Step One – Plan
The very first thing you need to do is to plan your garden. This is one of my favourite steps because you can be creative. What do you want to grow? You can have vegetables, flowers, herbs or fruits, or any combination of these.
Research the plants you want to grow so you’ll understand the needs of each plant. This is an essential step, so don’t skip it.
Some things to consider are the Amount of Sunlight, Amount of Water, Height and Width, & Hardiness Zones.
A simple drawing of your garden area will help you visualize how to place your plants, being sure that taller plants don’t shade smaller ones. If you know the growth pattern of each plant, you can allow them plenty of room to grow.
Step Two – Prepare the Bed
The bed where your garden will be needs to be prepared so that the plants you put in it will have the best advantage possible for grow and thrive. You can prepare the bed in the fall for either fall planting or for spring planting.
First, you’ll need to mark the area you’ll use and then remove any grass or weeds or shrubs etc. so you’ll have a clean space to work in.
Then you need to either till the soil to loosen it or turn the soil over with a shovel to about the depth of the shovel.
If you are going to plant in the fall, then enrich the soil with composted manure or fertilizer and any amendments needed and turn it in well. It’s best if you can wait 1-2 weeks before planting to prevent burning plants or seeds.
If you are going to plant in the spring, then you can begin preparing the bed in the fall. To do this, you can add leaves, grass clippings, manure and any amendments a soil test suggested your soil needs. These will break down during the winter, and your garden will have a head start in the spring.
If you prefer, though, you can wait till spring to prepare the bed. Add composted manure and amendments and turn it in well. Again, it’s best to wait 1-2 weeks to plant.
Step Three – Layout and Plant
You have a plan on paper, so use it to layout where your plants will need to be placed. If they are potted plants, then you can set them (still in the pots) in place to see how they’ll look. That way, you can make any adjustments you need to before you dig the holes to plant them.
If you’re planting seeds, then plant according to the directions on the packet. Remember to mark where you’ve planted and what you’ve planted.
If the plant will need staking, it is best to do that at planting time to avoid injuring the roots by staking later.
Step Four – Water and Keep Soil Moist
Now that your plants or seeds are in the ground they’ll need moisture. Seeds need water to germinate, so make sure that they don’t dry out. Once germinated and you can see growth breaking the ground then you don’t have to water so frequently. Just know the water requirements of the plant.
Potted plants need frequent watering too until they have gotten established and their roots are able to find moisture.
Step Five – Sit Back and Watch your Garden Grow
Yes, this is actually a step. Don’t plant and forget about your garden till time to pick the vegetables or flowers. Watch the plants to see how they are doing. Maker sure no weeds crowd them out, that they’re getting enough water and that they aren’t being shaded by aggressive neighbours.
Watching your garden grow is one of the best, most relaxing pastimes in the world.
Gardening is fun and enjoyable, but it is hard work. If you follow these simple steps, then your hard work won’t be in vain, and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labours.