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Six Keys to Starting a Garden

By Staff | Apr 10, 2015

Spring has sprung and this is a wonderful time to start a garden. When it comes to starting a garden there are six keys that will help you on your journey in gardening.

1. Find a location in your yard that is as sunny as possible. Try to remember what it will look like at the peak of summer. If you have trees or growing on your land not an option, check with your township to see if they have a community garden. Once you have marked off the area in your yard, keep in mind there is no right size garden, it is all based on what your needs are – how much you feel you can manage and how much you want to grow. Before you dig any soil you need to call diggers hotline within 72 hours before you dig. They will check and mark for any underground wires and cables. If you decide that you do not want to dig up your yard and would rather build a raised bed, you still want to call so you know where a safe place to build your garden beds is located.

?2. The 90/10 rule, which means spend 90% of your time on soil preparation and 10% of your time on planting. Soil is the key to a successful garden. Poor soil equals poor plants. Rich dark soil is key. If you do not have this you can bring in good compost to build your soil or fill your raised bed. Test your soil for pH levels. PH is how acid or alkaline the soil is on a scale from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral and what most of your vegetables want to grow in. You can get a cheap soil tester from your garden center; this will give you a general idea of what kind of soil you have. For a more detailed understanding of your soil you can send a soil test to the nearest university for a small fee. This test will tell you what you need to add or not to add.

  • 3. Planting what you eat is a good rule. You will not feel you are investing your time wisely if you do not enjoy eating what you grow. If you think you want to grow hot peppers, for example, go to thr store and get some hot peppers to make sure you really do like hot peppers.
  • 4. If you do not have much space to grow, whether in the ground or raised bed, look at crops that like to climb. You can make a trellis for little or nothing. Vegetables like cucumbers, pole beans, small pumpkins, some winter squash and more can all grow vertically.
  • 5. Look for deals on garden tools. Your local garden center, thrift stores, also yard sales are a good place to find them. We all know someone who used to garden who may still have tools. We have even found good garden tools on junk day along the road. You do get what you pay for but to get started cheaply, this is the way to go.

?6. Understand what type of seeds you are growing, whether they be heirloom seeds that have been passed down for generations, certified organic that have been grown without chemicals, or hybrid – two plants that have been cross pollinated to get the best traits at harvest.

If you have any questions, ideas or to share a tip or two please feel free to contact us at “mailto:thewiveggardener@gmail.com”>thewiveggardener@gmail.com

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