How to Start A Own Garden in Your Back Yard
By Winona Rogers[contentblock id=1 img=gcb.png]
My family and I love planting a garden each year. We do not have a large yard for a very large garden, however, we always make it work. We love planting small tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and herbs & spices. While taking very little effort to maintain, gardening is an excellent family activity. I am able to share my children’s effort and spend a lot of time with them. You will be surprised at how much interest your children will have working in it. My girls love checking on the growth of our garden, keeping it watered, and picking the vegetables for supper. Gardening has definitely captured our interest and has given us a sense of pride as well. Studies have even shown that gardening will encourage children with eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Starting your own garden in your back yard is very easy. If you plant it right, you could have a beautiful garden and you and your children will enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here are just a few requirements in starting a small garden:
Tools Needed for gardening
- This 6 piece garden tool set is perfect for that small starter garden. It includes a tote, pruner, digger, rake, trowel, weeding fork, and trans-planter
- Just for Kids Gardening gloves and Just for Kids Tool Set. They will feel important with their very own tools!
- Soil – Depending on your current’s soil condition you may need to add some organic potting soil
- Certified Organic planting seeds
Determine the Amount of Space You Need
This is the first requirement before starting your garden. You should know what you want to plant to help you figure out the amount of space required. You should keep in mind that you do not need a large space to start. A well-tended 10 x 10-foot garden usually produces more than a weed-filled or a pest-ridden 25 x 50-foot bed.
Pick A Perfect Spot And Consider The Climatic Condition
No matter how small or big your garden is, or what you decide to plant in your garden, there are three fundamental requirements you should accomplish:
- Full sun.
Most garden plants need at least 8-9 hours of direct sun. If they do not get enough light, they will not bear as much and they will be more vulnerable to pest and disease attack. If you don’t have a perfect spot in full sun to put your garden, you can still grow leafy plants like lettuce and spinach. And if you are in a hot-summer typical weather, cool-season variety of plants such as peas might do better in part shade.
2. Plenty of water.
Because most garden plants are not very drought tolerant, you will need to water them during dry seasons. When thinking about gardening, remember that the closer your garden is to a water source, the easier it is for you.
3. Good soil.
As with all sorts of gardens, success generally starts with good soil. Most plants do best in moist, well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter such as compost manure. A lot of gardeners like to have their gardens close to their homes. Thus, it is easier to weed and harvest the produce. It can also be handy keeping your favorite potted plants next to your grill.
Test Your Soil
It is best to test your garden soil before you begin planting. You can check the drainage by soaking the soil with a hosepipe. You should then wait for one day, then dig up a handful of soil. After that, squeeze the soil very hard. If water is able to stream out, you should probably add compost manure or organic matter to enhance the drainage. Next, open your hand and see if a ball has been formed. If the soil has not formed any ball, it is probably too sandy. Then you should add organic matter to improve the soil texture and drainage. If the ball holds together, you have a lot of clay in your soil. Adding organic matter will improve the clay soil. Moreover, if the ball of soil breaks into crumbs when poking it, like a chocolate cake, it is ideal. If the soil does not drain well, your best alternative would probably be installing raised beds in your garden.
Dig Your Bed
You should loosen your soil before planting in your garden. You can either use your hands or use a tiller to dig. Once the soil is loose, spread out the soil amendments (like compost) and work them into your soil. You should avoid stepping on the freshly cultivated soil. Otherwise, you will compact the soil and cause hard pans, undoing all the hard work you did. When you finish digging, smooth the soil surface and then water it thoroughly. Allow your bed to rest for a number of days before you start planting.
Choose What You Want To Plant
Once you decide what you want to plant in your garden, you will probably find out that the alternatives are endless. There are thousands of crop varieties! When selecting the varieties, you should pay close attention to the crop description in the catalogue. Each variety is a little different: smaller plants are ideal for small gardens; others offer great disease resistance, better heat or cold tolerance, improved yields, or other features.
Weeding and Applying Proper Fertilizer
Weeds compete with your plants for water and nutrients. It’s very important to keep weeds to a minimum. You can use a hoe or hand fork to cultivate the top inch of soil frequently to discourage weeds from growing. A mulch of compost can keep weeds at bay around plants such as tomatoes. Fertilizing your plants is important in maximizing yields. Most organic gardeners find that digging in regions with high quality compost during planting time is all their plants require. Most gardeners, nevertheless, should reflect on applying a packaged fertilizer, (I prefer organic) following directions on the box. Moreover, you shouldn’t apply more than what is recommended as this can really decrease plant yield.
Strategies for Stopping Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases are ongoing problems that usually arise. Although some problems might need unique solutions, there are general principles you can use. Generally, you can use fences to keep off rabbits. This is by making sure that the bottom of the fence extends approximately six inches under the soil. Moreover, the fences must stand at least eight feet above the ground so as to prevent deer from jumping over them. If a particular plant falls prey to a disease, get rid of it quickly and throw it away; you should never add sick plants to the compost pile. Growing plant varieties that are disease resistant is also a good idea. Garden catalogues and websites also tell you which varieties offer the best protection.
Gardens are a great excuse for spending time outdoors in the sun. You should make a habit of changing the location of your plants every year. If you grew vegetables in the north-east corner of the garden this year, put them in the Northwest corner next year. This reduces the chance of pests gaining permanent footholds in your garden. Whatever chemicals you use to control pests, read the label cautiously and follow the guidelines to the letter. Planting a garden that includes fruits, vegetables and flowers means you have combined natural companions. This will turn a potential blot on the landscape into an attractive feature!
If you would like to read more about gardening tips , here are some great how to gardening books I would recommend:
Gardening : The Ultimate Gardening Techniques for Beginners by Diana Smith
Gardening: The Ultimate Beginners Guide by Laura Smith
To make gardening even more fun for my children, they have especially loved me reading these books to them:
Gardening for Beginners by Usborne
Ages 8 and up
Peed Inside the Garden by Usborne
Ages 3 and up
A Garden for Pig by Kane Miller
Ages 4 – 8
Here in the Garden by Kane Miller
Ages 4 – 8