10 Tips for Starting Your Garden

Do you remember when you planted your very first bean seed in a paper cup way back in elementary school? You watched it sprout and grow into a gangly plant and you were so proud to show Mom. Imagine the pride you’ll feel growing your own garden. Not only will you feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when you add a green thumb to your skills, you will be providing a food source for your family in the case of an emergency.

However, growing a garden requires a lot more than a seed in a cup. It’s true that you need sun, soil, and seeds, but following this list of gardening tips will ensure that you’ll be eating fruits and vegetables from your own garden before you know it.

  1. Consider the purpose of your garden– How much food do you actually need to produce? You don’t need acres of land to feed your family. A fully functioning garden can be grown in several four-by-four raised garden beds. These beds can be assembled and planted anywhere from apartment patios to just outside your back door.
  2. Location– Find a spot around your house that gets at least six hours of sun per day. If you do not have that, there are shade-loving vegetables that you can still plant. Also, plant near a water source or set up an automatic watering system.
  3. Find your region– Reference a Hardiness Zone Map to determine which growing zone you live in. Then, find a schedule of when to plant each vegetable for your area and when you can expect to harvest.
  4. Decide what to plant– Think about which fruits and vegetables your family enjoys.
  5. Tools– Start investing in some basic tools such as gardening gloves, small spades, rakes, and shovels.
  6. Clear the ground or assemble the boxes You can build boxes or containers out of any untreated lumber.
  7. Prepare the soil The first step to a great garden is great soil. Remove any rocks or clumps. Consider getting your soil tested to find out which kinds of nutrients to add.
  8. Plant– Pay attention to how much spacing each plant needs when planting seeds or seedlings.
  9. Mulch–Add a thin layer of mulch on top of the soil to prevent weeds and help keep the ground moist.
  10. Water and weeding– Be careful not to overwater. If you stay on top of watering and weeding, soon your plants will be thriving.

If Brussels sprouts are one of your family’s top hated foods, you might not want to put a lot of time and effort into growing them. But imagine the joy when your family tastes fresh, leafy lettuce and ripe, juicy tomatoes in a salad made from your garden. It’s the taste of sweet success!

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