So you’re thinking about starting a new garden ~ or at least you were until the temps bottomed out this afternoon! Rest assured fellow St. Louisians, give it a day or two and you’ll be once again ready to test your green thumb skills. The good news is that regardless of whether you’re a novice or seasoned expert, you can enjoy the benefits of a garden with nothing more than a little knowledge, some seeds, and the proper tools.
Step # 1: Pick Your Plants
Before you start a new garden, the first and most obvious step is to choose your plants. Some things to consider when making your selection include your geographical region, climate, soil condition and the size of your space. My wife is a big fan of hostas because they are easy to care for and hard to kill (and that’s important!)
Different climates demand different plants, which means you must choose wisely in order to get the most out of your garden. Your soil condition is important because most gardeners find it best to have a flat planting surface with a soil that has the nutrients necessary for a healthy garden. You can always add fertilizer, which can help to make up for any lacking nutrients in your own soil. The size of your space is important because seeds should not be planted too close together or too close to a wall.
Step # 2: Prepare Your Soil
Whether you are planting seeds or transplanting a garden, it’s important to loosen your soil to allow for the proper marriage of your plants and the earth’s nutrients necessary for survival. Some gardeners prefer to till their soil, while others simply dig and leave the surface loosened for planting.
Step # 3: Water Your Garden
Once your seeds are planted, it’s time to have patience. There’s nothing quite like the hurry up and wait feeling that every gardener experiences when they have made all of the necessary preparations for their new garden and then the waiting game begins. The proper watering can help your hard work to materialize in a healthy way. Most experts recommend watering a garden in the early morning hours when the air is still cool. Instead of applying the water directly to the plants themselves, try adding it to the soil instead.
Step # 4: Maintenance Matters
It’s important to keep on top of trimming and weeding or else your garden can get easily away from you. Many gardeners love this process. Me? Not so much. Here’s where I’m lucky. My in-laws’ housesit for my wife and me at least one week a year. It’s awesome to come home to find they’ve taken care of that season’s maintenance!
Step #5: Enjoy
Sit back and take in the beauty that surrounds you. For me, that means relaxing on the porch with my four-legged kids.