This Spring will be different.
You’ll dust off the old gardening gloves (or open the package they’ve sat in for all these years) and start your long-awaited vegetable garden.
How do I know this, you ask? Well, I too, was once a casualty of garden procrastination. It wasn’t until I actually started my garden that I realized how easy and inexpensive they really are. All you need is a little know-how and a few lawn equipment tools and parts.
So, if you’re looking for a guide for the perfect budget-savvy backyard garden, let me help you get started.
What Is the Goal of This Garden?
Before you start making any decisions with your garden planning, it’s important to understand why you are taking on this project in the first place.
- Is it to get home-grown vegetables from your own backyard?
- Is it to avoid pesticides?
- Is it to grow something that can’t be found anywhere else?
- Or is it just for a fun summer activity?
Depending on the reasoning for your garden, you can narrow down the criteria for getting it started.
Make It Easy
This may seem obvious to most people, but keeping your first garden simple can save you time and headaches down the road. Keep your garden within the scope of your skills and budget. Plant vegetables that are easy to grow. And most importantly, do your research – check out gardening books from the library, search the internet to get your questions answered, and don’t be afraid to approach your local nursery.
Nothing can trump a well-educated green thumb!
What Do You Want to Grow?
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea on what you’re looking to get out of your garden. Now comes the implementation. Take a minute to sit down and map out your garden. Draw a scaled diagram of your garden, with proper spacing for each plant you intend on planting.
For example, you’ll need about 8 inches of space between lettuce. Doing this assures you that you’ll have enough space for each plant to grow properly.
If you’re looking to make your garden as easy and carefree as possible…
I recommend avoiding:
These veggies are temperamental and will test your patience.
So if you aren’t looking for a challenge…
I recommend using:
Keep in mind that you can save a lot of time and stress by avoiding seeds and going directly to starters. These starters have already been grown for a few weeks, so their survival rate is much higher than seeds.
And they’re simple — just dig a hole, plant them, and watch the results. These should be available at any of your local nurseries.
Choose the Right Soil
Other than your climate, there’s no aspect of a healthy garden more important that the soil.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to use soil that’s loose and drains well. More specifically, you’ll need soil with proper amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, calcium and even boron.
These nutrients are used to maintain a proper soil pH level. Your goal should be to always maintain a pH level between 6 and 7.
If you don’t already have a pH meter, your local hardware stores and nurseries will carry them for a few bucks. Get one and use it often!
And that’s how easy it can be to start your own backyard garden. Trust me when I say that this will be one of the best investments you can make all year long. Not only will you share the process of growing your own food with your family and neighbors, but you’ll also have delicious, organic vegetables, that YOU grew!
It’s a feeling that I hope everyone can experience.
This article is by no means a comprehensive guide to starting the perfect garden, it’s merely some tips that I wish I would have known before I started my first garden. A solid plan for your garden will pay off in dividends come harvesting season. And who knows, maybe next year you’ll determine that your whole yard would look better as a garden.
What tips do you think are worth sharing with other green-thumbs? Let us know in the comments!