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Green fingers: Ten easy steps to starting your garden

We’ve broken down the process of starting a garden into 10 simple steps.


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Starting a garden can be rewarding, therapeutic and fulfilling. It is also beneficial if you grow fruits and vegetables — that way you are able to reduce your grocery budget and shop in your backyard. If you are planting fragrant florals, everybody can take advantage of getting their hands dirty a little. But knowing where to start can be tricky.

Step 1: Consider your options

Are you looking to grow a vegetable garden or a greenhouse full of flowers? When selecting vegetables to add to your dinner table, consider which ones your family is going to eat. When you choose flowers for their colour and scent, decide whether or not you want annuals that bloom most of the summer but need to be replanted every spring. A piece of advice: start tiny before you know what you are going to get into.

Step 2: Pick the right spot

Pick a flat spot for your garden, since dealing with a sloping garden is more challenging and time-consuming. Check for windbreaks that will prevent strong winds from harming the plants. Put the garden where you can’t ignore its cries for attention, like outside the back door or through the window you’re looking through when you’re washing the dishes.

Step 3: Clear the ground

Get rid of the sod which covers the area you are planting. Cut the sod with a spade underneath, and then into pieces to make it easier to clean. Decompose it in your compost pile.

Step 4: Improve the soil

The more fertile the soil, the stronger the vegetables. Residential soil necessitates invariably a boost, particularly in new construction where the topsoil may have been stripped off. Your soil may be too warm, weak and infertile. Sometimes the solution is simple: Apply organic matter.

Step 5: Work the soil

Dig only when the soil is moist enough in your fist to form a loose ball but hard enough to fall apart when you drop it. Using a small spade or spading fork to turn the top 8 to 12 inches of soil gently and mix in the organic matter.

Step 6: Select your plants

You can select plants that are suited to the climate, soil and light. You can also browse the internet to buy plants.

Step 7: Plant your seeds

Some plants, such as lettuce and sunflowers, are easy to grow directly from seed in the greenhouse. For specifics on planting time, size, and spacing, be sure to read the seed packet.

Step 8: Water your plants

We should never leave seedlings to dry out. Some plants do need to be watered regularly before their roots are formed. After that, how much you need to water depends on your soil, moisture and rainfall, but it’s a good starting point once a week.

Step 9: Protect your garden with mulch

Cover the soil with a few inches of mulch to help keep the weeds out and the moisture in. You won’t have to spray as much as you do, and by stopping sunlight from reaching the soil, you’ll avoid germination of weed seeds.

Step 10: Keep your garden

Your garden is starting to expand. Help it reach its full potential by keeping up with garden chores. Feed the seedlings. Pull away weeds before they grow tall. Get rid of vegetation that is dead, dying, and diseased.

You’ll feel comfortable growing vegetables now that you know the basics. You can do container gardening if you don’t have the appropriate space for a garden bed. You can grow plants in gardening pots, hanging baskets and window boxes.

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