We’re finally fully into spring… and what better way to help usher in the season than with a backyard garden of your own? With some sun, water and a little bit of green space, you can put together a garden complete with the colors and variety best suited to your own home; you can even be adventurous and start a vegetable garden that can serve you and your family throughout the year.
Whatever type you’re interested in starting, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind:
1. Take some time looking at the yard you have, and the types of gardens you want. When you resolve to start a garden, you might feel like hopping over to the home improvement store or plant nursery to get started, but it’s better to take a week or two to really observe and research what you want. Look at your own space to determine where you would want to start your garden—maybe awkward empty spaces or the area framing a pool or deck. It’s also important to ensure that the area you want to garden in is a suitable spot. Does it get sun? Is it somehow blocked-off by trees or the structure of your home? Some plants thrive in shade, but growing in a sunny space is a safe bet for a wide variety of plants.
This is also a great time to take a look at your friends’ and neighbors’ gardens—what is it about them that you like? What would you prefer to not be in your own garden? Look at the types of plants they grow and have a conversation about getting started—they might be able to tell you something you never knew!
2. Evaluate your soil. No matter what type of garden you’re going for, your plants will need healthy, nutrient-rich soil to help them grow. If your soil is compacted and dry, try adding compost to it—the organic material adds much-needed nutrients to the soil. If you make compost at home, use this! Otherwise, you can pick some up from the gardening store.
3. Research the plants you plan on using. You don’t have to have a degree in agricultural to know what works best and at what time of the year. Think about the kinds of plants you want, or maybe those that you’ve seen your neighbors grow. Then go online and research the characteristics of these plants: when do they grow best? Are they shade-friendly? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to decide what will work best in your springtime garden.