So maybe you've decided that you want to start your garden. My mother and I certainly have!
But where do you even begin? What are some simple steps you could take to get it up and running?
Winter is the perfect time to start the process of setting up for your new beautiful garden. Listed below are 5 simple steps along with the tips you need to start your gardening journey.
5 Steps for starting your dream garden.
1. Get inspired.
The first thing you need to do is get inspired. Dream a little! What is it about gardening that makes you the most excited? Are you looking forward to raising edible plants, flowers, or trees? Have you put any thought into raising animals such as chickens or bees? Go ahead and grab a piece of paper and jot down your wildest dreams. Start big! You can always make realistic adjustments as you go.
Not sure what you'd specifically be into? Here are some resources to consider using for inspiration:
Google Image search: "beautiful gardens" and take some notes
Check out your local library for some gardening books; here's a few that inspire me: ---- Compact Farms: 15 proven plans for market farms on 5 acres or less ---- The Backyard Homestead Seasons Planner
2. Pick a spot and measure it out.
Next things next. Pick a spot to begin your garden. Do you happen to own or rent some property you can plant on? Grab a tape measure, then get out there and measure the specific size of your planting area and plots. Feel free to include descriptions of any unique specifics you may be working with. Take note of the soil quality in your space, as well as the light and water available there. Double check your property's zoning regulations, and check off any questions you may have if you work with a Home Owner's Association.
No room on your property to start a garden? Not to worry! There are some other options to consider.
Google search to find some community gardening opportunities near you.
Do you have space inside to try hydroponics? Look around your apartment or home and consider if there is any shelving areas you could set up a few racks of hydro.
Do you have a window or small patio that could host a few planter boxes or containers? If you do, think about the size and amount of containers you could grow out of in these spaces.
3. Plan, plan, plan.
Now that you've considered where you'd like to build a garden, and how much space you have to grow you can move onto the planning phase. I recommend grabbing a new notebook or creating a word document that will allow you to keep track of all your great ideas and plans. I would start with creating a sketch of the measurements and considerations you made in step two. Sketch these areas out with pencil and paper. If you're more technologically inclined, I recommend Gardena's mapping tool to help you create a jazzy visual.
Once you have a concrete idea of your space and planting conditions, grab some seed catalogs. Check out this list of free catalogs from the ol' trusty Farmer's Alamanc.
Start your research using local resources at your library or online. Don't be afraid to copy down or print out anything that strikes you as important. The more information the better.
My best recommendation, however, has to do with setting out to find any local feed or farmer supply stores and markets that may be located in your area. There is nothing more valuable than an experienced gardener or farmer to help you plan and learn as you head out on this amazing journey! You can use Google to help you search. If nothing comes up on the search engines, try asking around at a local farmers market.
4. Make a budget.
Have you gotten inspired? Measured out your available area and conditions? Planned on how you'd like things to look, and what you'd like to grow? Then the next step you need to take is create a budget.
Let's be real - gardening is an investment. You will need to pay some money to get supplies and get started. The payout is the fun, food, and happiness you will get from your efforts. Perhaps you make a larger investment because you're interested in making a monetary return as well. To do this in the most efficient way, however, you should set a budget and really consider how much of an investment you're interesting in making.
Think about and write out:
How much money are you willing to spend on seed, animals, feed, and equipment?
Do you want to go with high end supplies, or are you willing to start with basic equipment/seeds to get started?
How much free time and physical energy do you have to invest in this project?
Are you gardening for fun, or do you want to make money from this venture?
Is this a personal garden, or are you going to have other people work on the garden with you?
5. Just do it!
Once you've laid out the basics and have an idea of what you'd like to do with your awesome garden - do not hesitate - get to it! Plants and animals take time to mature, so the longer you procrastinate, the longer you will have to wait for results. As noted above, winter is the perfect time to get things ready for a beautiful new garden come spring, but you can start your dream garden at any point in the year.
Never be afraid to make mistakes in your garden. Each mistake can be turned into a learning opportunity for the next season's plants. Most importantly, remember, gardening is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your garden a step at a time, and have fun!
There are 5 simple steps to getting started on your garden. Mom and I are putting together the pieces the winter of 2019 - 2020. She just retired and I have my first child on the way, but we're still making time to have lots of fun with the early process of getting things going.
So what are you waiting for? Start getting inspired and grab a notebook to keep track of all your wonderful ideas.
Please feel free to comment and share your ideas or your current projects with us. The more the merrier :D
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