ascertain what type of plants will grow well given the amount of direct sun exposure they will receive. On the same note, the success of your home garden also greatly depends on the condition of your soil. As plants get nutrients from the soil, it is imperative that your medium is appropriately moist and well-draining.
2. If your soil is less than perfect, consider natural conditioning
As stated above, soil is where your plants get their food. Having bad soil does not mean an end to your gardening dreams though. There are so many options you can choose from to improve the condition of your soil, like working compost into it. You can also opt for raised bed gardening, in which case you just add the appropriate soil into your garden.
3. Consider a raised bed garden
Well, that is not the only advantage of a raised bed garden. Newbies starting a home garden can benefit more from it because it makes the whole process simpler. With raised bed gardens, you can easily maintain you plots, focus fertilization, weed less, maximize your planting area, and of course no back aches!
4. Use your organic scraps to make compost
Kitchen wastes such as peelings of fruit and vegetables are good materials for compost. However you must be careful not to include meat and fish or cooked food because these attract vermin. Weed clippings, leaves or rotting wood can also be added as compost materials. Have a look at our composting section for additional tips.
5. Buy the appropriate tools when starting a garden
Gardening is so much fun but if you do not have the proper implements the work can become taxing and sometimes frustrating. Some of the most common tools include a spade, hoe, hand weeder, garden fork, soaking hose, and a basket or wheelbarrow to make moving mulch or soil easier.
6. Plan your plants according to your preferences
Planting vegetables that you and your family love to eat is an added motivation for starting a garden. List down your preferred fruit and vegetables and see if it can adapt to your specific climate and conditions. Search the internet or ask your local cooperative or gardening community for advice specific to your region and climate. Know also their ideal planting and harvesting time.
7. Involve the kids in planning your garden
Starting your own home garden will be more exciting when the kids are involved. This is a good way of teaching them the appreciation of nature and how taking care of the earth can ensure sustainable production. The garden is also a haven for scientific lessons and will surely whet the children’s natural curiosity. Aside from that, gardening is a wonderful time for the family to bond.
Starting a garden is not that difficult
As you can see, home gardening is not so difficult. With the right information and a genuine love for nature and plants, you are on your way to starting a garden. If you have a vacant patch of land, turn it into a beautiful garden. If you do not have that luxury and your space is limited, you may want to consider container gardening. Of course you will get dirty in the process but that is a small price to pay considering the rewards you will get from it.
So have you started your home garden recently? Please share below your advice for starting a garden…