“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” -Janet Kilburn Phillips
I spent a lot of time at my friend’s house this summer feeling some major garden envy. She produced a lot of vegetables in her small space, and would often send me home with bags of kale, zucchini, and cucumber.
I have never had a vegetable garden before, but I want one now. I have been fantasizing about the big salads I can make, the grilled veggies, the green smoothies. Who knew self-reliance could be so darn sexy?!
I can envision myself now…digging in the dirt, carrying a big basket filled with all my bounty, donning a big brimmed hat, and holding the cutest watering can. I am picturing my neighbors’ faces light up as I gift them some of my yield.
This can’t be that hard, right? Well, I have done my research, and I’m here to tell you the whole process is pretty darn easy. Let me give you the run-down now, and I promise you will be ready to join the ranks of home gardener extraordinaire soon.
The raised bed garden is probably the easiest to start. With a raised bed garden, you basically build a small square or rectangular structure from wood, brick, cinder block, or stone, and fill it with soil. You can place this structure right on top of your existing grass, or even on top of cement.
Let’s break this process down into some manageable steps. Take these steps, and your garden fantasies will be a reality before you know it!
1. Choose a spot that gets morning sun and at least six to eight hours of direct sun per day. Observe your proposed garden location for a few days to evaluate. A nearby water source is also a plus.
2. Start by creating a garden structure that is four-foot by four-foot with a depth of 12-18 inches. Although this space may seem small, you can grow a ton of food in it. Plus, it’s easy to add additional raised beds once you get going.
Hint: Search for how to build a raised garden on youtube for some great tutorials. You can also purchase a pre-made structure online. For an eight-foot by two-foot structure, I have seen them priced between $80 and $100.
3. Set up a watering system. You can create an automatic watering system by using a battery-operated timer connected to your hose bib. You can also add a soaker hose, or a drip line to make watering the garden super easy.
4. Add your soil. The advantage of a raised bed garden is you don’t need to rely on your existing, and possibly, sub-standard soil. Depending on where you live, good soil may be hard to come by.
Hint: You will need 16 cubic feet of soil for a four-foot by four-foot bed that is one foot deep. The perfect soil combinations for your space are easy to make and customize, for what, and where you are growing. Here is a great article on soil with a handy, dandy soil calculator to figure out the amount of soil you need for your space. https://citygrange.com/blogs/garden-journal/filling-or-refreshing-your-raised-bed-garden
5. Decide what you want to grow Think about what you and members of your household will eat. Get a good understanding of the growing requirements for the vegetables you want to grow. Don’t be afraid to seek out the help and expertise of your local garden center.
6. Plan to spend time tending to your garden every day. You will need to make sure your garden is getting adequate water. You will also want to keep an eye on plants for any potential problems like insects or predators, so you can address them quickly. Learn more about the best time to start a garden
Have I convinced you it’s not hard to start a garden yet? Do you have gardening fantasies of your own now? I sure hope so. Stick to these easy steps, seek out some help where needed, and your garden should be up and producing soon. Learn more about things you didn’t know about gardening.