Starting a new garden is an effective way of saving on expenses and maximizing the use of your land. No matter if you start in your backyard or purchase a plot, starting your own garden is always a good idea.
To ensure good productivity, you must follow some tips on how to start and maintain a new garden.
Get an Ideal Location
You should consider setting your garden where there is enough sunshine. This is because almost all vegetables and most flowers require about six hours of full sun daily. Moreover, you should also consider a place that is sheltered from strong winds that can affect the growth of plants. Also, consider a place close to a water point as this would make watering easy.
Clear the Ground
You should get rid of the sod covering the area that you plan to plant. You can dig it out if you want a quick result. However, it is much better to cover it with a newspaper.
Use a layer of about five sheets or double that up if your lawn is either Bermuda grass or St. Augustine grass. You should then spread a 3-inch layer of compost or a top soil and potting soil combination on a newspaper. Consequently, wait for about for the compost and the paper to decompose.
Improve the Soil
The soil always needs a boost to supplement or add nutrients. You can do this by adding 2 to 3-inch layers of compost manure, dry grass clippings, decayed leaves or old manure. You can till the organic matter into the soil if you decide to dig the soil.
You may also leave the organic matter on the surface if you decide not to dig. This is because the organic matter will find its way into the soil after a few months. Moreover, it is also advisable to contact county cooperative extension office to have a soil test done. This is important because it becomes easy for you to know what you should do to improve your garden soil.
Dig the soil to improve its aeration and make it easy for the roots to penetrate easily. However, you should not dig when the soil is too wet as this can destroy its structure. You can use a spade or a spading fork to turn the top 8 to 12 inches of soil gently, mixing it with the organic matter.
Pick Your Plants
You will want to choose plants that are adapted to your soil, climate and the amount of sunlight available in your garden. Some of the easiest plants for beginners to grow include kale, cosmos, marigolds, lettuce, pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers and many others.
Water and Mulch
Water your seedlings daily while they are small and mulch them to conserve water. New transplants require frequent watering too.
Continue to water the plants regularly and always pull out the weeds before they are too big. Apply a fertilizer in the middle of the season. It is advisable that you regularly water your plants in the morning to minimize evaporation.