In most regions of our country it’s that-time-of-year when gardeners are anxious to get out there and get dirty! Before you dive in, take a look at the helpful hints below to get you off to a great start and keep you on a successful path this gardening season.
Start your garden plan by doing your research. If you want your garden to succeed, start with plants that are meant for your growing conditions. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out the USDA Hardiness Website to find out exactly what plants are best for your situation.
Next, map out what you’d like to do. You can draw it out, write it out or even use a virtual garden mapping tool like the Better Homes and Garden “Plan-a-garden” app. Planning your garden in advance will help you save money on materials while giving you a good idea of what your end result will look like. Once the plants are in the ground, they should stay put, so make sure you carefully consider your choices beforehand.
Each plant must be taken care of differently. Most plants come with a guide on when they should be watered, how they should be planted, if and when they should be fertilized or transplanted etc. If your plant doesn’t come with directions, don’t be afraid to ask! It’s important to know exactly how to take care of each plant. Once you’ve gathered all of your plant caretaking instructions, make your life easier by creating a maintenance binder. In your binder you can include all of the keys to a successful garden. Here are some suggestions for what to include in your binder.
- Garden Plans
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly Maintenance Tasks
- A calendar marking plant, transplant and harvest dates
- Expense reports for your supplies so that you can plan for the future
- Notes regarding success and failures, weather changes and unexpected occurrences.
- Inspirational research or photos
Gardening is a great wait to sustain your happiness, healthiness, and the future of our planet. There are a lot of great ways you can take an extra step towards creating a sustainable future with your new garden. Feeling adventurous? Try creating your own compost. Composting can be a challenging task, but the rewards are wonderful! To learn more about composting at home try checking out eartheasy.com/grow_compost for ideas about how to get started. Interested in composting but don’t have the time to go the whole nine yards? You can collect your organic materials at home and donate them to a community garden. Call your local environmental office and see if there is a compost drop off station near you.
Other sustainable gardening practices include
- Using recycled materials
- Planting trees
- Growing your own foods
- Minimizing your use of power tools
- Build for the future not for fashion. Create a climate friendly and water-wise garden
No matter what you decide to do this gardening season, it’s never too late to make your dream garden a reality. Consider making it a family project or even creating a community garden with friends. Gardens are meant to be loved and shared. Happy planting.