The world is reawakening to gardening, and it’s a beautiful thing! The benefits of gardening are endless from combating anxiety and stress, boosting your immune system and supplying you with the healthiest food ever. The cost of entry is fairly low if you want to try your hand at it.
There are a lot of approaches to gardening which can make it feel overwhelming, but the key elements are to find a good location for the garden, fill it up with good soil and water regularly. On top of doing that, the rest is all just a great bonus. If you find yourself wanting to grow an at-home garden for the first time, here are a few tips for you.
I know, this is the worst thing to hear. However, you can grow a lot in a small space. To figure out whether or not you even like gardening and can remember to water your plants, start small. Try getting a large 20” in diameter pot or even a large rubbermaid storage container. Fill either of those with about four to six plants. You’ll get a quick glimpse into whether or not this new hobby is one to invest in.
Herbs are easy.
If you want to garden but you’re intimidated by the whole veggie thing, then start with herbs. They tend to do better with less water and attention, and they are incredibly useful. I think a great mix to start with is thyme, parsley, oregano and chives.
Soil is everything.
Should you abandon the “start small” advice and start a raised bed garden, my next tip is to go big on the soil. No matter what soil you buy (I recommend you get organic raised bed soil or organic planting mix), you must amend your soil on top of that. Add in other nutrients so that your plants get placed into a healthy environment. Great soil amendments are kelp meal, bone meal and worm castings.
Sun is the other everything.
Finding a sunny spot to garden is quite crucial. Six hours of sun minimum is what you’ll want to look for.
Don’t start plants from seed.
It is a romantic notion to start plants from seeds, and one may argue it’s the most authentic way to garden. However, it can be quite frustrating, require more space and attention than you expected and really turn you off to gardening before you get to experience the magic. Buy seedlings from a nursery, and go from there.
Grow things that you like to eat.
Review the past few months’ grocery lists, and use those to guide you. It’s really quite exciting to grow something that you get to eat and that will motivate you to water and watch the progress of your plant. Skin in the game is a good thing, and most of us are more food-motivated than we’d like to admit.
Try adding flowers.
Vegetable plants need bees and butterflies to pollinate them for their fruit to actually ripen. If you can add a few flowers into the mix, then that will help keep your garden thriving. Look for flowers with lots of petals like purple coneflowers, zinnias or cosmos.
These are the first things I would think about when growing a garden for the first time. There are tons of other subjects you can look into like companion planting or succession planting, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Just get a few plants in the ground or in your window sill, and start experimenting!
Have you started your own at-home garden? What are the best tips you have for a newbie?
Image via Rachel Chung