Top six tips for planting a garden – it’s easier than it looks

Discovering the simple steps to planting a garden can bring many years of rewards. This article will get you started on your home garden and the results will be flourishing before you know it!

Get started on your first home garden with these helpful tips! | MSU Extension
Get started on your first home garden with these helpful tips! | MSU Extension

Many of us see gardens start coming to life when early spring hits and think to ourselves, "I'd love to get a garden started at my house but I don't know how" or "I just don't have the time and resources for a garden." It turns out; gardening is quite simple and very rewarding! Whether you admire the bright, colorful flower gardens or have an interest in becoming healthier and growing your own produce, gardening does not have to be a "chore" and can turn into something fun and enjoyable.

Ready to get started? Here are some helpful tips from Michigan State University Extension to help with your first home garden:

  1. Choose an area that is relaxing, yet out of the way of your lawn mower’s path. You don’t want your garden being run over by the mower, but you also don't want to leave a small strip of grass the lawn mower won't be able to cut. Try to choose an area that will benefit the purpose. If this is going to be a flower garden, put it in a place that either people driving by can see or you can view from your porch. Always take into account the sun or shade needed for your plants when determining where to place the garden.
  2. Decide what you want to plant and how big of an area you will need. For a flower garden, the size mainly depends on how many flowers you want. However, for a fruit or vegetable garden, the kind of plants you want to grow will affect your garden size as some plants, such as zucchini, will send out shoots and grow larger than expected. Choosing the kinds of fruits and veggies you want will help you determine the size needed for your garden.
  3. Get the garden ready. This can be the most daunting and least exciting part of the process, but it only has to happen once. Set some time aside on a nice afternoon and gather some help from friends and family. You will need to dig up all of the grass sod currently growing in the soon-to-be garden space and make a nice dirt bed to get started. Placing a border such as a small decorative fence, or rocks or bricks around the garden can help keep weeds and pests out of your garden.
  4. Buy the prize possessions. Whether you are hoping to raise a produce or a flower garden, the type of plant will determine if you should buy seeds or look for sprouts that have already started to grow. Some foods, such as strawberries, are easy to plant by using a section cut from a previous flower. Most annual and perennial flowers can be found at local greenhouses or regular stores such as Meijer, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.
  5. Plant the garden. This step can be fun and exciting. Get some friends to help and enjoy an afternoon in the sun! For a produce garden, separate the plants based on what they. For a flower garden, the more you mix things up, the prettier!
  6. Voila! You now have a beautiful garden that can be used for years to come. The produce you grow can be used for healthy meals at home or can be sold at your local farmers’ market. Make sure to maintain your garden, watering and weeding when needed and then sit back and enjoy the view.

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