Starting a garden may feel overwhelming. Asking yourself questions like “what type of plants should I get,” “how much sun or shade will my garden get,” and even “where can I put my garden.” Well there is plenty of time to answer all of those questions.
You should first start with what you want to grow. Is it a purely flower garden or a vegetable garden with tomatoes, herbs, green beans, etc. This will help determine what type of lighting and temperature you’d need. Do a bit of research on what you’ll want to grow. For example, if you need 6-8 hours of sunlight, you’ll most likely want to start your garden outside or if you’re plant of choice can be indoors (like most herbs), you’ll want to place it by a window that allows a good amount of sun. On the other hand, if you need shade, you can still plant your garden outside. For either option you’ll want to track where the sun is rising and setting in your yard – does your fence project shadows, is there a side of the yard that rarely gets sun, is there a big tree that shades a corner of your yard. These are just some of the main pieces to think about when considering a location for your garden.
Once you’ve decided on the plants and location, you should look at the potential layout of the plants. This will help determine the shape of your garden. Is it a flat bed, are you going to create a raised bed, or will you use pots to house your garden? Some plants require a distance between other plants (ie. 18 inches) to best allow their roots to grow, so putting them in a pot is probably not ideal. Flat and raised beds both work and can help with supplementing garden soil with the potentially unfertilized ground you have in your yard.
It helps to layout the plants once purchased to better balance the colors and sizes of the plants. If you’re planting flowers, try putting a larger bright flower in the center and framing with smaller flowers with complementing color. If you’re planting vegetables balance them by what grows vertical (like snap peas and green beans) and horizontal (like cucumbers and squash).
After the layout has been set, get started planting. You can start your garden bed three ways. The first is with a shovel dig up the entire area where you’re going to be planting your garden and mix in garden soil. Once you’ve done that, you can dig the hole for the plant with a trowel. Make sure you dig deep enough that all the roots are below the surface. Ideally you’ll want the stem of the plant about .5 – 1 inch below the top soil. Once you’ve placed the plant move the garden soil around the plant until it is stable and at the proper depth. Continue this until all your plants have been planted.
The second, is to start with the trowel. You’ll want to dig the hole for the plant and mix the garden soil into that specific hole and then repeat the above. The last way is planting with seeds. When you plant with seeds, you’ll want to make sure the garden is mixed with garden soil ahead of time. Then you’ll take the towel and create a line about 1 inch deep where you can sprinkle the seeds. Ideally, if you’re planting vegetables, you’ll want to space out the seeds one per inch. However, if you’re trying to plant flowers, you can sprinkle a few into the same spot or just continuously drop the seeds across the line. Cover up the seeds with garden soil and water.
Now just make sure to water frequently the first week to two weeks to make sure the plants have the best chance at surviving the transplant. Congratulations on starting a garden!