Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gardening 101: Your Guide to Growing Your First Garden

Growing your first garden does not have to be difficult. There are many simple techniques you can incorporate into your first garden to help ensure your success. Continue reading to learn how to prepare your soil, choose your plants, and tend your garden.

Before you begin preparing your garden soil, you should have it tested at your county extension office. After you receive the results from the test, you can easily amend your soil to create perfect soil for your plants. If your soil is too acidic, you simply have to work some peat moss, compost or sawdust into your soil. Low pH soil can affect your crops. To increase your soil's pH level, add fertilizer or lime to your soil and work it in. Lime is powdered limestone; therefore, it is safe to add to your vegetable garden.

One mistake that new gardeners make is beginning with a large garden. Instead of making a large garden, start out small. Find your favorite vegetable and plant a few varieties to see which ones do the best. For example, if you enjoy eating salads, plant a variety of leaf lettuce or tomatoes.

When choosing plants for your garden, opt for ones that are commonly grown in your location. This will help ensure that you do not need to do anything special to the soil. Additionally, plants that grow easy in your location will not need extra watering or fertilization.

You can find information and guidance by talking with your local county extension officer. He can guide you toward plants that are suitable for the growing conditions in your area. You can also talk to friends and family members for advice on plant selection, plant spacing and watering requirements of a variety of plants.

After the first year, you will know which plants produced well and which ones did not. The next year, plant the varieties that did the best. If you had types of vegetables that did not do well, choose different varieties or seek assistance at your local nursery for advice on which varieties work well in your location.

Although you must keep your garden free from weeds, it is not necessary to hoe your garden weekly. Doing so can actually cause more harm than good. Hoeing can disturb your plants roots which can result in lower yields and weaker plants. Instead, limit the number of times you hoe. Wait until your plants are well-established before you hoe. Then, carefully hoe around each plant avoid the area right below the plant. For any weeds that have cropped up right under your plant, simply weed by hand being careful to not damage the plant.

There are many things you can do to ensure that your first garden thrives. Follow the advice from this article, and you will be well on your way to having a bountiful harvest that you and your family can enjoy. Experienced gardeners know that gardening is all about trial and error. Once you find the plants that work best in your location, stick to them and they will abundantly produce for you.

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