Did you know that the first week in June is National Gardening Week? Even if you didn’t, chances are that you appreciate a well-kept garden. Whether it’s flowers or vegetables, a home garden adds beauty to any home (and can even help the Earth). Plus, there are many benefits of having a home garden: it reduces stress, provides calorie-burning activity, and promotes healthy eating if you grow herbs and/or vegetables. Read on for some tips on how to start a backyard garden.
1. Determine your climate zone.
Do your homework and determine what climate you live in. Tuscaloosa, Alabama is in the 8A plant hardiness zone. Knowing the growing season for your area will help you select the ideal crops to plant. Consult one of the many plant hardiness zone maps available online.
When buying plants, look at the plant tag to find the zone range. The National Gardening Association provides an online plant database that includes more than 775,000 plants.
2. Choose the right location.
Place your garden where you’ll see it. That way, you won’t be able to ignore it and you’re more likely to give it the attention it needs. Also, make sure that your garden is in a place that gets adequate sun. Most vegetables and herbs need at least six hours of sun in order to grow. Make sure your home garden is located near a water source and that a garden hose can reach it.
3. Decide what to grow in your home garden.
You’ll need to choose between seeds and plants when starting your home garden. Seeds are inexpensive, so you should get the best available kind. Read instructions carefully so that you don’t seed too thickly and so that you’ll plant the seeds at the proper depth.
If you’re using plants, you should use only stocky, healthy, fresh plants. Always water transplants to settle the soil around roots. Set tall plants deeper in the ground than they grew originally. A relatively easy plant to grow at home are tomatoes. Try one of the many varieties found in garden shops.
4. Buy some basic gardening tools.
There are a few basic tools needed by any gardener. One essential tool is a handheld trowel that can be used to dig small holes, transplant seedlings, and break up clumps of soil. A good pair of pruning shears will help you cut back limbs and harvest fresh produce. A garden hose and/or watering can is also essential; consider buying a sprayer attachment for your hose so that you can control water flow and pressure. A garden rake with sturdy metal tines will allow you to create smooth level soil while removing unwanted weeds. Finally, an angled shovel with a triangular shaped head will allow you to dig holes, move soil, and relocate plants.
5. Make the home garden bed.
The first step to creating a garden bed is to clear away the vegetation. This may be done by hand, as long as you pull weeds up by the roots so that they don’t resprout. If your weeds are really stubborn, you may want to try sheet mulching or using cardboard to compost weeds while preserving soil structure. Some gardeners prefer using raised garden beds, which allow you to garden most anywhere, as long as there is adequate sun. Read more about home garden beds and related topics at the Masterclass article about starting a backyard garden.
Find your perfect home garden in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Why not join the fun and try your hand at backyard gardening? Start small, see what works, and go from there. You might just discover a new hobby that provides many benefits!
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Interested in finding a home with space for a garden? Our agents at Carrie Fitts Real Estate will add that to your “must-have” home shopping list!