If you’re like many others spending a lot more time at home this summer and considering starting a home garden, this post is for you. Gardening seems intimidating to many but it’s really very easy to get started. And nothing tastes better than a veggie you’ve planted and nurtured! For a roundup of our best home garden tips, read on.
Our Top Home Garden Tips
- Choose a location that offers at least eight hours of direct sun per day. If you’re growing herbs, they require less sun. Orient your garden from north to south to maximize sun exposure;
- Beginners should use raised beds for their gardens. For how to build one, click here. You can also buy a premade bed like this one. Once you have your bed, fill it with rich soil that is dark, crumbly, and full of life (think compost, worm castings). Experts agree that building up the soil is the single most important thing you can do to boost your garden’s yield.
- When building your raised bed, remember you’ll want to keep critters out! To keep rabbits from digging their way into your garden, a fence needs to extend six inches beneath the soil. An 8-foot-tall fence will keep deer from jumping into the garden.
- Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed. A good size for a beginner garden is 10’ x 10’. Pick no more than five veggies you want to grow to start.
- Plant in triangles, not rows – you’ll fit 10-14 percent more. Plant what your family likes to eat. Here’s some guidance on the best (easiest) veggies for beginners to plant.
- Think tall. Use a trellis or stake to grow vining veggies that need a lot of space (think tomatoes, pole beans, peas, squash, and cucumbers).
- Bugs like bees, butterflies, and ladybugs are important for any garden as they boost crop pollination! To attract these essential visitors, plant insect-friendly plants like zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers between your crops.
- Newly seeded beds will need frequent watering. More established crops can get by on one to two inches of water per week.
- Once your plantings are established, water them every few days for a long stretch (versus a little bit each day). Water your garden early in the morning before the heat of the day causes evaporation. Also, early watering allows the leaves to dry quickly, preventing any fungal problems.
- Make weeding a top priority. Weeds compete with your vegetables for water, nutrients, and light.
- Enjoy the harvest!
The Bottom Line
With these home garden tips, you’ll have your beginner garden up and running in no time. With some easy planning, care, and attention, you’ll enjoy the bounty before you know it!