DIY Gardening 101: The Basics
Whether you’re a beginning gardener or a seasoned pro, your garden will need the same elements to be successful – Soil, water, sun, care, protection, and time. Here are a few steps that can help even the most green-thumb challenged individual to yield a plentiful harvest.
Choose What to Plant
Depending on what you choose to plant, your garden will need certain amounts of sun, water, and care. Read up on the specifics and decide which plants suit your gardening situation. For example, if you have a shady yard, you probably won’t want to plant some of the more sun-hungry plants.
Prepare the Soil
Once you’ve decided what and where you’re going to plant, it’s time to prepare the soil for planting. There are several strategies that will work just fine. If you’re using raised beds or pots, you can purchase topsoil, compost, and other fertilizers to fill your space. For planting straight into the ground, the soil will need to be tilled. You should also determine whether or not your soil is nutrient rich enough to yield maximum growth. You can purchase a kit that will help you out with this. You can add compost or peat moss to your existing soil to improve its quality if needed.
Follow the specific planting instructions for each plant. Each plant will have its very own specifications regarding depth, space between plants, and optimal planting times.
Once your plants are on the ground, it’s important to follow a care strategy. Without proper care, your garden could fall victim to drought, over-watering, rodents, under-nourishment and many other factors that affect plant growth. Water your plants regularly, according to their specified watering needs, and make sure your garden is getting adequate sunlight. It's also crucial to maintain your weed situation. By weeding your garden a little bit every few days, you can keep them under control. Also, you should consider adding additional fertilizers during the important growth stages of your plants. Once they become a few inches tall, consider re-fertilizing.
You may not produce a lush garden overnight. By educating yourself on the plants that you put in your garden, you will know when to expect the various growth stages and when you can expect to harvest your garden.
With appropriate care and maintenance, gardening can be a truly rewarding experience that pays for itself. Take the time to learn about the plants you’re putting in the ground, and you’ll know how to best care for and nurture them into mature plants that will provide many rewards.