Steps To A Successful Garden
These days, you’ll find several steps to a successful garden online. Lucky you. You don’t know what you have.
When I was making my first garden (or maybe gardens because I failed at it several times), there were no guides online. There was no horticulturist offering planting tips on my cell phone, or a podcaster reciting the ABCs of gardening in my eyes, or earth–and–its–sustenance blog listing the top 10 ways to keep a beautiful garden.
All thanks to technology today; anyone can be a gardener, but how many of these online tips work? I’ve come across nearly 100 blogs discussing how to create a fantastic garden out of your backyard, but I’d bet my garden of a decade that they hardly offer useful information.
Well, here’s a change you’ll appreciate. Below, I’ll be highlighting ten simple steps that have helped to nurture my garden from a bland-looking patch of crops to a full, wild, and colorful paradise of herbs and plants.
Decide What You’d Like To Grow
Rule 1: never grow plants you don’t like or appreciate.
Rule 2: flowers are an exception to rule 1. I mean, who wouldn’t like to have a garden booming with the colorful amazements of flowers? Well, not me.
Back to rule 1, settle for crops you and your family enjoy eating. Doing so will give you the zeal and motivation to keep the garden green. However, what matters more is your location and the plants that grow well there. You have to determine your gardening zone and relevant dates, for example, the first and last frost.
In the southern parts, vegetables that require frigid temperatures, for example, peas, and vine crops like cucumbers that are prone to mildew in humid environments hardly do well here. If you stay in the north, it would be risky to grow plants that require high temperatures or take at least 100 days to mature.
Select An Appropriate Location
Adequate sunshine is crucial to the growth of most fruits and vegetables. Whereas roots and herbs do well in partial shade, fruits require at least 5 hours of brilliant sunlight to flourish. Gardens in the north should have access to sunshine all day while their southern counterparts will be just fine with the late afternoon sun.
The ease of accessing your garden is essential as well. Avoid areas that may make it difficult or uncomfortable for you to pick, water, or care for your plants when necessary. Make it a point to avoid frosty areas (low-level lands that frost falls on) and any area close to a public road or where children or animals will have easy access to.
Plan Your Garden Beds
The aim of doing this is to optimize land such that plants will have sufficient space to blossom as they grow. Your garden beds should be long enough to prevent accidental trampling.
If you have the experience, you could make the arrangements in blocks instead of single rows. Lastly, as you plant, ensure you allow each plant adequate space to grow.
Acquire Basic Garden Tools
Gardening is pleasurable with the right tools. When you don’t have to use pruners to cut tender stems or baskets to harvest large-scale crops like elderberries, you find everything amazingly easy. The essential garden tools to buy include pruners, hoes, shovels, rake, gloves, baskets, weeding knives, and watering cans.
If you are buoyant enough, buy tools made of stainless steel material to use for a long while. Don’t forget to keep your equipment sharp as well to avoid stress and inconvenience.
Test Your Soil
Testing your soil helps to determine its acidity or alkalinity. You also find out if it is rich in nutrients and could suffer from contamination. A mere look at the soil can do this. However, if you aren’t an expert, you should do some lab analysis.
Most garden crops do best in neutral soil. This will help plants balance the use of acidic and alkaline components.
Improve Your Soil
The best time for this is the fall, but you can do so during the spring as well. Improving your soil means replenishing its nutrients. To grow well, plan crops in well-drained, luscious, organic soil. You can achieve this by practicing several farming methods, such as crop rotation and manure application.
You cannot ignore the relevance of healthy soil. Plants grown in healthy, vibrant land mature rapidly and show resistance to pests and diseases.
Select The Right Seedlings
You can get seedlings from a gardening store or a more experienced gardener. You may, however, end up with substandard seeds or transplants that will consequently lead to poor crops.
If you are, however, growing rare breeds, like an heirloom breed, it may be best to start your seedlings. This helps to save money as well.
Plant With Care
Seedlings or transplants always come with essential planting guidelines. You should, therefore, have no difficulty in planting your crops. As soon as you’re done with the usual groundwork, such as seed selection and bed planting, go ahead with sowing.
You should, however, offer more protection to tender plants as they are likely to suffer more damage than older crops. Keep in mind that heat-loving crops should be planted only after the frost season has passed.
Nurture Your Garden
In China, it is believed that the best fertilizer for the garden is the farmer’s shadow. Thinking of it, this is the most accurate analogy of gardening. If you won’t nurture your garden correctly, you had better switch to crops that require little or no maintenance like herbs or sprouts. The time you should dedicate to your garden depends on the type and size of crops you’re planting.
Water your garden regularly, uproot weeds, then they are still young and stick to organic solutions when combating pests.
Reap What You Sowed
As soon as they ripen, be sure to harvest farm produce. Harvest leafy greens early as they regrow rapidly after cutting. Pick beans and peas every 2–3 days, pluck tomatoes when they are fully ripe, and their red is lush–and–appealing and cut peppers when green.
The ideal time to harvest your crops is between the morning dew and afternoon heat, but this does not mean that you can’t do so at any other time.
Gardening is a beautiful thing that’s even been proven to cure depression. The most enjoyable aspect of gardening is that whatever doesn’t do well today could work tomorrow. I grew a plant for three years before giving up on it.
The aforementioned steps to a successful garden are easy to follow. All it takes is patience, consistency, and dedication.