Those fortunate enough to have enough space and time to take up gardening know that it takes more than that to start your own backyard garden. Getting started seems like a fun and easy idea, but gardening actually takes a lot of time and patience, and you’re going to need to prepare first. Fortunately, gardening is not only fun to take up, but it’s also highly rewarding, especially when you take it seriously and invest time and effort. If you’re daydreaming about having a beautiful backyard garden that will give you food and pretty flowers, read on to discover essential steps for getting started.
A great starting point for a beautiful garden is to sit down and make detailed plans. Map out your yard and think about which spots get the most sun exposure and which ones are shadier, which ones would be easier to reach, and around which ones you can place a small fence if need be. This will help you work out what plants would go to each place so that they get the best conditions for optimal growth. If you don’t plan in advance, you will likely end up with a mess of different plants that don’t actually go well together or won’t grow well in given conditions, and you’ll have to start over.
Take baby steps
Once you get a great idea and start making plans, it’s incredibly easy to get carried away and attempt to do everything “in one take.” It’s good to remember that creating a beautiful garden is a process that takes a lot of time and effort, and you will get the best results if you go slowly. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on starting a vegetable patch or just plant roses and jasmine, don’t try to take it all on in a single try. When you take your time and work on your garden little by little, you will get much better results, and most importantly – you won’t feel overwhelmed or exhausted. The easiest thing to do is to cover the areas you can’t work on at the moment with cardboard or a bit of black plastic and focus on it at a more convenient time.
You might think that planting is just digging a hole in the ground, placing a seed/plant in it, covering it with soil, and calling it a day. While, technically, you aren’t far from the truth, there is much more to planting than this. Learning how to plant your plants properly will result in them growing well and being healthy for a very long time. One of the most important things you have to do before you actually plant anything in your soil is to prepare it first. This means that there shouldn’t be any weeds and that the soil should be healthy, so add mulch and/or fertilizer where necessary. You can always turn to the internet if you need help – there are virtually limitless resources on how to plant specific plants, and it’s much better to consult these kinds of instructions than to improvise.
Learn about feeding and watering
When you know exactly when and how to water your plants, you’ll be able to keep them alive and thriving. A rule of thumb is not to focus so much on watering the plant’s leaves but the root ball. This is because roots are the ones that will absorb the water, not the leaves. When you take time to soak the root ball thoroughly every week, it will give you better results than watering them a bit every day. Get a retractable garden hose and water all of your plants in one trip rather than carrying a bucket or a can and having to refill it every few minutes. Also, you shouldn’t forget to feed your plants every two weeks or so, especially during the growing season (spring and summer).
Pick the spot
Regardless of whether you’re planning on planting a vegetable garden or several kinds of flowering plants, almost all of them are going to need between 6 and 8 hours of full sun every day. This is yet another reason why you should plan out how you want your garden to look in advance – it will give you a chance to figure out exactly which spots get a lot of sun and which ones are in partial or full shade. Even if your yard is mostly shady, you can still grow some plants there, namely ferns. Another thing you should pay attention to is whether the spot you’re planning on planting is flat – a sloping garden can be a nightmare to plant and maintain. A flat one is the best for both you and your plants.
Feel free to prune
A lot of people who start gardening don’t feel comfortable pruning their plants. It seems counterproductive – you work so hard only to cut it off later. What is more, pruning is often a daunting job that can take a lot of time, which is yet another reason why people avoid doing it. Still, as daunting and scary as it can seem at first, those who learn the right way and time to prune their plants will be rewarded with better results. When you do it the right way, you end up with plants that not only look and grow well, but they flower and fruit much better too. The key is to know exactly when and how to do it, as there are many ways to make different cuts to shape the plant. Luckily, there are many guides and instructions online, and you can always reach out to a more experienced gardener and ask for their advice.
Keep pests and weeds at bay
As strange as it might sound at first, a great number of garden pests aren’t as harmful to the plants as you might think at first. This is because there are so many natural predators out there that can and will keep the pests in check. On the other hand, there can be just too many pests in your garden, which is to say that you’ll have to deal with this infestation. Slugs and snails can appear in great numbers and destroy your beloved plants, so you better keep an eye out for them. Also, by covering the soil with a few inches of mulch, you will keep the weeds out and moisture in, so you will not have to water your garden as often. While all of these things we mentioned here seem like all work and no fun, it’s not exactly so. Over time, you will begin to enjoy not only the end results but the process as well. Don’t be afraid of mistakes and give yourself a chance to experiment even if it means that the end result won’t be what you hoped it would. You will be able to sit back and enjoy the view of your garden even more because you will know just how hard you’ve worked to get there in the first place.