Updated: Mar 4, 2021
I’ll be honest starting a garden can be a pretty daunting task. There are so many gadgets, plants, soils, fertilizers, tools, and websites out there, that it is really amazing that anyone gets started in the first place. I don’t even wanna mention the crazy busy lives we all are leading! I am amazed every year by the size of my garden and how little time it actually takes to maintain it. This was certainly not the case at first, but once I discovered drip irrigation on an automatic timer… my life was transformed. I could now go away on the weekends without coming home to a dried-up fire hazard, I could even completely ignore it on the nights I worked late. Now any time that was spent on the garden was spent harvesting, and my water bill was significantly lower using drip irrigation.
It was a complete lifesaver. If you want to set up your own drip irrigation system, I'll be posting how to build one shortly, it's easy to put together and can expand with your garden over the years.
Gardening, like many things in life, should not be over complicated, especially in the beginning. Start small, learn what you can, and slowly expand. As I spoke about before, my first garden was complete and udder carnage, the only thing that survived was the bugs and weeds. It was planted directly into the soil in my backyard, with no thought to sunlight, pests, or soil composition, or even to test the soil to see what it needed. This was a big part of why my garden was the bane of my existence that year. I had worked really hard to remove the grass, till the soil, plant all the plants, only to watch it become the most popular 24-hour buffet for every bug in town. After taking a season off, I reconvened with a whole new plan. This next attempt was much more thought out. I soon found out that the soil in my yard was severely lacking in any nutritional value for plants, and must be amended if planting directly in the soil. That’s when I decided to build raised beds. I then filled them with locally produced, nutrient-rich soil. This may not be an option for you due to availability or price. I recommend any quality organic garden soil that you can find at your local garden shop or home improvement store. On occasion, I use Kellogs all-natural garden soil, and it has worked out nicely. Before filling the beds with soil, I had to find the best spot for them. For those of you living in the northern hemisphere, a south-facing portion of your yard, with full sun is the ideal location. This will ensure your needy little crops will get 8+ hours of sunlight per day. For us, this happened to be our front yard. While I initially had some reservations about a front yard garden, It has worked out great, and I wouldn’t change a thing. It gets ideal sun, it looks amazing in the summer and has prompted a neighborhood garden co-op that has been the envy of my friends and family.
Now that we have our location, and soil, all we need are plants, and a water source. Plant your plants or seeds as specified on the packaging, give a good drink while your planting, and a big drink every morning to prepare them for a hot day in the sun. You will at some point encounter some sort of pest munching on all your hard work. You have many options when it comes to pest control. We go full organic when it comes to pest control. I don’t purchase or use any chemicals to deal with pests. This means that they are never fully eradicated, but are manageable. As you become more comfortable and more successful, you can branch out and overcomplicate the heck out of it with numerous gadgets, drip irrigation, fancy garden beds, trellises, soil amendments, and 30 different crops. As you progress in your gardening journey, numerous questions will certainly pop up. Feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comment section, and I will do my best to help you out!