Gardening is a fulfilling and rewarding activity that provides so many wonderful benefits to ourselves and our homes. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics of your property exterior, but it also serves as a form of therapeutic activity and allows you to try your hand at home-growing your very own produce. However, starting a garden from scratch can seem like a daunting task, especially if you lack the green thumb experience or knowledge. But with the right tips and guidance, anyone can create a beautiful and thriving garden. In this article, we’ll explore some unique ideas to help you start your very own garden from scratch.
Remember To Start Small
Starting a garden can feel overwhelming, but it’s essential, to begin with one small space at a time. Focus on a specific area of your yard and grow just a few small plants to first get a feel for gardening. Once you’ve gained some confidence and experience, you can expand and grow more and more shrubbery. Starting small allows you to learn the basics of gardening without getting too overwhelmed with the upkeep.
Consider Your Soil
Healthy soil is the foundation of a successful garden, whether you’re simply laying garden turf or creating a lush, green space. Before you even begin planting, make sure you test your soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content. You can purchase an easy soil testing kit or, if you need the help of a pro, simply send a sample to your local agriculture extension office – depending on your current location. Once you know your soil’s condition, you can make the necessary amendments for the specific needs of the plants you wish to grow, helping them to thrive all year round!
Choose The Right Plants
Choosing the right plants for your garden is crucial to your garden’s success. Consider the climate, sun exposure, and soil conditions when selecting your plants. Ensure you choose plants that are suited to your area and can thrive in your soil and climate, as some plants may not last through a cold winter or an extreme summer. Some plants require more maintenance and care than others, so pick out plants that match your personal skill level and the amount of time you can feasibly dedicate to gardening.
Use Companion Planting
Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together that benefit each other. For example, for those producing fruit or veg, planting tomatoes with basil can repel pests and improve overall tomato growth. Some plants have allelopathic effects. This means that they release chemicals that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants, making them pesky breeds to deal with if you’re not used to the processes. Companion planting can help mitigate this effect and improve plant growth, giving you that lush garden you’ve always desired.
Consider Raised Beds
Raised beds are an excellent option for starting a garden from scratch, especially if you have poor soil quality within your yard. Raised beds provide better drainage and easier weed control and can be filled with fertile soil. They also make it easier to control the soil’s pH level and nutrient content, resulting in much healthier plants!
Use Organic Fertilisers
Using organic fertilizers is paramount for a thriving garden. Organic fertilizers provide essential nutrients to your plants while also improving the soil quality around them. Unlike chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers won’t harm beneficial soil organisms and don’t leach harmful chemicals into the environment. This is especially important if you’re planning to grow fresh produce to consume. It’s extremely important that the products used on your plants aren’t harmful to humans and animals when ingested.
Spread a Layer Of Mulch
Mulch is an essential tool for any garden. It helps retain moisture in the soil, reduces weed growth, and adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes, helping to keep your plants healthy and happy. You can use a variety of materials for mulch, including straw, leaves, grass clippings, and wood chips. For some of these, you may even have to lay around the house!
Implement Watering Techniques
Proper watering is crucial for plant growth and health. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause stunted growth and other potential issues. Water your plants in the morning to reduce evaporation and ensure the plants have enough water throughout the day. Consider using a drip system, which provides a slow, steady supply of water directly to the plant’s roots all day long. This can help to prevent water from pooling around your shrubs.
Consider Pest Control
Pests are a common problem in any garden, but there are several ways to control them without using harmful chemicals, which can have a negative effect on the environment and the wildlife within it. Consider using natural pest control methods such as companion planting, using insect-repelling plants, and introducing beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings.
Gardening requires patience and perseverance. Don’t get discouraged if your plants don’t grow as quickly as you’d like or if you encounter setbacks! Gardening is a process, and it takes time to see results. Be patient and persistent, and you’ll eventually reap the rewards of your hard work!
Rotate Your Plants
If you’re on a journey to grow fresh produce, crop rotation is the practice of growing different crops in the same area each season to prevent soil-borne diseases and pests from building up. By rotating your crops, you can improve soil health and reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers. Plan your crop rotation in advance to ensure that you’re planting crops that complement each other and help improve the overall soil health.
Create A Composting System
Composting is a great way to reduce waste and improve the health of your soil naturally. By composting organic materials such as food scraps, garden waste, and leaves, you can create nutrient-rich soil that will benefit your plants all year round. Consider setting up a composting system in your backyard and adding your compost to your garden soil regularly.
Use Vertical Gardening Techniques
Vertical gardening techniques are a great way to maximize the area in your garden, especially if you have limited space. By planting shrubs vertically, you can increase the number of plants you can grow in a small area. You can use trellises, stakes, and other supports to grow climbing plants which can add more dimension to your backyard and create a more private and intimate area. Vertical gardening techniques can also make it easier to maintain your plants, which is a win-win when you’re new to the hobby!