Starting a Garden 101
If you are fond of flowers and vegetables, you might have already contemplated starting your garden. This time of year can stir up thoughts of cultivating a vegetable garden teeming with ingredients for a flavorful salad or a new favorite side dish. Gardening is an excellent opportunity to engage in a hands-on DIY project. With just a bit of sunshine, water, soil, and patience, you can cultivate plants and even nourish yourself. To get started, grab your tools out of your unit at StaxUP Storage and peruse our suggestions for building your starter garden.
Location is Key!
A garden is more than just a piece of land; it's a space where nature and creativity intersect. Whether you're planning to set up a vertical garden on your balcony, an indoor garden in your kitchen, or a sprawling plot in your backyard, the location is key. Begin by surveying the possibilities within your current living space. If you lack a yard, explore other areas that offer the space needed. Your front porch? Your windowsill? Regardless of the size of the surface, there are garden solutions to suit every need.
Container gardening presents a wide range of options for both location and containers themselves. You can repurpose an old paint can for a pepper plant, use an old teapot for mint or basil, or fill the drawers of an unused dresser with succulents. Rather than buying new containers, consider scouring your closets and cupboards for creative solutions. Vertical or hanging gardens offer another viable option. By planting upwards instead of outwards, you can create a whole new world for growing plants. You can purchase vertical gardening systems or make your own from materials such as landscape fabric, hex wire, and terracotta pots.
If you are opting for the traditional yard, keep in mind that the location still matters. Choose a space that is away from the hustle and bustle of children and pets. Start with a small space to keep things manageable. Above all, remember that sunlight plays a crucial role in all your location considerations.
The Sun is Your Best Friend
Sunlight is a crucial factor in the success of a vegetable garden, as well as many flowering plants. If your garden plot is situated in constant shade, it may not yield the desired results. Therefore, it's essential to keep this natural resource in mind when planning your garden. Some vegetables grow quickly and require six to eight hours of sunlight daily. Take note of the sunny areas in your yard or the windowsills in your house. If you're using containers, consider adding wheels to larger ones before planting. This way, you can move your containers throughout the day to follow the sun.
Plant What You Enjoy
When deciding what to plant, it is important to consider your aesthetic tastes and your taste buds. If you dislike a particular vegetable, there's no need to plant it. However, if you're not fond of tomatoes, for instance, you might be pleasantly surprised by the flavor of a tomato you've grown yourself. And if you love forget-me-nots, make sure to include them in your selection of growing plants.
Research companion planting to determine the resources each plant needs. It's best to group plants with similar requirements for water and light. Corn and beans are a good pairing, as are beets, carrots, and lettuce. If you're planting flowers, consider color schemes as well.
Good Soil = Better Outcome
For novice gardeners, buying soil might seem unusual, let alone choosing from a variety of "dirt" for numerous benefits. However, it's crucial to start your garden off right, and that involves understanding the nuances of soil. Think of it like your skincare routine: if you do it correctly today, you'll reap the rewards in the long run. Moisture is also crucial. Good soil helps to regulate moisture and nourish your plants. When it comes to container gardening, you can purchase soil blends from a garden center. These blends typically consist of organic and inorganic matter that provide essential nutrients to your plants.
The soil in your yard is a different matter and will require a bit more investigation to ensure that it provides fertile ground for your plants. Start by conducting a thorough examination. Knowing your soil type is the first step in determining what you need to add to make it ideal for growing flowers or vegetables. Is it dense and clay-like, or loose and sandy? If your soil is sandy, for example, adding organic matter like compost or manure can help provide nutrients and improve its texture. If digging into the soil isn't your preference, don't worry - hydroponics is always an option. This involves growing plants in nutrient-rich water instead of soil.
What About Watering
One important aspect of gardening is being mindful of your proximity to a water source. It's important to have easy access to water to avoid the hassle of carrying water from one end of your yard to another. For small gardens or containers, a watering can is sufficient. To conserve water, you can place your watering can in your shower while you wait for the water to warm up, and use the collected water to nourish your plants. For larger gardens, consider how you will water your plants daily and factor this into your garden plan.
Knowing how much water your plants need is also crucial for successful gardening. To determine whether your garden needs watering, stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, then it's time to water. Additionally, it's best to water your plants at the same time every day or every other day, depending on the weather conditions. Ideally, watering in the morning helps plants retain moisture, and having a consistent watering schedule promotes mindful garden maintenance.
Things Take Time to Grow
Gardening requires patience, but the rewards are well worth the wait. With the right tools and a little perseverance, anyone can enjoy the benefits of growing their own fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Don't hesitate, start your gardening journey today and experience the joy of watching your garden thrive! When you’re done with your tools, store them at StaxUP Storage. Find a unit near you!