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10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden
Written by Oana Schneider

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.

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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.

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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.

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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:

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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.

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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.

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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!

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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.

10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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!

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10 Ways to Start Your Own Garden

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

10 Comments

  • Timely post! I love fresh herbs, so I want to start an indoor herb garden in the near future. Starting small, as per tip 1. I’m also told it’d be fairly easy for me to grow spring onions outdoors in a pot, so I may branch out into that at some point. I always seem to run out of onions anyway, plus fresh-grown ones always taste better than store-bought. Bookmarking this 🙂

    • Haha. This was my first thought too. I bookmarked this and I keep coming back to read it because I just think it’s really good and I think I would share it with my friends if I had any :/ I absolutely love fresh herbs and I agree on the other points you make.

  • Ah, that’s amazing. I’ve always wanted a garden of my own, and these pictures and tips are breath taking. I didn’t take care much of the garden we have, I let my other family members take care of it because it’s quite troubling, but this is a really good idea actually. It could also save some money because your tips aren’t as costy as without following these tips. Thank you for them.

  • Speaking of gardens this Sunday gone by I just helped my parents for 2 days plant trays in the greenhouse! They will be starting on vegetables soon. And they also plant a nice flower garden infront of the house. Where I am at right now I cannot really have my own garden but would love to. Maybe someday. For a now though I assist my parents with theirs.

  • Gardening is a great hobby to keep you busy and save money while doing it. It is a great lesson for kids to partake in while parents help teach their children about each plant. It is most affordable to start your garden out with seeds however, to make things easier many people will buy the plants so they don’t need to worry about taking the time to plant and transplant their seeds. I love the ideas that the article mentions about starting small or even having a porch garden. You are able to grow many types of crops right from flower pots or other containers which is called “container gardening”. So many people are worried they don’t have enough space in their yard to start their own garden. They don’t really have to worry about it because even if you live in an apartment, you are still able to have some type of garden.

  • I do not have enough sun because of a fence a building, and a mountain. Nothing I can do about any of those things. All my attempts to grow something edible have failed completely. I was even given kale starts that had been growing so well at a friends house. After 3 weeks in the sunniest place in my yard, with daily watering, they look like they have simply stopped growing entirely. I’ve given up, all I’ve done is waste money and get myself frustrated. Unless I can afford to move to a better location, I will never be able to grow even a bites worth of food of my own.

    • Ah me too, I do not even have enough sun and sometimes I’ve tried getting few resources that were cheap to replace that but the tips here on garden are great. I know what you mean by you will never be able to grow even a bites worth of food of your own :/

  • In this current time of global financial crisis many have started their very own garden. In order to drive down the food costs and to have a sense of assurance that they can sustain themselves in case the whole system collapses. Gardening is pretty simple and it comes natural to most. The idea of planting a seed with the knowledge that it will one day be a fruit bearing big tree. The gratification comes with long term patience.

  • I have grown herbs and tomatoes in the past, but that’s about it, other than some lettuce my cats enjoyed munching. I do like the idea of growing my own vegetables, but haven’t gotten the seeds or pots and soil yet, so hopefully reading this will give me the impetus to get that done!

  • Definitely have in mind what you want before you get started and plan. Do some research as certain types of grasses, trees, plants, etc. do better in certain climates and need a certain amount of light. This may effect where you put something. Cute ideas, thanks for sharing!

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