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Gardening 101

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Gardening 101

Olivia Pericak

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Growing and eating produce straight from a personal garden has many benefits. Getting to decide what fertilizers and pesticides to use, and controlling when to harvest the food are just a few. The ultimate advantage of having a garden is the likeliness of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, causing an improvement of overall health. Here is a list of steps to get started on creating your very own garden!

 

Pick The Seeds

Make a list of fruits and vegetables to put in the garden. Then, figure out which of those products are most likely to be successfully grown in the area you live. Once you have a reduced list of the items you plan to grow, take a trip to your local market to purchase the seeds. Seed packets can range from about $4-$20, depending on the brand and amount of seeds you want. If you are just planning to have a moderately small garden, plan to spend around $30-$50 on seeds.

 

Choose a Location

Figure out where you want the location of your garden to be. You should choose a spot that gets about 6 hours of good daytime light and access to water.

 

Creating a Raised Bed

Consider using a raised garden bed. This will allow you to control the soil. To make your own raised bed, you can use lumber. You might have to measure and cut it if they are not purchased at the right length. There are many videos and step by step instructions on how to build the box, so I won’t go into much detail. It is important to make sure the box is at least 6 inches high to make room for the roots to grow.

 

Preparing the Location

Once the frame is completed, start to prepare the location. Start by placing the frame in position and outline it with a shovel. Then set the frame aside and begin removing the grass, loosening the dirt is also helpful. Before setting the bed in place, staple a wide mesh hardware cloth to the bottom of the it. This will prevent the majority of weeds from growing, but still allow earthworms to get in to enrich the soil. If the wood of the bed isn’t rot resistant, staple heavy duty plastic along the inside of the bed before adding soil. Now the bed can be filled with soil. This can be purchased at a home and garden center or nursery.

 

Placing the Plants in the Garden

Make holes to set your plants in and formulate a plan for which ones need similar amounts of water. Once your put the plants in, fill the extra room with loose soil. Don’t pack the soil in too much because it will stop water from getting in.

 

Watering

When you finish putting your plants in the soil, you can start to water them. It is best to water in the morning because the sun won’t dry up all of the water where as if you were to water them in the evening. If you know you’ll easily forget how much or how often you should water the plants, keep the instruction insert into the soil next the designated plants.

 

Finishing Steps

You can consider adding a mesh covering if you live in an area with a lot of animals in order to prevent your produce from being eaten. Once they are ready, harvest, wash and eat them!

 

Successfully running your own garden can be rewarding in the end. It takes a lot of time and dedication to have a good outcome and proper growth, but it is worth it!

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