Starting a garden is the most rewarding thing by planting fragrant flowers and starting a vegetable garden. Everyone will get benefit from getting their hands a little dirty. Knowing where to start if you are new to gardening can be difficult. Still, it does not have to be complex. A garden can be created at your own pace by following manageable steps. You will have beautiful views, delicious flavors, and colorful blooms for your efforts. These steps will help to start a garden at home from scratch.
Garden planting at home for beginners
1. Study the climatic conditions and decide what to grow
Choosing well-growing and suited plant types for the garden space you are going to establish can be done by studying the climatic conditions. Gardening can be succeeded by putting the right plant in the right place at the right time. That starts with understanding the crops suited to the climatic zone and the season to plant them. Crops like peas prefer cooler temperatures, and vine crops like cucumbers are prone to mildew in high humidity.
If the garden space is very small, do not attempt to grow something like a giant pumpkin, which will spread over a large area. If a flower garden is planned for its flair, color, and fragrance, decide whether you want annuals that bloom most of the summer; however, they need to be replanted each spring. Otherwise, go with perennials that have a shorter bloom time but return yearly. Each one, or a combination, makes a beautiful garden but will have different maintenance requirements.
2. Choose the best gardening area
Most vegetables and flowering plants need 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. So, observe the yard throughout the day to determine which spots receive full sunlight. If the yard is mostly shady, tomatoes will not grow in the shade, but many other plants, like hostas and outdoor ferns, will grow and do just fine. Greens, herbs, and root veggies can be grown in partial shade. Southern gardens may benefit from afternoon shade, whereas northern gardens likely need all the sun they can get.
Choose a flat space for incorporating the garden because it is more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to deal with a sloping garden. Also, the gardening space will have easy access to a water source and avoid low areas where frost is likely to settle. Ensure the chosen garden space will be out for wildlife, pet damage, and children’s play areas. Dogs or wildlife animals would randomly visit and damage the garden. These animals will create plant loss and be very hard on new seedlings.
3. Invest in basic garden tools
When planning to establish a garden, the right tools will make a big difference. A sharp tool will make gardening easier and save time. Do not get caught up in all the newfangled gardening tools. Even though they are expensive, focus on basic, quality, durable tools that will last a lifetime. Get the right size tools to reduce the risk of injury.
The right tools make working in the garden a pleasure instead of a chore. Keep tools clean and sharp. Do not use a butter knife to chop up raw carrots, and do not use dull or flimsy tools to work in the garden. Some basic gardening equipment includes a garden hoe, scuffle hoe, dirt rake, leaf rake, garden shovel, or D handle shovel.
Several other tools are available in the market to ease up gardening. A potting soil scoop for soil filling, a standard kitchen knife for harvesting vegetables, a rechargeable drill machine to make drainage holes in planters, and hand pruners to cut stems can make the garden handier.
4. Test and improve the soil conditions
Before building the garden beds or planting, test the soil to know something about the soil in the garden planned area. Some of the characteristics can be defined just by observing the soil. Others may require professional lab tests. Lead contamination in the soil from old house paint or nearby roadways with heavy traffic is a problem in some areas. To learn more about the soil, conduct a soil test through the county cooperative extension office.
The results will give an idea about what the soil in the garden plot lacks and how to amend it. Essential nutrients can be given to the soil by adding a two to three-inch layer of compost, decayed leaves, dry grass, or old manure. If a garden is planned with an already established bed, leave the organic matter on the surface, where it will eventually rot into organic material. Earthworms will mix humus with the subsoil.
Most garden crops can be well grown in soil with a pH of around 7, neutral. Balanced nutrient levels in the soil are also important, as is the presence of organic matter. In addition, identify the proportions of clay, sand, silt, and organic matter in the garden soil.
5. Make the garden beds
Once the garden plot is decided, decide on the type and size of garden beds. Raised beds look attractive and may make it easier to work in the garden. But the problem with these raised beds is they also dry out more quickly. In very dry areas, sunken beds can gather available moisture. Most raised beds are rectangular, but you can also plan your garden with imagination and building skills. Do not walk on prepared beds as walking on prepared beds compacts the soil, so lay down plywood boards temporarily to evenly distribute the weight, if required.
Plan to establish the garden in blocks or beds of plants instead of single rows. Beds should be narrow enough, generally 3 to 4 feet in size, to reach the center from any side. The bed’s length should be 10 feet or less. Place the plants in rows or a grid design within the garden beds. The main goal is to minimize walkways and maximize growing space. Only adding fertilizer and soil amendments to the planting area saves time and money. Work with companion plants to attract pollinating insects and improve yields.
6. Prepare the soil
Loosening the soil and filling in bed containers before sowing or planting helps roots grow easily and to get the water and nutrients they want. Loosening the soil can be done by a mechanical device such as a rototiller or digging by hand. Digging is one of the practical for preparing small beds.
The primary step to creating a garden bed is separating the existing vegetation to ensure the roots do not resprout. Once the debris and grass are removed, spread a thick layer of compost on the growing area, at least four inches thick. If weeds are stubborn in the soil, try sheet mulching to preserve soil structure. Use a spade to gently loosen the top 6-8 inches of soil, mixing the organic matter.
7. Select the right seeds or transplants
First, decide on the desired plants, whether to grow from seed or transplant seedlings. Seed starting might save money, but it is a long process that takes much time compared to seedlings. Some seeds may be stopped at sprouting; others may take ages to develop into healthy plants for outdoor conditions. Alternatively, buy young plants which are grown in a commercial greenhouse.
Study the desired plants to learn which plants grow best directly seeded in the garden and which plants are better as transplants. If you want some specific varieties to grow, especially heirloom varieties, you will probably need to grow the transplants from seed. Start growing transplants is a great way to save money, too. If you do not have the patience to tackle growing transplants for the garden, go and spot the best plants at the nursery and buy them.
Choose the pots that are almost equal in size to the plant. Big plants in small containers are likely to be restricted to rooting, have roots tangled and growing in circles inside the pot will suffer from transplant shock when planted in the garden. Before buying any plants or seeds, ensure they are not treated or sprayed with harmful chemicals. Pollinators are important for fruit set in the garden, so do not buy plants that may harm them.
In case you missed it: Urban Gardening Ideas for Beginners: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
8. Plant seeds or seedlings with care
Start small, and provide each plant enough room to grow. The seeds and transplants are tiny, but full-grown plants can get huge. Overcrowded plants have difficulty growing. A small, well-planned garden can produce as much or more than a large, poorly tended garden. When planting seeds, ensure to sow them at the proper depth and spaces indicated on the seed packet, cover and tamp the soil firmly over them with the palm, and water them if the soil’s surface dries out.
When planting seedlings, carefully plant the plants by gently holding the stem between the fingers. Gently squeeze the pot and shimmy it off. Grasp the mass of soil and massage it lightly until the roots are no longer stuck in the shape of the pot. Use a small trowel to create a hole in the soil no bigger than the root mass. Place the plant, cover the roots with soil, ensure not to cover any part of the stem in the process, which cause death for many types of plants, and press it firmly into the earth.
Some plants, like pansies and kale, tolerate cold, so do not plant them in autumn or late winter. On the other hand, tomatoes and most annual flowers will grow in warm temperatures, so do not plant them until the frost has passed. Mid-autumn and mid-spring are good times to plant perennials. Many annuals are easily grown from seeds sown directly in the garden.
Read the seed packet for planting time, depth, and spacing information. Start the growing season by sowing seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost. There are containers or planters designed especially for seedlings and seed-starting soil mixes. Follow seed packet directions and place the containers on a sunny windowsill for direct sunlight or place them under grow lights if there is no possibility to expose direct sun from the window. Maintain the seeds and seedlings moist but not wet or may rot.
9. Watering the plants at the right time in the right quantity
Water the seedlings daily and ensure they are never allowed to dry out. Taper off as the plants get larger. Transplants also need frequent watering day by day until their roots become established. After that, the frequency gap of watering depends on the soil, humidity, and rainfall. Clay soil will dry out more slowly than sandy soil, so it is unnecessary to water it as often. And also, Sunny, windy conditions dry out soil more quickly than cool, cloudy weather.
Poke the finger into the soil and feel the soil 3-4 inches below the surface. If it feels dry, it is time to water. The plants are watered slowly, so the water soaks in instead of running off. Supply water to the plants in the early morning to reduce evaporation. During the growing time, plants require about one inch of water per week. If there has not been rainfall, ensure to provide a sufficient amount of water. Much water can lead plants to suffer from harmful root rot. When watering, make the soil moist but not soggy.
In case you missed it: Top 31 Vegetable Garden Ideas at Home: Check How this Guide Helps Beginners
10. Use mulch to restrict weed growth and reduce moisture evaporation
Mulch is a thick layer of covering material such as bark, cocoa shells, shredded leaves, grass clippings, etc. It is spread over the soil to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep the soil cool. There are different types of mulching, such as surface mulching, vertical mulching, polythene mulching, pebble mulching, dust mulching, straw mulching, etc. Covering the soil with rocks can keep the soil moist and warm, and organic.
Weeds have difficulty germinating when the soil is cool and moist. Worms and other soil creatures love mulch. These worms decay the mulch and convert it into fuel for the soil food web, just like compost. Choosing the right type of mulch for each crop is important. Wood chips are best suited for fruit trees, shrubs, perennial flowers, and other large, long-lived plants. Dainty vegetables prefer less weighty mulch, such as dry grass or leaves.
10. Regularly maintain the garden
As the plants start growing, help them reach their full potential by keeping up with garden chores. Water the plants before they become limp through heat, loss of water, or disease. Pull and separate the weeds from the soil before they go to seed. Remove dead, dying, and diseased vegetation from the garden plot to avoid spreading diseases to other plants. Banish destructive insects such as tomato hornworms by picking them off the plant and dropping them into a bucket of sudsy water or spraying them on an insecticidal soap.
Provide the support with a trellis, stake, or a tepee to tall plants such as tomatoes. Harvest vegetables as soon as they’re ready. If you are not prepared to make time in your schedule to take care of the plants, drop the plan of creating a home garden or stick only with extremely low-maintenance items like sprouts or herbs. Depending on the size of the plantings in the garden, time requirements may range from a few minutes per day to a full-time job.
A thumb rule for watering is that plants need around one inch of water per week during the growing season. Over watering the plants is as bad as under watering, so always check the soil before watering the plants. Soil that is too wet will lead seeds and roots to rot. Foliar feeds such as compost tea can be given to plants for extra nutrition and a dose of healthy microbes while watering.
Bugs are generally attracted to plants that are stressed or in some way deficient. Pest problems will be minimal if the plants are healthy and well-nourished. For most problems, there’s an organic solution. Throughout the growing season, pay attention. A plant collapsing under its weight is calling out for staking. Dense, overgrown vegetation demands pruning carefully to open things up so that sunlight and fresh air can circulate.
To start a vegetable garden
The first step in a vegetable garden starting is to decide what to plant in the garden. First, start as a small garden and expand it after gaining knowledge. A best starting point is to consider what vegetables are consumed mostly at home. Some vegetables can be harvested in 1-1.5 months, and some will take 2-3 months. For a beginner, the best suggestion is to start with short-term vegetables. While making a home garden, prepare potting soil by mixing 30% soil, 20% compost, 20% cocopeat, 20% sand, and 10 percent neem cake powder.
Sow the seeds in the soil or pots. Planting seedlings is another method for growing vegetable plants. Once the plants reach a height of 5-6 inches, transplant them into the new potting mix. These plants can accompany companion plants like tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, etc. The easiest vegetables to grow and fast harvest for beginners are potatoes, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, winter squash, peppers, green beans, peas, carrots, radishes, kale, and some herbs like lettuce, Swiss chard, coriander, and mint.
In case you missed it: Best Practices to Grow Peanuts/Groundnut at Home: Check How this Guide Helps Beginners
To start a flower garden at home
As a beginner, try and start with mature plants instead of seeds. The plant can thrive better if it is already developed. Plant them in a spacious container for the flowers to bloom easily. The container should have drainage holes to drain out excess water. A few plants, like Orchids, Poinsettia, Kalanchoe, and Crossandra, can be grown indoors if the room has bright enough and the temperature is low. Orchids need special soil consisting of wood chips or coir. Other plants can be grown in any soil with well-draining.
For starting a flower garden, the soil’s top layer should be nutrient, fertile, and have the proper sand and minerals. Good soil for planting is not too sticky and drains well. And also, the roots should be deep in the soil for the plant to be stable and grow well. Planting flower plants in spring is the most popular time; however, perennials can grow well if planted before falling in the North and after falling in the South. As a beginner, choose any from the below list to beautify your backyard or garden.
- East India Rosebay
- Rose Periwinkle
If you want to grow the flower garden under indoor conditions, you may choose any of the below as good choices,
- Peace lily
- Christmas Cactus
- Phalaenopsis Orchid
- Lipstick plant
- Flowering maple.
To start a fruits garden
Many fruits can be grown in the home garden, even if you are a beginner or have limited space. But before planting, study which fruits grow best in the garden’s planned area and what fruits grow well together in the garden. The best month to plant your fruit garden depends on where you live, the growing variety, and whether you are planting bare-root plants or pot-grown specimens. Fruit trees and shrubs can live for many years if they receive proper sunlight, soil, and air circulation.
In case you missed it: Best Practices to Grow Sweet Potatoes at Home: Check How this Guide Helps Beginners
If you are willing to enjoy some fruit within a year, strawberries, blackberries, melons, and raspberries are four of the best to plant in the home garden. And also, Blueberries are one of the lowest maintenance plants for a home garden. Pomegranates, persimmons, muscadines, and jujube can also be considerable options to grow in your home garden
11. Harvesting the products from the garden
Knowing when the right time is to begin harvesting the garden is important. This harvesting time depends on when the crops are ripe, the growing season’s length, and the effect of a frost. Some vegetables, like kale, cabbage, parsnips, carrots, and brussels sprouts, get sweeter from the cold temperatures and improve after a frost. These vegetables can stay in the ground longer without ill effects.
- Crops grown for their vegetative parts, like leaves, stems, and roots, should be harvested when they are young and immature. Basil, lettuce, and radishes are good examples; harvest them early and often.
- Fruits like tomatoes and apples should be allowed to ripen on the plant. Check the tree fruits such as apples and pears are ready by cupping a fruit in the palm and twisting gently. If it easily comes away, it is ready for harvesting. Softer tree fruits like peaches and nectarines are ready when they become lightly softer at the stalk end of the fruit.
Home garden economic benefits go beyond food; it gives nutritional security. Home gardens contribute to income creation, improved livelihoods, and household economic health. They can be considered the primary unit that initiates and uses ecologically friendly ways for food production while conserving biodiversity and natural resources.
- Pig Farming in Thailand: Breeds, License, and Permissions to Start
- Catfish Farming in South Africa: Business Plan, Cost and Profit Analysis
- Tilapia Fish Farming in South Africa: Business Plan, Cost and Profit Analysis
- Sheep Milk Production: Lactation Period, Uses, Benefits, Price, and Dairy Sheep Breeds
- When to Start Seeds Indoors Chart: Zone Wise Calendar for Vegetables and Flowers
- The 15 Best Lawn Sprinklers for Large and Small Areas: Cheap and Top Quality
- Month-by-month Gardening in the Philippines for Vegetables and Flowers
- Pests Affecting Tomato Crops at Flowering Stage: Symptoms, Control, and Prevention
- 15 Best Electric Chicken Debeaking Machines: Price List Included
- Lawn Irrigation System Cost: Estimating Cost Per Square Foot for Different Types
- How to Grow Walnut Tree at Home: Propagation, Planting, Pollination, and Care
- Backyard Beekeeping Cost and Tips for Reducing Backyard Beekeeping Costs
- How to Grow Pistachios at Home: Propagation, Planting, Pollination, Care, and Yield
- 12 Best Chicken Pluckers: Defeathering Machine Price List Included
- How to Grow Olive Trees in Pots: A Comprehensive Guide for Planting and Care
- Growing Stages of Onions and Onion Growth Time Lapse
- 15 Best Tomato Nettings to Support Trellis, Protecting from Insects, Squirrels. and Birds
- Best 15 Apple Picking Orchards in Minnesota: Top List of Apple Farms in MN
- Best Plant Nurseries in Kerala: For Indoor, Outdoor Garden Wholesale Centers, and Online Delivery
- 15 Best Weed Removal Tools with Price: Top Hand Weeders for Your Garden and Farm
- Top 15 Apple Orchards in New York: Best List of Apple Picking Farms in NY
- Top 15 Apple Orchards in Ohio: Best List of Apple Picking Farms in OH
- 11 Best Beekeeping Suits for Men and Women: Prices Included for Beekeepers in the USA
- Idoo Hydroponics Growing System: How to Set Up, Use, and Troubleshoot
- 15 Best Wheelbarrows for Gardening with Price: Dual-wheel and Single-wheel Designs
- Fish Pond Size Calculator: Ideal Pond Size for 1000, 5000, and 10,000 Fish
- 21 Best Goat Farms in the USA: Top Farm Stores for Goat Milk Products along with Farm Tours, and Educational Programs
- Top 15 Apple Orchards in Colorado: Best List of Apple Picking Farms in Colorado (CO)
- Top 20 Stunning Silver-Foliage Plants: A Touch of Elegance for Your Garden
- 15 Best Weed Killers for Lawns: Homemade and Prices for Commercial Concentrates
- 20 Best Pork Producing Companies in the United States: Top List for Hog and Pig Meat in the USA
- 15 Best Walk-behind Fertilizer Spreaders with Price List
- How to Build a Cheap Compost Tumbler: Requirements and DIY Organic Waste Compost Tumbler
- 15 Best Fertilizers for Citrus Tree: Homemade, Organic, Liquid, NPK, Schedule, and Prices
- 20 Best Kitchen Compost Bins With Prices: Low-Cost Composting for Home and Apartment Garden Plants
- 15 Best Apple Tree Fertilizers: Liquid and Organic Nutrients for Healthy Fruit Yield