Are you getting that earthy smell outdoors, like when you’re walking in a forest? The snow has now started to melt – or it may even be totally gone… and the soil is coming back to life!
If you have a green thumb, you know it’s time to start planting – in fact, some seedlings should be in the ground already.
If this is a new experience for you and you’d like to give it a try – because you want to enjoy produce grown in your garden or do something fun with your kids – here are a few tips.
- First, you need to find a calendar that shows what fruits and veggies can be grown in your region. It will also tell you if you need to plant the seeds indoors first or can put them directly in the ground… and, above all, when to do this for each item.
- Now go through your recycling and look for plastic dishes, egg cartons, coffee filters, or newspaper that you can roll into tubes… or you can visit a garden center and buy containers specially made for seedlings.
- Once you’ve planted your seeds in these trays and watered them properly, you need to put them in the right place… maybe even build a little greenhouse for them, so they get optimal warmth and sunlight. Don’t forget to label them, or else you’ll have a hard time knowing which plant is what before they’re fully grown!
- Wait for them to grow…
- And wait some more…
- And while you wait, think about your garden! Decide where you want to have it and the type of garden you’d like. You can have a planter at ground level, or raised; a garden hanging off your porch, plants in hanging jars, or a border… see what works best! What about upside down?!
- The final step is to transplant your seedlings and plant the other seeds directly in your new garden. And don’t forget the markers!
- Looking after your garden means weeding. This will be easier to do if you labelled your seedlings properly. What about pests? Well, aphids can be left to the ladybugs, or you can plant some garlic. Birds can be scared off with an aluminum plate attached to a stick! And slugs will stay away if you scatter eggshells – also a source of nutrients for plants – on the ground around your seedlings….
- For crops like tomatoes or beans, you need to put up stakes (or some other type of support) so the plants don’t break or take up too much space by creeping over the ground.
When starting out, think small – you’re better off just planting a few seedlings rather than a huge garden, especially if things get out of hand. Think about what you like and what you’ll find useful!
Remember, growing a garden takes time.
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