Starting a garden may seem like a simple enough task, but here are a few things to do before to ensure success.
Are you a gardener or do you aspire to be?
Don’t be fooled by the internet, all the google searches, or your husband’s judgy Aunt Judy, gardening is not a one-size-fits-all sorta thing.
I mean yeah plants all need the same basic things, water, sunlight, and nutrients. But that’s where the similarities end.
There are many types of gardens.
- bio-intensive style
- permaculture style
- square foot gardening
- and the lists just go on and on
Let me paint you two different pictures…
A good gardening friend let’s call her Tracy.
Tracy is a very methodical gardener. She wants a big vegetable garden. And everything in Tracy’s garden needs to “earn” its place. And it earns its place with exactly how much it can benefit Tracy when it is consumed.
Tracy wants herbs for tea, and food to eat. Tracy likes money saved. If she can’t track it with a dollar and cent value it’s not of value to her.
To Tracy gardening is a numbers game. Its, math.
Tracy–>> Gardening = Math Class
Then there is me (I’m Beth).
Well, Beth likes food to eat, Beth likes herbs and loves tea too. However, Beth also wants to just plant things that look pretty and flow. She wants to bring nature into her garden, and see it with abundant life. Beth will plant things just for nature to enjoy.
Beth does not calculate like Tracy, she wants to use her garden to create a mini-environment.
To Beth gardening, it is like a painting and expression of art.
Beth–>> Gardening = Art Class
You see very different perspectives and goals (neither wrong) just different.
So then my question to you is what kind of garden do you want? What inspires you? This matters despite what ‘Judgy Judy’ thinks, gardening has many paths to success.
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Different types of gardens
Before you can know what you are going to do, or how to start a garden you need to know what do you like best. What style and kind of garden do you resonate best with?
Here are some questions to ask yourself
- What types of things do I want to grow?
- What kind of garden “look” do I like the best?
- Is the look of the neat and clean raised beds I am after?
- Do I like interconnectedness of nature and how permaculture works in a garden?
- Will I want the organization from a squarefoot garden?
- What are my main goals I want from my garden?
- What purpose does my garden need to serve?
If you are looking for a little clarity on what it is you want from your garden hit this little image below and grab a free copy of my Garden Goals Planner.
What, Where and How
Ok so now you may have an idea of what you are after.
Keep ahold of that. Everyone has an opinion (that doesn’t make it right or wrong) but just an opinion.
I have an older neighbor who says no one starts plants from seeds.
Well me, I start about 90% of everything I grow from seeds. So I don’t take her words as gold just a different gardener’s opinion.
With your ideal garden in mind, start looking at what you want to grow and where will it go?
- Perrenials that get planted once and harvested yearly?
- Do you live in a temporary place where you have to grow in pots?
- Do you have any special considerations to make?
- What could you use the most?
- What could do well in your climate?
From here you have a working list of what plants you need/want. You have an idea of where you will be gardening, and you have thought of special considerations.
Start putting all this to paper make a list, draw a vision of what you want your garden space to look like. Remember after all this is YOUR garden, not judgy Aunt Judy. You are designing and imagining what inspires you, go with that.
My secrets to success
Now you know what you are after, what you would like to grow, and where to put it all. I want to add a little spice, that spice being my favorite little secrets to success.
Really it’s just 2 things
- Companion planting helps E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
- Planting by the moon cycle (the old-old school trick that works)
The art of companion planting is how you plant some things by other things to help with certain situations. For example, thyme near cabbage keeps cabbage worms away. Yarrow planted throughout the garden repels many things like aphids, bean beetles, and more. Then there is comfrey for soil improvement, and if you can get your hands on it plant it (you can thank me later).
The truth is that plants usually have an answer for everything that some store-bought chemical is supposed to do (just without all the toxic BS).
Moon Phase Gardening
The idea behind this is nothing new. You may have not heard of it before it’s not really one of those hashtag-friendly words. But trust me it has been around the block a time or two.
There is a bit more about planting by the moon cycle but the gist of it is what you plant should dictate when you plant it.
For example, if it is an above-ground plant say tomato or cucumber you plant when the moon is in a growing or full phase of the lunar cycle. However, if the plant is hidden or below ground like a carrot or potato, you plant those when the moon is shrinking or in the new or hidden moon phase of the lunar cycle.
Visible plant = Visible moon
Hidden Plant = Hidden moon
There is a lot of differing opinions about gardening, but those don’t all matter to you. Instead figure out what you are going for, what works for you. Plan your garden, then plant your plan. Then take pictures, braging pictures (for when judgy Judy tells you some unsolicted garden blah blah blah).
Gardening is not a one size-fits-all situation, and just because one source says something doesn’t make it the only way. Gardening and growing plants is as diverse as all the plants that are out there to grow. Starting with your gardening goals and vision is a much better way to plant the garden of YOUR dreams, after all its yours right? ♡♡♡
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From our family to yours, thanks for stopping by
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Beth is a mother of 6 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.