There’s a gardener in all of us just waiting to sprout. All we need is a little love, care, and sunlight to get started. Let’s be honest, it can be very intimidating going into your first garden. Do I have a green thumb? Also, what IS a great thumb? There’s only one way to find out, and what I’ve learned is that like most things in life - practice makes perfect. One thing is for sure: there’s no joy like surrounding yourself with flowers or enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables you grow yourself. Before you jump into gardening, I thought I’d give you a few tips to help you create the garden of your dreams. 

Picking The Perfect Spot

Don’t take this lightly. Picking the perfect spot for your garden is one of the most important things you’ll do to prepare. Plants can’t survive without proper sun and water, so choosing a location where they can soak in the right amount of both is essential. Most vegetables need full sun (at least six hours of sunlight every day). If you’re having trouble finding the perfect spot, you can always alter your space to provide additional shade with Outdoor Umbrellas and Sunshades , or more sunlight by trimming existing vegetation and allowing extra light to shine on your garden. Also, I never think about this until after-the-fact, but picking a spot near any watering faucet means less time with the garden hose.

How To Start?

Soil is the place to start. Plants live by their roots and their roots live in soil. So, the most important part of your garden is out of plain-sight and below ground. Make sure you keep this in mind before starting any planting. Most soil around houses isn’t ideal for plants, so the most powerful thing you can do to give your plants the best chance for success is to give the soil a little love. The best way to do this is using organic matter. If you’ve got a compost, this the perfect time to put that waste to use. If you don't have compost, shredded leaves or manure will do the trick. Organic matter holds water for plants’ roots in dry times and allows excess rain to flow freely away. Not only that, it breaks dense soil up creating room for roots to grow and air to reach them. Now you’re ready to go with nutrient rich soil that will keep your plants happy and healthy.

Seed Science

Growing your first garden is exciting, and it’s so easy to get ahead of yourself. Slow down, you don’t want to overdo it. Keep your first garden manageable so you don’t get too overwhelmed. For beginners, a plot 3 feet by 3 feet is a good place to start. That will leave you plenty of room to provide a satisfying harvest of herbs, greens, and easy vegetables while you get a feel for the time and effort that goes into gardening. 

Get Ahead

Because many vegetables need to be started from seed several weeks before it’s safe to plant outside (late spring), it’s easiest to let someone else do that in a commercial greenhouse. You can pick up these small plants (often called transplants or “starts”) at any local gardening shop when you’re ready to get started. Once your plants are in the soil, it’s time to give them love and care. You’ll spend the next few months putting a lot of effort into weeding and watering your garden. For this, you’ll want to stock up on some gardening tools to make your hard work more of a breeze. Gardens are a lot of work, but the harvest is so worth it and there’s nothing like watching the whole life cycle of a plant unfold before your eyes. 

Happy Gardening!

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