For first-time gardeners, starting a garden can be a bit overwhelming and seem like a big feat. While we totally understand how intimidating it can be, we are going to share a few of our best tips and tricks for growing a garden with any level of experience. Following a few simple rules will have you growing a lush garden in no time!
If you are a first-time gardener, there are a few things to evaluate before jumping into planting a garden. Some plants grow better than others in certain regions, soil conditions, and hardiness zones. If you want a garden that is guaranteed to thrive, make sure what you are planting matches up with the conditions in your area! While there are a few different websites to find you find your hardiness zone, our favorite is linked here. Here in Salt Lake, most garden spaces are zone 5. With the dry hot summers and snowy cold winters, plants have a harder time surviving than they would in a state with a moderate climate all year long.
Plant things that your family knows and loves! Planting what you want to eat will help you get interested in the success of the garden and will help to get the whole family involved. There is nothing more satisfying than making a meal with something fresh out of the garden you planted. Ask your family what they want to grow to make planting a garden more of a group effort. Sit down and plan with your family how you are going to care for your garden. Create a watering schedule and make it a daily habit to check in on your garden. Not only is it great for children to learn how to care for a garden at a young age, but it is also so fun to see them get excited about what is growing and take ownership of the care.
Once you have determined what to plant, make sure you properly prep your garden space by using high-quality soil. A thriving garden starts with the basics. You want to make sure you have the proper amount of light, space, soil, and watering methods to give your garden the best shot at success. Clear the space of any weeds or large rocks, level the ground, and mix in a good topsoil. If you are unsure about the best soil to use, we recommend visiting a local garden shop or greenhouse. The workers know the area and growing conditions and can help you pick out the best products to set you up for success.
Once your space is properly prepped and ready, it is time to decide when to plant. Not all seeds or seedlings can go into the ground at the same time. To give your garden the best chance at survival make sure you are planting in line with the season. Some plants are more hardy than others and can withstand changes in the weather. These are the plants to get started in the ground during the springtime, while more sensitive plants need to be held until early summer when drastic weather changes have passed. The last thing you want to do is have your freshly planted fruits and vegetables freeze overnight. Knowing the average last frost date and the average first frost date in your area is essential to good gardening. Set yourself up for success by knowing when to plant what.
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There is no better time to start a garden than the present. If it feels like an overwhelming task, start small and grow from there. By following our gardening tips and a little bit of trial and error you will have a green thumb in no time! For more gardening inspiration, check out our DIY herb planter guide or if you’re ready to build an enclosed garden, we’ve shared the plans for the Stagg Reno garden church here.