Many people make some critical mistakes before they even start gardening! Do not underestimate how important it is to plan out your gardens site. There is so much information to consider. Does your site have enough light, is it easily accessible, is it near a water source…the list goes on.
So here are 3 quick steps to follow when you are in the planning stages of starting a garden.
1. Pick your site
It is time to start analyzing your yard. Where is the best place to put your garden? There are several things you want to remember when picking your site. It is important that it is in a convenient place, the closer to the house the better. Many people plant their gardens far from their house, and far from the water supply. It is much easier to maintain your garden if it is right outside your house and really close to a water supply. You need a space that gets at least 6-8 hours of sun a day and has good drainage. You don’t want to put your garden in a spot that has standing water after it rains. Observe your site for several days and note how much sun it gets, and if it is morning sun, or the hot afternoon sun?
2. Plan your garden
Decide how big you want your garden and keep in mind, bigger is not alway better. It is important to start small. A lot can be grown in small spaces. Many people become overwhelmed because they under estimate how much they can grow in such a small space. I prefer to use raised beds. Initially it might cost a little more, but it is well worth it because you create your own nutrient enriched soil that will last for many years. It is often easier to visualize your small space by adding grids to your raised beds. I started with 2 4×4 raised beds, and we had plenty of food to eat throughout the whole season.
3. Start thinking about soil
Now that you have your site, It is time to think about where you are going to get some great soil. If you are planning on using the existing soil, you want to make sure that no chemicals have ever been used on that soil or the grass. You then will need to add some quality organic compost to your existing soil. You can either do this by hand with a pitch fork and some muscle or you can easily rent a rotary tiller from your local hardware store.
If you are planning on using raised beds, you can either buy organic compost by the bag for small beds or for larger beds you probably will need to seek out someone local who can deliver bulk organic compost. Always keep in mind, once you create your soil, never walk on it. Roots like to grow in loose soil, not compacted soil.
That is it! Follow these critical planning steps and you will be off to a great start! To learn how to make your own raised beds, here is a video : How to Build a Raised Bed For Your Garden!