New to Gardening? Tips for Success

Having a garden is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while also getting some delicious fresh grown produce for your meals. If you’ve never maintained a garden before, then you may not realize how much work goes into it. You might need to consider the type of soil you have, the amount of sunlight your plants receive, how often different plants need water… you even have to think about what sorts of things to plant and when to plant them. For people new to gardening, it can be overwhelming.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth learning about and doing of course. You just need to be sure to garden smarter, not harder. A lot of work goes into a successful garden and a decent portion of that work involves figuring out how to maintain your garden and what you should avoid. While we can’t cover every possibility here, the following tips should put you on the path to garden success.

Planning Your Garden

A lot of planning goes into a successful garden. You need to take the time to choose a spot where you can plan out a plot with enough room for all your plants to thrive and ensure that you have easy access to water so you don’t have to rely on unpredictable rain to get the water your plants need. To avoid flooding, you’ll want a mostly flat area, with soil that drains well and isn’t located in a low-lying area. An area that gets sun at least 8 hors per day is also important for a lot of garden plants (and that doesn’t have to be direct sunlight.)

Once you have a space picked out, you can avoid a lot of problems by testing the soil’s pH levels with a soil testing kit. Most vegetables grow best in a soil with a pH between 6.5 and 6.8, so if your soil falls outside of this, you’ll need to amend it to adjust the pH. To do this, you can add things like lime, wood ash or commercial soil adjustment mixes, and tilling the top 6 inches of soil. Follow the instructions on packaging and test your soil again, making additional adjustments as needed until it falls within the desired pH range.

Know What to Grow

After picking a good garden site and prepping the soil, the next key to success is picking the right plants for garden. Consult a planting zone chart to see a which zone you live in, then make your selections based on plants that thrive in your zone. You should also pay attention to growing conditions that your plants prefer; while many plants like full sun, some prefer partial shade. To accommodate that, you may have to set up a small barrier or other source of shade to block the sun for part of the day.

One last thing to keep in mind is that the planting and growing requirements for different plants can be significantly different. Some need to be planted shallow, while others do best when planted deep. Some can be crowded and thinned later, while other plants need a lot of room from the start. To get the best possible harvest from your garden, follow the planting instructions for your different plants as closely as possible. If there are notes about the plants needing supports or climbing structures, you should accommodate that from the beginning as well.

Get the Help You Need

Even with planning and research, it’s still possible to end up feeling overwhelmed when truing to start a garden. Fortunately, there are landscaping and gardening pros out there who can help. Whether you need to set up raised beds, choose the right plants for your planting zone, or just get a little extra extra help managing what grows best in sun and shade, we can connect you with the pros in your area that know exactly what you need. Give us a call today so we can be your resource for all things real estate!

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