The location should get adequate amounts of sun (especially in the morning), but also be shielded from strong winds and other detrimental environmental factors. You’ll also want to choose a location that is close to important resources such as water for your plants.
Choosing Your Crops
Now for the fun part! What crops can you grow to help you reach your goals for your garden? Pick crops you’ll know you’ll use and that your family will enjoy.
Whatever crops you grow, make sure they’re aligned with the reason you wanted to start a garden in the first place. Also keep this in mind when choosing the specific varieties of each crop.
How to Start a Garden Outdoors
Now for the fun part! Once you’ve made an effective plan, it’s time to get gardening. The timing of when you’re able to plant your outdoor garden depends on when the last winter frost happens in your area.
Use the seed packets or an online planting calculator to schedule your outdoor planting dates. Some gardeners like to start every single plant in their garden from seeds, while others prefer to buy seedlings from a local nursery.
You may want to use seeds for plants that are easy to grow outdoors from seed, and choose transplants for the trickier plants.
Many gardeners will grow their leafy greens, carrots, and sunflowers from seed, and buy seedlings for their tomatoes and peppers.
If you’re nervous about your ability to grow plants directly from seeds, give yourself some practice by growing microgreens in your kitchen before you start a garden outdoors.
Maintaining Your Garden Throughout the Growing Season
Once you start a garden, the rest of the growing season is dedicated to ensuring your plants are thriving. You’ll want to make sure they’re getting lots of light, as well as regular deep waterings.
Make it a habit to walk through your garden on a regular basis to check up on your plants and make sure they’re doing well. Give any plants that aren’t thriving some extra attention.
Also make a note of how each crop is performing in your Garden Planner. These notes will be priceless when you plan your garden next year.
Starting a Great Garden
If you set your garden up for success by getting clear on your goals, making an effective plan, and carefully maintaining your garden, you’ll have a wonderful growing season. It’s likely that not every plant will thrive in your first garden, but you may also have some unexpected successes.
Whatever happens, the most important thing to do is start. You’ll never know how wonderful your garden could have been this year if you don’t start it at all!
About the Author
Mary Jane is a writer, engineer, and organic gardener in the Okanagan Valley (Canada). She blogs about organic gardening, nature-inspired DIY’s, nourishing recipes, and connecting with nature. Find more of her work at Home for the Harvest
I’d like to hear from you!
What do you plan to grow in your garden this year? What was your biggest takeaway from this article? Leave a comment below!