Gardening is one of the most rewarding outdoor activities imaginable. Whether you want to plant vegetables and herbs to eat in the summer, or you’re more interested in a colorful and fragrant flowerbed, you won’t be disappointed in the journey. Gardening is a fantastic way to unwind, de-stress, spend some time outside, and enjoy everything nature has to offer.
But, it’s also easy to be a little intimidated by it. Maybe you have an appreciation for beautiful gardens but you’ve never dared to “get your hands dirty” and start one yourself.
Thankfully, it’s easier than you might think.
If you’re truly just getting started and aren’t sure where to begin, there are a few basic questions that need to be answered. First, what should you plant? Second, how can you make sure it grows? From there, a few basic tips can help to make your garden a success, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Know What to Plant
This is the first thing you should think about when considering a garden. Do you want a lot of hearty vegetables? Are you specifically thinking about a small herb garden? Or, maybe you want a pollinator garden for your honeybee friends.
Once you have decided what to plant, you can work on picking the right spot. Most vegetables and flowers need full-sun most of the day to grow properly. But, some actually do better in shady areas, including:
- The Hippo Rose Polka Dot Plant
- Sweet Alyssum
- Red and Violet Fucshia
- Blue and White Torenia
If you only have a lot of shade in your yard, you can still have a beautiful garden. But, if you want to grow vegetables or a wider variety of flowers, trying to find an area that receives a lot of sun is your best option.
As you can see, gardening takes some planning. While it’s a landscaping activity that tends to be less involved and less expensive than other large projects, it’s important to have a game plan before you start planting so you can eventually enjoy the results of the work you put into it.
How to Set Yourself Up for Success
So, you’ve decided what to plant and where to plant it. Now, how do you get started? Before you get planted, it helps to do a little work with the soil. You’ll want to start with clear ground. So, get rid of sod covering if you want to plant directly into the ground. Or, if you’re planting in a raised bed, make sure any debris is cleared away and it’s completely cleaned out.
To give yourself a bit of an “insurance policy,” you can improve the soil you’re using before you start to plant. One of the easiest ways to do that is with organic matter/compost. Cover the soil with manure, old leaves, or grass clippings to make it more nutrient-dense and stable for whatever you plan to plant.
Once everything is planted in your healthy, tilled soil, gardening isn’t as much of a strenuous process as you might think. Maintaining it simply includes watering at the right time (in most cases, that means watering daily!) and protecting it, which can be done with mulch. Keep a daily eye on your garden.
Pull any weeds you see. Get rid of insects or pests. Keep the soil moist. These simple maintenance tips will help you to enjoy the growth process. After just a short time, you’ll start to see something new almost every day.
Reap the Rewards – All of Them!
As you get started on your garden, make sure you’re looking at it from a positive perspective. There are so many benefits when it comes to gardening. While you might be thinking about what your harvest might yield, you should also consider the other rewards you’ll receive along the way.
For starters, there are countless health benefits associated with gardening, including:
- Increased exposure to Vitamin D, which can improve your mood and energy levels
- Decreased risk of dementia
- Reduced stress levels
- A good aerobic “workout”
A garden will help to keep your mind and body active from the moment you plant your seeds to the second you harvest your yield.
One of the reasons you might have started a garden, in the first place, is to grow your own food. That’s another incredible benefit. It’s a fantastic way to encourage a nutrient-dense diet in your family, educate your kids about healthy food and farming, and reduce your carbon footprint. Getting excited about these benefits can motivate you to do the necessary research on care and upkeep, as well as learning more about the foods you want to enjoy.
You don’t necessarily need to have a green thumb to have a great garden. By educating yourself on some of the best practices and keeping these tips in mind, you can start a beautiful, bountiful garden in your own backyard and enjoy it for years to come. You can also greatly increase your home’s curb appeal and value. You might not plan on selling any time soon, but if you ever want to make a move, know that most people see a lot of value in a beautiful garden. You get the benefit of enjoying that value and beauty right away.