How to Start a Garden from Scratch
Posted by Alix Francis on 21st Jun 2018
Starting a garden from scratch is quite a challenge to take on but a rewarding challenge none the less. If you have decided to start a vegetable garden from scratch, it will save you money in the long run. It’s a good investment to make.
You will need to assess your garden to see what you can do, where gets the most sunlight, what the soil is like and what you are planning on growing.
Garden planning starts with the shape of your garden, is it long? Rectangular? Square? Thin? Shallow? Wide?
Break Up Space
Typically, gardens look more spacious when there is as much open space in the middle as possible. If you can break your garden up to have open space in the middle, you will benefit from your garden looking larger that it might be.
Remove Unwanted Grass and Vegetation
New or old, there will still be unwanted vegetation and over grown glass to clear in your garden. You may need to sacrifice a portion of your lawn by removing a lot of grass and roots.
Dealing with Weeds
Bare patches of soil are prone to quickly being colonised by weeds. Weeds, if spotted early enough, can be controlled without having to use chemicals.
To get rid of weeds, you need to kill them at their roots, there are a number of ways you can kill or create weed barriers from hoeing to mulching, there are plenty of methods of dealing with pesky weeds.
Understanding your Soil
The success of your plants, crops and flowers will partly rely on understanding your soil. Many gardeners run into common problems with their soil such as the soil lacking nutrients or containing too much acid or alkaline.
These three things will provide the nutrients your plants, crops and flowers need;
- Sunlight – Necessary for growth
- Water – Needed for plants to thrive but remember not too give them too much or they will drown
- Pests and Diseases – Watch out for pests and diseases, plants are susceptible to insects and animal pests.
Understanding Where to Plant your Plants
Knowing which areas will suit your plants best will be a key to your plants success. You’ll need to plan and research which plants can take the heat and which plants can still thrive in shadier areas.
Understanding Different Plant Types
Understanding the different plant types such as, perennials, annuals, ground covers, vines, shrubs, and how they are best used in the landscape, when and where to plant them, what time of year they need to be planted, etc is important when starting out in the garden.
Designing Your Garden’s Colour Scheme
If you have prepared your ground and selected the plants you want to use, now is a great time to plan a colour scheme for your garden. This is of course optional, you shouldn’t feel the need to impress anybody but yourself.
The Basics of Planting
Dig a hole twice as wide as the plants container, pop the plant out of its container and settle it into the ground. Replace the soil around the plant, water and add mulch. Remember to give your plants plenty of space as when they grow they will spread out. Most information on planting can be found on the label of the plant.
Labelling plants and staying organised will help you further down the line. You can use the labels which are provided with most plants however they can be a bit unreliable or you can make your own plant labels.
Garden Care & Maintenance
Once you have planted and organised everything you want to grow you will need to maintain and look after your garden.
Watering, Mulching & fertilizing.
Watering will help your plants flourish and thrive.
Mulching will help keep the weeds at bay as weeds cant sprout up through mulch. You can use shredding bark, pine needles or cocoa bean hulls.
Fertilizing will add fresh nutrients to your soil which will help build bigger and better plants.
As time goes on you will become more and more confident with what you do, don’t worry about failing as when you fail you will learn what to do next time around, or what not to do should I say.