When your expecting company, what do you do? Clean? Prepare food? Create a hospitable environment? What about when you’re expecting a baby? You make their space. You build them a comfortable bed, you baby proof your home. Starting your garden is no different!
While having a garden is not quite that large of a life commitment, you still prepare the environment as you would any of these events.
Every garden is different and I am not an expert. If you read about my tragic first garden, here is what I did (that worked!) the following year and still do now. Again, trial and error. I did not read books or how to’s.
I went straight to the garden center. I asked a few questions about products and then I walked around the store reading labels and saying “this might work, let’s try it.” I got lucky because most of it did.
- Select your space.
Make sure it is large enough for all plants to be evenly spaced and have room to grow. Some require more space than others, remember. Make sure it is not too sandy or rocky, though you can add good quality soil to help with this issue.
2. Till your space.
Dig it up, soften the dirt, get all the weeds and roots out before planting. You can get hand tilling tools at most hardware stores. I use a garden weasel that I got at Lowe’s.
I also add a few bags of garden or potting soil with plant food or Miracle Grow to give it a good boost.
3. Protect your space
Right from the start you want to be sure your garden is not pest or weed infested. I pull all the weeds first, but will use a weed killer in the dirt before planting just to prevent any new ones. An organic option is preferred as it will be less harsh on the soil, environment, and your plants.
You will also want a pest repellent. Personally, I use sevin dust. It has worked wonders for me and my garden. I also use garden epsom salt to keep out snails and slugs. It seems to be the only thing that will do it. I also purchased this at Lowe’s. It is not the kind you buy at the drug store!
4. Fertilize and feed your soil.
Add fertilizer of your choice. I know, I know. You’re thinking manure. While that’s probably the best and, of course, most natural option, it’s not your only option. I typically just add Miracle Grow Plant Food. I swear by this stuff. The soil I add has fertilizer in it (I recommend doing this!), so I sprinkle in the plant food and I’m done!
After these steps, I usually till and turn the soil again and water to set everything. Now you’ll have healthy soil all ready for your little seedlings!