Whether you’re an avid gardener or first-time grower, developing a green thumb isn’t as challenging as you might think. With the right soil, gardening tools and a few key tips you can nurture a garden to produce fresh and flavorful fruits and vegetables and vibrant flowers. Before you know it, you’ll be eating fresh, organic produce from your own backyard! Not only will this make your meals a little tastier, but growing an organic garden is also a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Here is everything you need to know to plan your perfect home garden.
Before you decide what to plant, you’ll need to make sure you create an environment where your seeds can thrive. To get started you will want to pick up some mulch – which will help protect the soil in your garden. You’ll also want to make sure to keep the area free of weeds. A layer of mulch on top of the soil helps, but you should also pick up a handheld weeder from your local hardware store.
Plant things you want to eat
Before you go crazy buying seeds, think about what you might want to grow and what you and your family will actually. A few classic favourites to cook with that are also easy to grow are tomatoes, carrots, peppers and snow peas.
Plan for warm and cool weather vegetables
Warm weather vegetables are wonderful but when summer ends, so do they. Think about planting fruits and vegetables that will keep producing well into the fall. Beets, carrots, broccoli and pumpkins are a few of our fall favourites!
Don’t plant more than you can handle
Once you start gardening, it can be hard to know where to stop! As things begin to grow and it comes time to harvest, you don’t want to have more than you can manage. If you have too many plants producing at once, you could end up with tons of rotting produce in your garden.
Sow your seeds indoors early
In Alberta, our winters always seem to last longer than expected. After all, it’s not uncommon to have a few final snowfalls in May! If you’re anxious to get your garden going, get an early start by sowing your seeds indoors. You can nurture your little seedlings in egg cartons, making sure they get enough sunlight and transplant them to your outdoor garden when the weather is less likely to turn for the worse one more time.
Choose the right spot
Vegetables need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. So make sure to plant your garden in the sunniest area of your yard. Also, try to keep some distance from trees and shrubs as they tend to compete for water and nutrients in the soil. If you have a lot of trees and shrubs in your yard, you might want to consider a raised garden bed.
Add your personal touch
A great way to make your garden your own is by adding decorations and garden art that reflects your style! Incorporating elements that you love, like art, particular plants or even certain colour combinations can take your garden to the next level and make it the focal point of your yard.
Give yourself a spot to enjoy it
Your garden shouldn’t just be a place you associate with weeding, watering and work. Make sure you give yourself the chance to sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful garden. You don’t need to build a grand deck or elaborate patio, even a few Muskoka chairs in a shaded spot make a great relaxing space.
No matter your experience level, gardening is a wonderful hobby for the spring and summer. There’s nothing like adding a few fresh veggies from your garden into your salad or home-grown herbs to your dinner. We hope our list of gardening tips help you get started on your own backyard project!
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