We heard people saying that starting a garden requires for you to live in the country. Well, that’s so not true! You can grow a few crops in your apartment like it’s nobody’s business! Plus, if you do have a nice backyard full of green grass and nothing else, it’s about time you put that creative mind of yours to work.
For starters, there are a few things we need to talk about, so take a pencil and a piece of paper and listen up:
- The soil – if you like in a cold state like Vermont, for example, the soil may not be very rich in nutrients, so you should buy fertilizers and prep the ground for a few months before seeding it. Another idea would be to look for crops that would do well in your soil.
- Look for good seeds – we’ve said this so many times: always look for a trusted provider even if you’re only looking to buy a handful of seeds. Look online or ask a neighbor that you trust and also happens to be into gardening or agriculture. They will provide good seeds for your production, which means that, if something goes wrong, it’s probably your fault.
- DO mind the light – crops can’t grow without light: they need it for the photosynthesis (the process through which chlorophyll is produced and the plants are nourished). If there isn’t much light in your backyard, you may want to chop down a few bushes.
1. Start small
If this is your first attempt to grow real plants, we strongly suggest that you start small with a flower pot or a tin can. Poke a hole through the bottom of your tin can, fill it up with ground and plant your seeds. Water them every day with a tiny sprinkler.
Don’t pour too much water (about half a cup is enough) and make sure the temperature is not too cold (generally, if it’s not freezing and the seeds are buried deep enough to keep them warm, they will grow). Depending on the kind of plants you are growing, you will decide how deep to bury the seeds: if it’s parsley, dill and other herbs, it’s 2 inches deep. For flower bulbs, 4-5 inches. For bushes is 10 inches and deeper.
2. Flowers vs. vegetables
People tend to believe that flowers are a lot trickier than vegetables, but that’s not true. With flowers you just plant them in the garden, water them every now and then and use insecticides. With vegetables it’s a whole different story.
Take tomatoes, for example: you’ll have to cover their roots in plastic foil in order to prevent it from bugs, spray insecticides against green lice (it’s a type of small bugs that feed on your green plants) and also water them every night (if the temperatures are too high, every morning as well).
If you are growing an eco-kind of vegetables, you will need to lookup natural ways to kill bugs, like vinegar and daisies. That’s not very effective, so you’ll probably have to take down the bugs yourself and also keep an eye on your crops 24/7.
3. Use your porch
You may not know this, but your porch is by definition the brightest spot in your backyard. Try bringing your flower pots her. Of course, if you don’t want any complaints from your neighbors, invest in some nice ceramic pots or paint over those tin cans that you’ve used.
4. Looking for a flower-covered entrance?
Everybody loves a flower-covered entrance, but achieving that spectacular look it sure isn’t easy. But with some help, water, fertilizer and love you will get your own in just a few years. Here’s what to do: look online for climbing plants (white roses are the most popular), buy about 5-6 and plant them in two large pots.
Use fertilizers and tall sticks to help the plant grow upwards. You’ll have to add sticks and polls until the plants are tall enough to reach your front door, roof and so on. If you can’t envision this floral bliss, here’s an example to make up your mind:
5. Landscape pros
Some of us just need to do something about that terribly-looking lawn in front of the house and if that is the case, you don’t have to hire a professional for the job. Here’s what you need to be doing: first of all, clear the path by taking out weeds, bushes, rocks and anything else you have on your land. Second, it’s time to water the lawn abundantly, let the ground suck in all the water overnight and start working the ground the next day.
You’ll probably need a narrow shovel for that. When you’re done, plant some green grass seeds and water once again. You’ll have to water every morning or evening (after the sun goes down). When the green lawn is there, plant the flowers around the walking path. You can take them out of their pots and plant them as long as you don’t remove the pot soil.
It’s essential to preserve their roots as they are. You can plant bushes, small trees and anything you want, but they key is to have the green grass first as a blank canvas.
6. Backyard beauty
Sure, the backyard is where your dog and kids play, but you can steal a patch of ground for your beloved flowers. As a matter of fact, you can plant along your fence and still have enough space for your kids. The advantages are many: no nosy neighbors minding your business, you can experiment with all sorts of crops and once your flowers are really coming together, you can transplant them into your front lawn.
Think of your backyard as a laboratory where you prepare all the beautiful flowers for that gorgeous lawn.
7. Flower pots
Flower pots are so chic and easy to take care of! Plus, you can combine them however you want, plant different crops and even hang them to the roof. Generally, ceramic pots are the best, even when they are cracked and damaged they still look great, but you can’t really hang them up because they are too heavy. So look for plastic pots that are light and cute, plant your flowers in and hang them on your front porch, just like this family did!
8. Green houses
Green houses are great but require a lot of work. First of all, the glass has to be sealed perfectly in order to prevent heat leakage. Then, you’ll need a heating system that’s crop-friendly- most people go with a ceiling kind of installation that’s far enough from the crops to allow them to grow freely, but efficient enough to really heat up the space.
Also, you’ll have to water the plants at least once a day and think about investing in proper lighting since the light is not enough during the cold season. Also, you’ll have to clean the windows on a regular basis, otherwise it will be hard for the sunrays to come through.
9. The kitchen aid
It’s time to have thyme! We mean, it’s time to have fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary in your kitchen at all times! Here’s what to do (even chef Jamie Oliver does this, by the way!): use a few large tin cans, fill them up with ground, water it, bury the seeds and water everything every day until your amazing spices grow.
With a scissors, crop a small amount of parsley or thyme, add it to your food and don’t forget to water the plants! You’ll save money on spices, enjoy your new tiny kitchen-garden and get to brag about it to your friends!
10. Maybe a tiny orchard?
This is going to take time, but if you have the land, why not? Here’s what to do: purchase a few apple trees, cherry trees and whatever kind of trees you want in your orchard, put them in cold water away from the sun and dig deep hole for each one of them. Add water abundantly (a bucket for every hole), let everything rest for a couple of hours and then put your trees in the ground.
You’ll need to add a poll next to every tree and tie them together loosely (this is just in case there’s storm, your trees are small and not strong enough so they need all the help they can get).
Chances are you’ll be able to taste fruits from your own orchards in about three years, if everything goes according to plan. Until them, you’ll need to use fertilizers and insecticides, plus water the tiny trees every couple of days. It’s a labor of love, but the apples and cherries will taste delicious!
Pin it for later: